At the current time, when we can’t travel, the best thing to do right now is to pick up a good travel book. Books transport us to distant lands and they nourish our wanderlust, entertain us and inform us of potential trip ideas. In short, they’re magic. Without books, there would be places and cultures we would never have heard of. Travel books have added depth to travels and helped develop nuanced perspectives of different countries and cultures. They’ve also inspired people to visit tons of new places globally. Of course, we all love travelling even more than reading but since we can’t do that right now, books are our window out into the world. If you’re are itching to get your fix but are stuck in lockdown or self-isolation, here are some suggestions to get you started and keep your wanderlust stoked:
1. The Atlas of Happiness
Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to Be Happy by Helen Russell, author of one of everyone’s favourite books, The Year of Living Danishly, wrote this comical visual guide that takes readers around the world from Iceland to Japan and to Ireland in search of the ways that people define and discover happiness. It’s an informative, well-researched, and a feel-good guide to how the world stays happy.
2. Ultimate Journeys for Two
Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent by Mike and Anne Howard, Having founded Honeytrek.com, Anne and Mike teamed up with National Geographic to curate these recommendations for intrepid couples. Chapters are organized by type of destination (beaches, mountains, and so on) to help travellers discover new places and experiences based on their interests. It’s an amazing resource for finding inspiration and ideas for your own travels (even if you’re a solo traveller).
3. The Dogs of ’Nam
The Dogs of Nam: Stories from the Road and Lessons Learned Abroad by Chris Oldfield is a collection of short stories, extremely budget-conscious Community Manager, Chris, recounts fumbling his way across the world as a backpacker on a budget. This is not a tale of luxury travel but rather a true and honest accounting travelling. His adventures will entertain you and make you think and have some adventures of your own!
4. Four Corners
Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea by Kira Salak, Ivan Champion, a British explorer in 1927 was the first to successfully cross the island of Papua New Guinea. In this book, the first non-Papua New Guinean woman, Kira Salak traverses this relatively untouched country and writes about it, details of her own epic adventures, experiences, and self-discoveries as she tries to mimic Champion’s epic journey.
5. Around the Bloc
Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana by Stephanie Griest, a story of a young journalist who travels to Russia, China, and Cuba to witness the effects of communism and explore the world. Griest relates her experiences as a belly dancer among the rumba queens of Havana and a volunteer at a children’s shelter in Moscow, a propaganda polisher at the office of the Communist Party’s English-language mouthpiece in Beijing.
6. Rediscovering Travel
Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious by Seth KugelIn is a book where Kugel challenges travellers to reignite an age-old sense of spontaneity (remember travelling without constantly summoning Google Maps, consulting TripAdvisor, and using travel points?). The stories of his misadventures explain often hilariously how to make the most of new digital tools.
7. My Invented Country
My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile, by Isabel Allende, is best known for some of her more famous works, such as The House of Spirits and The Japanese Lover. But in this memoir, she explores her emotions toward her Chilean homeland and personal journey living in numerous countries. The book paints a vivid, nostalgic picture of the world. What makes it a captivating read is its insight and realism which is sometimes funny and sometimes sorrowful.
8. Misadventure Is Better
Misadventure is Better was written by David Campbell. The backbone of this hilarious tale is if it isn’t a good time, it’s usually a good story.” Campbell was born to a French mother and an American father and he has always been confused about where he belongs. After graduating from college, he decided to go abroad for a while to figure things out. In the earlier days, by profession, he was a cycling tour guide in Europe. He then enrolled in the Peace Corps in Senegal, earned a master’s degree in New Zealand, went back to Senegal for his thesis research, and then returned to New Zealand.
Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents was Written by Elisabeth Eaves. This book follows her journeys around the world as she satiates her wanderlust and learns about herself. The book starts off slow but the writing here is amazing and can really leave you inspired. The book follows her from being a student studying abroad to being a backpacker around the world to living in Pakistan and Australia. Along the way, she comes to peace with the wanderlust and figures out how to balance being a nomad and someone with roots.
10. Genghis Khan, by Jack Weatherford
Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world, by Jack Weatherford, is an amazing book. Most history books miss the “story” part but this book was not a dry history book filled with footnotes but a story about Kahn and his descendants. It has vivid imagery and incredible characters. And it fills you in a lot on the Mongolian empire. Who knew they had a central bank, universal education, paper money, or had religious freedom?
In these times when we can’t travel with our bodies, we can still travel with our minds. These books will help you recharge your wanderlust battery for when the world will finally traverse again. Check some of the best holiday packages and book your dream getaway now with Pickyourtrail.