As an avid reader with a thirst for adventure, there are few things I like better than curling up with a book that will inspire, evoke and fuel my lust for travel. From epic stories set in faraway lands, to poignant memoirs and classic tales, there are endless books that take their readers beyond the turn of a page. These are five of the best books about wanderlust to pack for your next holiday.
A moving memoir of an eleven-hundred mile trek Cheryl Strayed made across the Pacific Crest Trail following the death of her mother, Wild is a powerful tale that will stay with its readers beyond the final page. We witness the power of nature, as Strayed embarks on a redemptive journey hiking the epic PCT trail which stretches from Mexico to Canada through California, Washington and Oregon and the scars from the harrowing death of her mother and her heartbreaking divorce slowly begin to heal. Beautifully written and evocative, Wild is a poignant, awe-inspiring read that shows how one rather extraordinary woman dealt with very real and very raw grief.
Eat Pray Love
Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-known book, Eat, Pray, Love, had such a powerful affect on its readers that they wrote to the American author in their droves, with tales of what the book had inspired them to do. Aged 32, Gilbert suffers something of a mid-life crisis, and the memoir follows her post-divorce search for food, spirituality and balance that spans two continents. She travels to Italy to indulge in the pleasure of eating, India to explore the power of prayer and Bali, where searching for a balance of pleasure and spirituality, she found love. Both entertaining and informative, Eat Pray Love whets your appetite for faraway lands and adventures yet to come.
A book that inspired a generation of backpackers to visit Thailand’s sandy shores, Alex Garland’s The Beach is a thought-provoking novel that takes its reader from the bustling streets of Bangkok to a hidden haven of unspoilt paradise. A profound book with a gripping plot and an insightful look at one of the world’s most popular destinations, The Beach will inspire any would-be travellers on a search for unspoilt spaces.
On the Road
A definitive American tale, On the Road is a cult classic, written in the midst of an America fuelled by drugs, poetry and jazz music. Both poignant and passionate, the novel tells the story of Sal Paradise as he travels back and forth over American soil. It is the ultimate of road trips; the characters live recklessly; the pace of life is fast. There is little doubt that Kerouac’s most renowned novel inspired a legion of road-trippers to set sail for the states and through caution to the wind.
One of the best-selling books in history, this beloved classic of Santiago, the shepherd boy on a journey, has taught people all over the world the importance of listening to their hearts and following their destiny. A beautifully written book which appeals to the spiritual side of readers, The Alchemist is abundant with morale and has inspired a wealth of readers to live beyond the bounds of life as we know it.
Looking for more holiday reading? Here are some of the best books to read while travelling.
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Lucy Pearson is a certified bookworm, wanderluster, and qualified yoga teacher with a thirst for adventure and a love for life.
Lucy has her own blog, The Literary Edit, and also contributes to Stylist Magazine and Hip and Healthy.