Wanderlust for traveling often begins when we are young and are reading about far off places. We start to crave adventure and seeing a world that is different from our own. This is where our list of Must Read Travel books comes into play. You will love these page flippers, just like we did.
Must Read Travel Books
Back in High School, I remember reading Jack Kerouac's On The Road. I was mesmerized by his experiences and vowed one day to travel to every state – and I am well on my way!
While I was on the road during my first year of full-time traveling, I carried around a couple of books and had more than 20 downloaded on my e-reader. My friend suggested I read Into the Wild about road-tripping across the US and want to travel to Alaska.
If there was ever a book I didn't want to read it was Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I was afraid of it. I feared reading her journey and to reflect on mine. So I didn't read it at first. I went and saw the movie. The tears started immediately as I watched her go through the struggles of the Pacific Crest Trail, the doubts she had as a woman, and the awakening of the woman that was hidden underneath. I might not have hiked 1,000 miles, but boy did I have a very similar experience solo traveling across the US. I bought the book the next day and have read it a few times.
I have since been following Carolyn's Pacific Coast Trail journey as she documents her hike. The video below is day one but she has a whole playlist for you to follow.
If you long for a life less ordinary, you should read Vagabonding. Rolf Potts was one of the original vagabonders and is a must-read for anyone thinking of long-term travel.
For all things down under check out In A Sunburned Country. This one is by Bill Bryson and he has a lot of good travel books out but this one caught my attention because I've always had a fascination with Australia. This book follows her journey from East Australia to West Australia and you go on a journey of small towns and coastal cities while meeting the locals, and the local wildlife. This is one of my must-read travel books for sure!
The rest of these books on this list are where I head to for inspiration for my next trip. Right now, I am flying to destinations with just my backpack and suitcase. I read about destinations and the ones that stir my soul are the ones that are written down on my Must Travel To List. I only plan a quarter at a time. Pick up one of these books and when your heart skips a beat and you feel like you've been punched in the gut, then you know that's where you should go. Seriously, try it – it works! 🙂
Personally, though it was also the good only fashion travel books on a destination that my grandparents had laying around as they planned their next trip that always inspired me.
If you are looking to get on the road and travel full time with your family I also recommend How to Hit the Road. This is the book I read to get us going on our journey.