Wanderlust flows through my veins on a daily basis, and usually when I am not reading about self development, I can be found browsing kayak for the latest flight deals or planning out a trip to some exotic location. I try to surround myself with constant inspiration to travel and see as much of the world as possible. There are tons of amazing resources to get you fired up to hit the road and a multitude of advice from other travellers, some good, some bad, some just weird. Below are my top 10 travel books, both travel documentary and a couple fun fiction ones that get me amped up to travel and remind me to constantly put money aside for the next destination. Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile etc etc.
Travel books are a great way to soak up a more seasoned traveller’s years experience and save yourself quite a few headaches. Having the ability to breeze through several years of travel experience in a day or 2 is great when tight on time and you are trying to optimize your next trip and finances. Also just reading what is humanly possible can give you that extra push and sense of comfort if you have never travelled solo or have yet to leave your home country. Trust me….it’s very worth it. Lace up the all terrain boots and sling a backpack over your shoulder and get out there!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
MY CURRENT TOP 10 TRAVEL BOOKS
Anyone considering getting ready for a longer term trip (3-weeks to 3 years) should give this a thorough read. It is jam packed with a ton of info on how to travel all over the world on a modest budget. There is a solid section on figuring out a destination that really speaks to you, and ways to set goals to finance your trip. He also dives into what life on the road for extended periods of time is like and how to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for it. Some great tips on unconventional means of travel to keep expenses down and changing your outlook on life as a whole. My copy is extremely tattered from multiple read throughs, usually while on a plane somewhere.
To call this book intense is an understatement. Once I started reading I powered through in a couple days. The fact that the author circled the planet using only human powered means (bike, row boat, walking etc) is a testament to the human spirit and what you can achieve if possible. To me it highlighted the power of taking action and not waiting for your situation to be perfect, and adapting to challenges in every aspect of your life. Some crazy life experiences included in side such as: Nearly freezing to death after getting lost in a Siberian snow storm, rowing across the Atlantic ocean and life at sea for over 5 months, as well as cycling the entire way across Europe.
Another great book in a similar vein to Vagabonding above. Some great tips on how to save money for your trip, a great section on various points/travel rewards cards and how to greatly stack that system in your favour to earn free flights super quick, as well as breakdown of each major travel destination such as South East Asia, Central & South America, and Europe. It is really handy to see the cost breakdowns in different regions and packed with value when planning a trip. Should be on any travel junkies bookshelf.
Whenever anyone is asking what they should do with their life, or how to become a more interesting person I always have one answer: Travel. Travel as much and as often as you can. This book is a great read about a young twenty-something taking a year off his life to travel around and experience the world. Some really great stories he learned about the value of life, relationships, what it means to live in poverty, as well as inspirational stories from being on the road for so long. After reading this I wanted to pack my backpack and get out there. Perfect for anyone with a little wanderlust in their veins, or if you are feeling lost and questioning your life. A lot of really valuable life lessons documented within these pages and well worth a read. It’s entertaining and an easy read. Also on my Top 10 Self Development Books list.
Probably the most cliche non fiction travel book ever but I don’t care. Anytime I am at an airport or hostel there is usually at least one person reading this classic travel adventure book and a great conversation starter to make friends with fellow travellers. Even if you have seen the movie it is worth a read, quite different and always gets me in the mood to go get lost in some deserted paradise for the rest of my days. Good for taking a break from more serious reading and just getting inspired to get out there. The chapter style makes it easy to small chunk this in little spurts. This book is on practically every top 10 travel books list I have come across.
The author’s lifestyle is very similar to my own and I was pleasantly surprised by this book, which I ordered from Amazon on a whim. She couldn’t understand how people could settle down in their early 20’s or 30’s and chose to spend that time travelling the world and experiencing everything the globe had to offer. Really interesting insights into the female psyche and how the on the road mentality allows you to do things you normally wouldn’t consider. Crazy stories of traveling across south america, steamy sexcapades, and some great travel insight. An entertaining read for sure.
Beyond The Horizon – Colin Angus
I picked this book up after seeing a trailer for the movie of the same name and learning it was based on someone’s story. It turned out to be a really great read, she was at such a low point in her life and needed some time to figure herself out and get her mind right. So she packed a huge ass backpack and set about walking the Pacific Crest Trail, over 1000 miles. It’s super interesting reading about how her mental state and confidence in herself was vastly effected by her journey. A good look into solo travel from a female perspective, which can be especially harrowing at times as she found out. The newest addition to my top 10 travel books list.
Written from the perspective of a former alcoholic 80’s star, it focuses on his need to travel around the world without ever being able to fully commit to a relationship, and over the course of 10 years or so and multiple countries later, taking that leap. I was able to Identify with his younger self at my age as settling down is nowhere on my radar at the moment and it was interesting to get inside the mind of someone similar. He travels all over the world from Europe to Costa Rica, often solo and took the time to jot down his thoughts on the countries as well as life in general, which makes for a pretty compelling read.
Another great travel advice handbook that is full of good info on how to travel efficiently and safely solo. It’s not too long either so you can skim through it in a weekend and soak up 90% of the knowledge within. A bunch of interesting travel stories from the author flesh out the importance of the underlying tips and tricks and help break up the flow of the book to be more fun. Anyone thinking of doing a solo trip for the first time should read this as part of their trip preparation.
No travel documentary list would be complete without something from National Geographic. I keep this as my usual coffee table book due to the fact its easy to pick up and instantly find something interesting to talk about, or be inspired to travel right away. The pictures in this book are amazing. There is a reason their photographers are constantly winning awards and this book is no slouch in that department. Also makes for great casual date conversation, who doesn’t like to share their travel experiences!?