Few things are as effective at cultivating wanderlust than a really well written travel story. One you finish and just think, “I wish that were me.” And while the criteria of what makes a good book can vary widely from person to person depending on how you connect with it as an individual, I hope my favourite travel books will help transport you on a trip around the world.
A Walk in the Woods
By Bill Bryson
This book introduced me to Bill Bryson, and while it’s hard to just pick one of his books as my favourite, this one stands out based on the sheer number of times that I’ve reread it. He’s funny, he picks interesting places to visit, and his books are poignant without being sappy.
This book covers Bryson’s quest to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, a goal which he undertakes with his old friend, Katz. The book transports you to an entirely different world, one most people don’t even think of as existing: the world of thru-hiking. It will simultaneous make you want to hike, and not want to hike. The pair of hikers meet many characters along the way, and learn a lot about what it means to connect with the world around them.
The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World
By Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner
Once I finished this book I wanted to jump on a plane and head somewhere-anywhere-I just wanted to go. It’s all about feeling the pressure that mounts when you are supposed to be hitting certain milestones…and what happens when you say, “hey, is this what I want or what I’m supposed to want?”
The girls quit their jobs, leave everything behind, and go on a trip around the world. The authors take turns writing chapters, which is a great way to get to know each girl individually. At some points in the journey they go their separate ways, but they always come back together. They visit 14 countries in a year, and upon their return, have launched a little bit of a “lost girls” empire.
Round Ireland With A Fridge
By Tony Hawks
This fun read is the result of a drunken bet Hawks made with a friend-that he couldn’t make it around Ireland in 30 days with a fridge in tow. He definitely made it, and it makes for quite a story. It’s the kind of thing that seems like it could only happen in Ireland, and captures the spirit of the country in a really beautiful way. If you’ve ever been to Ireland, you’ll find yourself saying, “yup, seems about right”. If you haven’t been, well, it will make you want to.
Other great travel books you should be sure to check out include: The Beach by Alex Garland, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson, Smile While You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer by Chuck Thompson, Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
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Written By: Megan Pasche