Reading and traveling are two of my three greatest passions (writing is the third, and I’m doing that now, hooray!) so when they come together in travel related books I am one happy camper. Below are my ten favorite wanderlust inducing books. I’m sure the list will grow and change, but for now, here they are:
1. “A Cook’s Tour” – Anthony Bourdain: This is the first book I ever read that made me think “damn, I want to see the world.” Mr. Bourdain’s accounts of eating and drinking his way around the globe turned my wanderlust into a full blown obsession.
2. “Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents” – Elisabeth Eaves: Fueled by want of the unknown, Elisabeth Eaves details her experiences in love and travel in this fantastic book. I loved this one so much I lent it to another traveler to enjoy, never to see it again. Of course I bought another copy.
3. “The Alchemist” – Paulo Coelho: This gorgeously written tale paints pictures of sunrise colored deserts and one boys’s tie to his own destiny. Though it’s not wholly about travel, it inspires and encourages the reader to follow their heart and find beauty.
4. “A House in the Sky” – Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett: Despite the harrowing content, Amanda Lindhout’s experiences should encourage us to keep traveling and learning about the world. This inspiring story is at the very least a warning to travel safely, and at most a call to action to travel, learn customs and culture, help where needed and live fully.
5. “The Rum Diary” – Hunter S. Thompson: Mr. Thompson’s whimsical tale of life and travel through the Caribbean is a look at the islands through beer goggles. It is a colorful account of another time in a distant land that’ll make you want to jump on a plane bound for the tropics.
6. “The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry” – Kathleen Flinn: Soon after being fired from her job, Kathleen Flinn decides to take the high road straight to Paris. There, she learns the delicate ins and outs of French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu. This book sparked my love for Paris and made my mouth water at the same time.
7. “Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War” – Deborah Copaken Kogan: A photojournalist’s tale of ambition, war and love around the world. Deborah Copaken Kogan’s vivid stories from each point on the map capture all the emotions that go along with the excitement of travel. She fully engulfs you in her adventures and makes you yearn for your own.
8. “Eat, Pray, Love” – Elizabeth Gilbert: I have a love/hate relationship with this book, but the bottom line is it made me want to travel more. All in all, it’s a fun read of one woman’s travels and fulfillment in three beautiful destinations.
9. “Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes” – Elizabeth Bard: If #6 on this list sparked my love for Paris, then this one fanned the flame. Elizabeth Bard tells of how she immersed herself in French culture and cuisine with all the fanciful details along the way. As an added bonus to the enjoyable read, the book includes the recipes mentioned in the story!
10. “A Dead Hand” – Paul Theroux: This book is a fictional murder-mystery set in India, written by a travel writer. It paints a vivid picture of India and its inhabitants, increasing my desire to visit the beautiful country.
Please share your favorite travel inspiring books in the comments, I look forward to reading them all and expanding my list.