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If you enjoy traveling, you’ll love these fun adventure travel books! These days, I can’t get enough travel non-fiction. If you like exploring the world through the pages of a book, give these titles a read!
These are my 9 favorite books for travel inspiration.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
This book might be the book that started my interest in travel, which is strange because it’s about travel going disastrously wrong. I’ll try not to read too much into that. Jon Krakauer, a famous author who you might remember from Into the Wild, accounts his 1996 Everest ascent and the deadly disasters that followed. If you have any interest in mountaineering or are, like me, fascinated and moved by the Himalayas, read this book.
A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal by Anthony Bourdain
In this book, Bourdain travels around the world in attempts to find one single “perfect meal.” That might be easier said than done. His descriptions make you feel like you are walking alongside him through the busy streets of Vietnam or grabbing a beer together in San Francisco, or tasting poisonous blowfish in Japan. He writes beautifully about food but his stories are given life by the people he meets along the way. It’s beautifully written and captures the amazing man Bourdain was – the man that many of us credit as our travel hero and inspiration.
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World – Matthew Goodman
In 1889, two female journalists left New York City in opposite directions in a race around the world. This book captures the true story of these two very different women’s attempts to circumnavigate the globe in less than 80 days. I expected to learn about travel during that time period – think steamships and locomotives and steel tycoons with monocles and big hats – but I ended up learning so much more. This book dives deep into the history of the publishing industry and the role of women within it. A fantastic read for history buffs and adventure travel enthusiasts alike.
Love with a Chance of Drowning – Torre DeRoche
I love this book. I love this writer. After reading her two books (this one and The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World), I feel like I know her, like she is an old friend, like I was the one there with her on these travel adventures. In this memoir, DeRoche meets a guy who sweeps her off her feet and lures her out of her San Francisco life to sail around the world. But there is one major problem: she is terrified of the ocean. Still, she faces her fears, learns to sail, and visits some of the most remote and beautiful islands in the Pacific with her guy. A word of caution, this book will make you want to quit your job, buy a boat, and sail off into the Pacific.
The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World: Love, Loss, and Other Catastrophes–through Italy, India, and Beyond – Torre DeRoche
Torre’s second book and just as wonderful as her first! After facing a family tragedy, Torre buys a ticket to Europe to escape from her grief. She meets Masha who is on an unlikely quest: she is walking across Tuscany along old pilgrim trails, alone. DeRoche decides to join in and the two walk their way across Europe and later, India. I’ve never heard of or read about a journey like this before. Their walk is an amazing feat in itself, but couple that with DeRoche’s beautiful writing and the loving friendship that jumps off the page, and I couldn’t put this book down.
All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft – by Geraldine DeRuiter
This was one of the funniest books I’ve read in a while. Written by Geraldine DeRuiter of the Everywhereist, All Over the Place is a little… all over the place… in the best possible way. DeRuiter says from the beginning that you shouldn’t take her travel advice and that she always gets lost, but somehow that makes for amazing stories. Deruiter and her husband travel around the USA and Europe and she shares stories that are so real, so relatable, just so dang funny that I actually laughed out loud at least three times on the plane which I tried to cover with a poorly disguised cough. This book is about travel, family, and love, all written in a way that will make you pee your pants.
A Long Way Home: A Memoir – by Saroo Brierley
This book isn’t strictly about travel but it is an incredible story set in India, one of my favorite countries and one of the most interesting places on earth. As a young boy, Brierley gets lost far away from his small Indian village. After living on the streets, he gets taken in by an orphanage and adopted by a family in Australia where he lives a typical Australian childhood. But as the year pass, Brierley wonders about his past. As an adult, Brierley decides that he must try to find these people and places that make up his first memories – his first family and home. This book is about his search for those answers across India.
Paris Was Ours – Penelope Rowlands
This book is a collection of essays written by authors who lived in and love Paris. If you’re going to Paris, read this book. If you’ve been to Paris, read this book. If you want to go to Paris one day, read this book. The stories paint a beautiful picture of this iconic city and how it shaped each of them in unique ways. Their different perspectives illuminate the different facets of the city of light.
The Ridiculous Race: 26,000 Miles, 2 Guys, 1 Globe, No Airplanes – Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran
Oh my gosh, my new favorite book! This is a hilarious story about two best friends who race around the world in opposite directions without using airplanes…. all for a bottle of fancy scotch. Told from both of their perspectives, their adventure takes them, quite literally, across the entire world.
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