Growing up I hated reading, you could not pay me enough to pick up a book… Spark notes were my best friend throughout school, as reading assignments were my worst nightmare. It was not until a few years ago that I realized when you find a genre that fits you, you actually enjoy reading. As my love for travel grew so did my love for reading about it. Now to me there is no better feeling than finding a book you cannot put down.
Whether you have a long plane ride coming up, or just need some travel inspiration here are a few of my favorite travel reads that are sure to give you major wanderlust!
1. Travels – By Michael Crichton
A personal memoir full of fascinating adventures as he travels everywhere from the Mayan pyramids to Kilimanjaro. Fueled by a powerful curiosity—and by a need to see, feel, and hear, firsthand and close-up—Michael Crichton’s journeys have carried him into worlds diverse and compelling—swimming with mud sharks in Tahiti, tracking wild animals through the jungle of Rwanda. This is a record of those travels—an exhilarating quest across the familiar and exotic frontiers of the outer world, a determined odyssey into the unfathomable, spiritual depths of the inner world. Purchase here
2. What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding a Memoir – By Kristin Newman
Kristin Newman spent much of her twenties and thirties buying dresses to wear to her friends’ weddings and baby showers. Not ready to settle down and in need of an escape from her fast-paced job as a sitcom writer, Kristin instead traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year. In addition to falling madly in love with the planet, Kristin fell for many attractive locals, men who could provide the emotional connection she wanted without costing her the freedom she desperately needed. Equal parts laugh-out-loud storytelling, candid reflection, and wanderlust-inspiring travel tales, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is a compelling debut that will have readers rushing to renew their passports. Purchase here
3. On The Road – By Jack Kerouac
On The Road features a series of trips made by Kerouac and his Beat Generation friends across America in the years after the Second World War. Through the eyes of narrator Sal Paradise (Kerouac himself) the reader is transported from New York to Denver to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Along the way there’s jazz, poetry and drugs. And there’s Dean Moriarty, whose incredible thirst for life (and women) gives the book its extraordinary momentum. Purchase here
4. The Beach – By Alex Garland
Spellbinding and hallucinogenic, The Beach by Alex Garland both a national bestseller and his debut — is a highly accomplished and suspenseful novel that fixates on a generation in their twenties, who, burdened with the legacy of the preceding generation and saturated by popular culture, long for an unruined landscape, but find it difficult to experience the world firsthand. Purchase here
5. Wanderlust: A love Affair with Five Continents – By Elisabeth Eaves
Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves’s insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she loses herself—literally—to an Australian tour guide; in Cairo, she reconnects with her high school sweetheart, only to discover the beginning of a pattern that will characterize her life over the long-term: while long-distance relationships work well for her, traditional relationships do not. Wanderlust, however, is more than a chronological conquest of men and countries: at its core, it’s a journey of self-discovery. Purchase here
6. Wild – By Cheryl Strayed
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. Purchase here
7. Eat, Pray, Love – By Elizabeth Gilbert
In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want—husband, country home, successful career—but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature, against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. Purchase here