Reading is an escape from reality, and travel is an escape from the mundane. Even if you have never seen or been somewhere, you can paint a new picture in your mind of a location through diving into a novel. Traveling to new worlds through reading can spark a wanderlust you didn’t even know existed, to a place you have only imagined through words thrown together on a page. If you can’t physically travel somewhere new, being able to escape momentarily through books is always a nice temporary solution to fuel your case of wanderlust.
This one is a given. If you haven’t read this book yet, this needs to be the first thing on all of your to-do lists. I am envious of Elizabeth Gilbert on a daily basis. She became in tune with herself through traveling to three different countries, and discovered a perfect balance of food, spirituality, and romance.
There was a movie made about the book, but as always, the book is so much better.
If you love reading about people being brave and doing good in the world at the same time, then this book is perfect for you.
This book is about a man adventuring to climb the K2 mountain to honor his deceased sister, when he realizes that a village he stumbles upon during his decent doesn’t have a school for the children. He sets out on a journey to raise money to fund the building of a school, and ends up building over 50 schools in the Taliban region.
This one is about two old dudes who decide to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. While this book is humorous, it is also a tale about persevering in difficult situations and following your dreams, no matter what stage in life you are in.
It was made into a movie, but AS ALWAYS, the book is better.
This one is also a given for any traveler. If you haven’t heard about this book, I highly recommend going to your bookstore right now and purchasing it. Cheryl Stayed goes through some tough times in her 20s, which include divorce, drug use, and her mother passing away.
She decides to hike the entire PCT, and along the way, discovers things inside herself that help ease her frustration with life. This one was also made into a movie, and even though Reese Witherspoon is in it, the book is still better…sorry.
The Alaskan wilderness is a daunting place to be alone, and Christopher McCandless understands that more than anyone. His body is found in an abandoned school bus on the Stampede Trail in Alaska, and Jon Krakauer goes on an expedition to understand McCandless’ death and his personal journey on the trail.
This book recounts tough adventures, the vast Alaskan wilderness, and the time one man spent, and perished, on the trail.
Solnit recounts times in her own life where she had issues with wandering, getting lost, and finding herself. This novel is not so much about running away, but finding oneself through adventure and living life to the fullest.
It’s a great read for anyone teetering on the unknown, and wondering if running away to get lost is the best solution to their problems.
These girls are living my dream. Three girls in their 20s, living and working in Manhattan, decide after taking a trip to South America to quit their jobs and travel the world for a year. Ugh.
This book is moving, inspiring, and will urge you to be brave and follow along in the girls’ footsteps.
The Alchemist is a modern classic. Written by Paulo Coehlo, this story is about a shepherd boy named Santiago, who longs to travel the world and search for golden treasures.
This book will teach you how to truly follow your dreams, take a leap of faith, and the wisdom that comes with listening to your heart.
This novel is a story about a 20-something man who begins backpacking in Thailand to escape the mundane, and comes across a map to a secret oasis. The Eden oasis has never been seen by any tourist, except Richard, the narrator of the story.
Once finding the oasis, Richard joins the community living there, only to find it isn’t all he had hoped it would be.
This novel (or self help guide) takes the reader on one man’s journey from America to Iceland, and then Iceland to India, in search of happiness (or as the author refers to it, “un-unhappiness”).
Filled with humor, this story is more than just following a guy on a journey around the world, it’s about finding bliss in the simplicity of life.
Let me know what some of your favorite books are in the comments!