My zest for travel means I love a good book that puts me in the shoes of someone as they experience a new place. While difficult to narrow down, I have compiled a list of some of my favourite travel books. Make a cuppa and start reading, and you can experience adventures from hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, to living in Argentina, or following Hiram Bingham’s steps to Machu Picchu—all from your living room.
1. WILD – Cheryl Strayed
This book awakens a desire to pack up your belongings and spend months hiking through the wilderness in North America. I had never heard of the Pacific Crest Trail previously, and this book was a great tell-all tale about the trials and the tribulations, but also the unforgettable moments. I found it to be a very honest retelling with a good balance between Strayed’s backstory and hiking the trail. It has also been made into a movie, but I will admit I am team ‘the book was better than the movie’.
“I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free.” – Cheryl Strayed
2. WHAT I WAS DOING WHILE YOU WERE BREEDING – Kristen Newman
I knew I was going to love this book from the moment I found out the author was a writer on some TV shows I have watched over and over again. This is a great comedy read about the adventurous life of a writer in between jobs. It is a light read full of amazing seasonal adventures. I look up to the author, her freedom and crazy adventurous spirit while on the road. If you are curious as to why living in Argentina for a couple of months is now on my bucket list, read this book to find out why.
“I wanted love, but I also wanted freedom and adventure, and those two desires fought like angry obese sumo wrestlers in the dojo of my soul.” – Kristen Newman
3. INTO THE WILD – Jon Krakauer
If you have seen the movie, I would still recommend reading this book as it looks at Christopher McCandless’ story from a different point of view. The book is written by the journalist who investigated his backstory. It is a refreshing read with sad undertones, but inspires the minimalist lifestyle and fills your soul with adventure. I definitely recommend watching the movie as well.
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences…” – Christopher McCandless
4. THE ALCHEMIST – Paulo Coelho
I would highly recommend this book when you are at crossroads in your life or looking for a bit of direction. While filling my soul with a zest for adventure, I found I was imagining myself in the shepherd boy’s shoes through Egypt and beyond, while relating it back to my life. This book has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and you can still find it on top 100 books lists. There is a reason for that and you will be turning the pages like never before.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho
5. TURN RIGHT AT MACHU PICCHU – Mark Adams
After travelling Peru and hiking Machu Picchu myself, this book gave me a great insight into the mountain that is on top of everyone’s bucket list. In his book, Mark Adams retraces the footsteps of Hiram Bingham who “rediscovered” the mountain over one hundred years ago. With his journalistic background, Adams dives into Machu Picchu and its surrounds with a great balance between history and humour.
“On a globe it looks like a swollen California. Within that space, though, are twenty-thousand-foot peaks, the world’s deepest canyon, unmapped Amazon jungle and the driest desert on earth.” – Mark Adams
Interested to find out more about Machu Picchu? Read about my recent journey here.