5 Books to Make You Fall in Love with Travel
Those that have traveled the world over can attest to a feeling of invigoration and wonder at experiencing a new place for the first time. The sights, the sounds, the aromas all put your senses on high alert, taking in as much of your surroundings as you can. This sensation makes you feel strongly toward any place you visit, much in the same way books can take you on a literary escape of the present and transport you to the middle of the Sahara Desert, or can thrust you into the Amazonian Jungle. Books can make you fall in love with travel and spark that inner wanderlust within. Below are five books that encompass that itching desire to get on a plane and go out and explore the world’s magnificence.
THE ALCHEMIST | Paulo Coelho
This book is a must read for any dreamer wanting to follow his/her dreams. The story is centered around a young boy who follows his heart from Spain to Egypt, learning to love and searching for the meaning of life and how to live it fully whilst on his journey. Paulo Coelho’s work is heavy with imagery and he talks regularly of the divine being and finding one’s true self in his works. For this reason, it’s no surprise that The Alchemist has become one of the most popular novels in recent history.
ON THE ROAD | Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac’s On The Road may be an oldie but is definitely a goodie nonetheless. This story follows Sal, and he leaves New York life behind and travels west, riding the rails, meeting new people, cultivating new relationships, and of course, partying the nights away. Throughout the story, Sal’s frustration and itching desire to see the world are evident; something every die-hard traveler has experienced once or twice. Many of us have had feelings of impatience with regard to seeing all there is to see out in the world, which is why even close to 60 years later, On The Road stills holds its benchmark in popular American travel culture.
THE BEACH | Alex Garland
This book, much like On the Road, became popular enough to be made into a movie (for those of you that enjoy the big screen in place of picking up a good book), but that isn’t the most notable or memorable thing about Alex Garland’s story. In The Beach, what resonates with the reader most is the main character’s desire to go out in search of paradise off the beaten path and to try new and different things while out exploring. It is also a good reminder to stay humble as unrealistic expectations of traveling to a new place can sometimes ruin its idyllic appeal. Nevertheless, there is a strong message of self-discovery and being open-minded to new cultures, tastes, and adventures. A definite must-read.
THE CELESTINE PROPHECY | James Redfield
James Redfield’s 1993 novel The Celestine Prophecy has been a traveler’s crowd favorite for quite some time and continues to inspire and encourage people to live life in the present, being one with nature and one’s surroundings. The book touches on New Age spirituality and psychology, with its main character taking a journey to Peru in search of a series of nine ancient manuscripts said to help uncover spiritual insights about the earth and how our energies are all connected, and, if we look closely enough, we can discover and learn to master the channelling of these energies through ourselves and life around us. Aside from the metaphysical aspects of this story, the journey the character takes would make even the most skeptical of travelers want to explore the Peruvian countryside and take in its wonder.
A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO GETTING LOST | Rachel Freidman
Funny, riveting and a bit self-deprecating, Rachel Freidman’s book is a must read for anyone who has struggled to step out of their own shells and grow as human beings. This story follows Rachel as she reluctantly decides to spend a few months in Ireland, where she ends up meeting a wild and outlandish Australian who becomes her best friend, helping her to break free from the confines of her own self-doubt and timidity to live out her dreams in South America and Australia, something she never thought she would do. The perfect blend of self-discovery, this book gives Eat, Pray, Love a run for its money through the character’s wit, charm, and real, raw emotions.
Featured Image: Glen Noble