Books are a portal to another world, allowing us to understand new experiences and meet new people. Putting together a brief list of our favourite travel books has not been easy, as there are just so many to choose from! To narrow it down, we have limited ourselves to only fictitious works.
In short, these are the titles that we have read and loved, and warmly recommend that you read as well. Whether you are dreaming of faraway lands or reading the book while you are travelling said locations, these titles will inspire you to venture out and explore the world.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
The book follows the story of Santiago, a young shepherd from the Spanish region of Andalucia. Santiago experiences a recurring dream which he deems to be prophetic and after asking a local fortune teller, is told that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian Pyramids.
The book introduces the idea of a personal legend, something you have always wanted to accomplish, and this theme of finding one’s destiny plays out across the pages. If the story of the young shepherd and his journey to Egypt is not enough to satisfy your cravings for travel literature, then few other books will be able to!
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
This title teeters on the edge of being non-fictional, falling in the category of an autobiographical novel. The story focuses on Salvatore Paradise, an Italian-American based in New York City in the year of 1947. He and his two friends are feeling the call of the wild, with a desire to head out west in search of “it”. “It” is an indescribable moment in which one has ultimate fulfilment, and this is the theme on which the book is based.
This title truly emphasises the importance of the journey rather than the destination, which rings true for many of us who enjoy travelling; getting to the place is only half the fun!
Into The Wild – Jon Krakauer
Similar to On The Road, Into The Wild falls somewhere between fiction and non-fiction. Being based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, a 24-year-old from Virginia who gave away his college fund to charity, abandoned his car and created a new name for himself. For four months he walked alone in Alaska, and he was eventually found dead roughly four months later.
The book incorporates some non-fiction elements taken from McCandless’s life before his adventure. However, after he started his new life, the majority of the book is based on brief (sometimes one word) entries to his journal, which Krakauer has expanded into fictional experiences.
The Beach – Alex Garland
Published in 1996 by English author Alex Garland, the story focuses on Richard, a young backpacker staying in Thailand. Richard encounters a mentally disturbed Scotsman who provides him with a map featuring directions to a beautiful island with a paradise-like beach. The book follows his (and his two companions’) travels to find this hidden gem.
Although this title may not make you want to follow specifically in Richard’s footsteps, the writing and storytelling will certainly win you over.
Around the World in 80 Days – Jules Vern
Something of a classic work, the 1873 title still conjures feelings of wanderlust and a hunger to travel, despite being over 140 years old! The plot line is one we’re all relatively familiar with, Phileas Fogg is challenged to travel across the globe in 80 days. He is wagered £20,000 by his fellow reform club members, a sum of roughly half his fortune and brings his valet Jean Passepartout as his travel companion. The story charts his adventures as he uses a combination of boats and trains to complete his journey.
Not only providing historical insight into previous generations of travel, but the book also perfectly captures the importance of experience over material possessions.
Along the Enchanted Way: A Romanian Story – William Blacker
Published in 2010 after Blacker’s eight years of Romanian living, the book shares the writer’s stories and experiences from living in the secluded north of Romania. Although this doesn’t necessarily meet the fiction guidelines, the book is a true gem and one that we couldn’t afford to miss from the list.
With Romania being one of our most favourite countries, these stories are especially resonant. The book offers a glimpse into a lifestyle that has been left behind by the modern world, but one that is all the better for it. Regardless of whether you’re planning on heading on Romanian adventure, we’d thoroughly recommend getting your hand on this book!
If you’re inspired to head out on your own experience holiday after reading this, why not check out our range of trips? From the Ice Hotel in Romania to the Mursi Tribe of Ethiopia, our trips cover some of the most spectacular countries in the world.