There are many movies designed to inspire wanderlust, but somehow, when you’re on the road, nothing brings comfort quite like the soft pages of a paperback. Books soak up the memory of each trip they accompany you on and find a way to embed themselves in the journey.
If you love to read, love to travel or have a passion for both, here are nine travel-inspiring books you should read in 2016.
Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl
Nancy Pearl can be likened to a celebrity librarian. In this book she matches books with destinations in the same way you match wine with a meal. Want to take a trip to Afghanistan’s opium fields? Nancy suggests you read Opium Season by Joel Hfvenstein. Want to spend a year with orangutans of Borneo? Read Reflections of Eden.
The Beach by Alex Garland
Most people have seen the movie, but do yourself a favour and make the time to read the book too. The words on these pages inspired thousands to break free and head to South East Asia for a sweaty, beautiful adventure.
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby
A humorous recount of a badly thought out attempt to scale one of Afghanistan’s most challenging peaks! Newby finds the whole experience gets the better of him and retells the whole story hilariously!
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner
The story of three women at a crossroads, unwilling to yield to social pressures for women of a certain age. They give up their jobs, friends, boyfriends and everything familiar to travel the world for a year. Follow them through the Amazon, Kenya, Vietnam and Australia as they look for adventure and part of themselves they haven’t met yet.
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
This fantastic book is about taking time out from your normal life, whether it be six weeks, four months or two years. It’s about taking time to discover and experience the world on your own terms.
Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
A beautiful, witty book illustrated with postcards from Steinbach’s journeys, it transports you into her search for who she is away from all the ‘things’ she possesses and defines herself with. Follow Steinbach through beautiful places, experiences and friendships around Europe.
Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger
Published in 1959, Thesiger’s account of a dangerous journey through the Arabian deserts has met with considerable critical acclaim since. Over the course of five years, the early explorer recorded the lives of the remote tribes he met in an often hostile land. His tales of hardships, unlikely friends and an age now passed have a timeless appeal for all travellers.
Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald
Holy Cow is Macdonald’s often hilarious chronicle of her adventures in a land of chaos and contradiction, of encounters with Hinduism, Islam and Jainism, Sufis, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians and a kaleidoscope of yogis, swamis and Bollywood stars. From spiritual retreats and crumbling nirvanas to war zones and New Delhi nightclubs, it is a journey that only a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life — and her sanity — can survive.
Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen
When the Chinese invaded, Brauen’s mother and grandmother were forced to flee from their Tibetan homeland, traveling across the frozen Himayalas to freedom. In this powerful, poetic, global memoir Brauen tells how the lives of three generations of Tibetan women were forever changed.