5 Books to inspire travel

As my departure date moves ever closer (4 months to go – Yay!), I have been finding more and more ways to become further inspired for the adventure that lies ahead.

One of the many ways I find inspiration comes from reading. I find reading helps paint a picture of the sights, sounds, tastes and wonders of exotic lands that I have yet to explore.

I have put together my top 5 books that have inspired and influenced me to further my travels. I’d love to hear if any of these resonate with you and what books you may have read that have inspired your own travels.

1. On the Road – Jack Kerouac


This novel is a classic for a reason. I have read this book countless times and each time completely fall in love with Kerouac’s views surrounding life on the road. The style of his writing captures the inescapable awe and wonder of travel while highlighting the vivid characters and their youthful bohemian lifestyle during the times in the 50’s-mid 60’s. This book sparks passion and excitement for the unknown.

2. Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert


Gilbert explains with honesty what it’s like to re evaluate your life values and to follow an inner yearning to travel in the face of social obligation. As a successful writer who seemingly had everything that a woman of her age should want (within the standards of western mainstream culture) her decision to let go of everything, including her marriage in order to follow her inner instinct and passion to travel is definitely inspiring.

3. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts


This book is epic – both in size and content. From the very first page, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty and intricate love for India that Roberts conveys in his writing. Although this book may take some time to get through it’s well worth it. When reading Shantaram there is a distinct mix of emotions ranging from positive resilience, gleeful humor to deep sorrow and darkness, which perfectly captures the diversity within the Indian culture and lifestyle. The story becomes intensified and you will find that putting it down gets more and more difficult as you turn the pages.

 4.Destination Cambodia – Walter Mason


I found this novel in a small bookstore one day and decided to purchase it after being intrigued by the exotic colourful front cover. After reading it, I promptly booked flights to Cambodia. The way that Mason describes the beautiful nature of the Cambodian people and culture had me intrigued and excited to experience the country for myself. Although his experiences in Cambodia range from dangerous bus rides, traditional hill tribes nestled within lush forests to a potentially fatal scenario falling from the top of an ancient temple. The main theme from this captivating novel is the warmth and beauty of the Khmer people which in my opinion, is the greatest, most dazzling aspect of Cambodia.

5. Into the wild – Jon Krakauer


This book highlights the inner search for enlightenment within a society which sometimes feels false or materialistic. The adventurous and somewhat fearless naivety of Christopher McCandless instills a sense of empathy and connection with the reader, as we follow his call to adventure that is so often found within a lot of travelers. Although this thought provoking book is inspirational and philosophical it does leave you feeling quite saddened. Despite the melancholy ending, I definitely believe this book is worth the read.

7 thoughts on “5 Books to inspire travel

  1. I enjoyed Shantaram but not so much Kerouac. I see his direction it is descriptive but didn’t move me. Christopher’s sister wrote The Wild Truth, or sonething similar. The two together blew me away. Just, my two cents. Oh, Nixon’s recent bio covers a different side of Cambodia. It’s really sad.


    1. Thank you so much for your feedback – Yes, a number of people either love or hate Kerouac. Interesting, regarding The Wild Truth, I’d be interested to read that! Cambodia has a lot of sad history and a corrupt present, however their optimistic spirit in the face of horrible tragedy is what makes the people so inspiring. It’s great to hear other peoples opinions on different literature. 🙂


      1. I have a funny story about Dharma Bums. I met a woman over it, we were set for a date later and I was taking lunch at the grocery cafe. I saw her in line and then saw that she got out of line and headed for the door. The manager caught her and brought her to my table. He started yelling at her for stealing and she saw me and started crying. It was probably just an extra layer of stress we never dated, she was arrested at my table. 😀


      2. Haha no wonder you don’t like Kerouac!(just kidding). Wow, that’s definitely a dramatic date story – it sounds like it might have been for the best 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ha, well men writing while traveling is as old as the Stoics. I prefer Edward Abbey he distanced his writing from Eastern influences to sound less like a guru and more like another dusty traveler. Nothing wrong with integrating other ideas from older cultures there is just such a fine line between reverence and reference. I was just disappointed in Kerouac for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I actually have not heard of Edward Abbey before but I’ve now looked him up and am excited to start reading some of his work. Thanks so much for your input – it’s great to hear other people’s thoughts on different writers 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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