Top 6 travel books you must read before your next trip

14/07/2015

There’s nothing like an intrepid traveller’s tale to give you itchy feet. Fact or fiction, some of the best novels in the world are dedicated to exploring it.  Whether you’re following in the footsteps of Che Guevara or getting washed up on a desert island, one of these incredible books is sure to stir up the traveller in you before your next trip.

Moose in Alaska (Image credit: iStock)

1. Into the Wild

One of the ultimate modern travel books, this remarkable, true story follows the adventures of Chris McCandless as he abandons all his worldly possessions to explore the furthest reaches of North America.

The tale tracks McCandless' trip, from his decision to give up his life savings and drop out of school, to his epic kayak trip up the Colorado River and decision to enter the Alaskan wilderness to survive in the tundra.

2. Shantaram

Part truth, part artistic license, Shantaram follows the story of an escaped Australian convict as he makes his way to the sanctuary of India. The novel paints a vivid picture of life in Mumbai as the protagonist Gregory David Roberts (AKA Lin) struggles to adapt to India and its challenges.

Large parts of the book are rooted in the city’s deprived slums and the incredible desperation and poverty that surrounds them. As Lin become integrated into the community, he forms close bonds with the people around him. From the slums, to the Mumbai mafia to the wars of Afghanistan, Lin tells an incredible tale that could evoke the spirit of adventure in even the most cautious of travellers.

 3. The Beach

All seasoned travellers will relate to the thrill of finding the perfect untouched destination. Whether it’s a little-known village or a secluded cove, there's no thrill quite like discovering a hidden secret.

The Beach capitalises on this idea, as the protagonist grasps the opportunity to discover the most beautiful piece of Thailand left to be uncovered after he meets a new set of travel companions. Of course, all is not as it seems, but as the story shifts from the heart-stopping to the surreal, we’re betting you’ll be adding this beach to your next travel itinerary.

Map of Argentina (Image Credit: iStock)

4. The Motorcycle Diaries

The trip that turned a junior Argentine doctor into one of the world’s most iconic revolutionary figures, The Motorcycle Diaries offers an insight into the mind and life of a young Ernesto Che Guevara, before the t-shirts!

On the back of his trusty steed, La Ponderosa, Che embarks on an epic trip from his home country, through Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. During his 2,800-mile journey, Che is faced with hunger, sleeping rough, a stay in a leper colony and more mechanical malfunctions that you can count - a truly fascinating insight into a fascinating mind.

5. On the Road

Jack Kerouac's masterpiece inspired a generation to forget about the daily grind and live for the things you truly love. Before a backdrop of 1940s Beat Generation America, the protagonist Sal Paradise (based on Kerouac) explores the US with a host of poets and artists integral to the movement. 

Paradise’s carefree exploits take him to San Francisco, Los Angeles,  Mexico, New York, Denver and beyond. Anyone who’s ever thought about dropping everything and hitting the road should read this book with caution; you just might do it.

6. Invisible Cities

In a conversation between intrepid explorer Marco Polo and the old Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan, the reader is treated to Polo’s poetic narrative about his travels and the many cities he has visited.

Intertwined in Polo’s description of far-off lands, topics such as human nature, politics and linguistics are touched upon briefly, as the two men discuss matters relating to Khan’s empire. A literary work of art, the novel could well inspire you to make your own journal of the cities you visit.

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you create your own epic travel story.

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