Books That Inspire Travel

Wanderers at heart need doses of exploration and new scenery every so often. But, we all know that life sometimes has a habit of getting in the way of those traveling desires. Work, lack of money or life situations can keep us from traveling as often as we’d like, but there are band-aids that can help assuage that wanderlust. Picking up a good travel memoir or travel guide can sometimes take the edge off of not having a vacation booked for the near future. Whether you’re in a traveling rut or you just need a mental escape during this long winter, these 6 entertaining travel books are sure to reignite that adventurous spark and inspire your next getaway!

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1. The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost, By Rachel Friedman

This easy-to-read personal memoir follows Rachel through her hasty decision to head to Ireland after college. While there, she meets new friends and finds herself along with a previously-latent love of travel. The story then details her adventures throughout 3 continents that bring with them numerous escapades. The “Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost” is filled with personal stories that focus on the ups and downs of working abroad and trying to hustle while also enjoying the travel experience.

 

2. In a Sunburned Country, By Bill Bryson (also named ‘Down Under’)

Anyone that has a sense of humor and has ever wanted to head to the unforgiving continent of Australia needs to read this book. Bill Bryson knows how to make even the dictionary entertaining, so “In a Sunburned Country” is a must-read for those that enjoy lots of giggles with their travel stories. His sarcastic humor coupled with his uproarious anecdotes about the land down under will keep you laughing throughout the entire book. But the book isn’t just silly stories and humor; it’s packed with little-known-facts and seriously helpful tips about traveling throughout Australia. It’s 1 part Australian travel guide and 2 parts pure entertainment!

 

3. Blue Highways, By William Least Heat

Blue Highways follows the author’s travels off the beaten path of America’s roads after the loss of his marriage and his job. He visits tiny little towns that are barely on the map along the way and meets interesting, generous, strange and kind people that regale him with life stories and wisdom. This soulful American Road-trip story is a travel memoir, but it has a self-help book quality rolled up in it. You can’t read “Blue Highways” without it changing your perspective on life.

 

4. The Geography of Bliss, By Eric Weiner

This highly inspirational book is written by a self-proclaimed “grump” in search of the happiest places on Earth. The sheer breadth of places Mr. Weiner traveled to in order to write this book will make you feel as though you’ve just traveled the world in 300 pages. “The Geography of Bliss” discusses the cultures and the lifestyles behind many places in this world to try and figure out if there is truly a geographical/cultural blueprint for happiness. From resilient mining towns to affluent cities, this book takes the reader on a tour of human happiness in its many different guises. It is quite the illuminating read for those that truly love to travel!

 

5. A Year in Provence, By Peter Mayle

A Year in Provence” is perfect for those who’ve ever dreamed of just packing up their things and moving somewhere in search of a slower pace of life. In this book, Peter Mayle finally lives out his dream of moving to Provence from England. Much of the book focuses on fixing up his old farmhouse while acclimating to his new surroundings (with a healthy dose of mouthwatering descriptions of the local cuisine thrown in.) If you enjoyed “Eat, Pray, Love,” this book will be a good fit for you. It’s rich with insights into the tedious process of relocating to a new country, and all of the ways that sometimes even the most well-thought-out plans can backfire when you’re in a foreign place.

 

6. The Art of Travel, By Alain de Botton

From elucidating quotes and poetry to photographs and snippets of his own experiences, “The Art of Travel” opens our eyes to how traveling effects us all individually. This book is a collection of essays that prove that there is no better way to find one’s self than to travel. But in the absence of that, reading this brilliant book is the next best thing. You’ll gain insights from wanderers and philosophers and feel like you’re right there with them in their travels.

Kimberly Beard

Kim is the Retention Marketing Manager for ParkSleepFly.