Books That Will Transport You to Foreign Lands
Being cooped up in our homes during the travel ban can make us forget how big the world really is. There is so much to explore!
While now is not the safest time to travel and we should do our part by staying in, we can still take ourselves across the globe with these fantastic book recommendations.
The Best Travel Books to Read During the Travel Ban
If you need help deciding what to read next, we’ve got you covered. You can’t go wrong with any of these travel books, whether you’re looking for a true tale that shares the experiences of a nomad or an inspiring story of a traveller looking for the answers to life. Read on for what we consider to be the best travel books of all time.
GREAT BOOKS TO GUIDE YOU
Taking baby steps back into the world of travel once the travel ban lifts could be your best bet to getting back into adventuring, especially if you’re tight on cash. Microadventures by Alistair Humphreys is a great book that will give you ideas on how to find adventure close to home. A weekend road trip or an after-work excursion can be just as exciting as a trip to a foreign destination if you know how to make it happen. Let Humphreys be your guide as he documents his adventures throughout the UK.
Are you letting your taste for foreign food guide your reading during isolation? In that case, The Food Traveler's Handbook by Jodi Ettenberg is the book for you. Your taste buds may be the most powerful tool you have to truly immerse yourself in a new culture. Let Ettenberg make recommendations on where to go for the best street food and guide you to places that will cater to your dietary restrictions. After reading her book, you’ll want to recreate dishes from around the world in your kitchen every night.
In addition to this travel writer’s handbook, Ettenberg authors a blog that’s been featured by BBC and The New York Times, among many other publications. She uses food as her way of making an adventure out of a new place and shares stories of her travels. Her work will encourage you to grab a snack and get reading!
NOVELS TO INSPIRE YOU
Africa is huge. Spanning from the Middle East all the way down to south of Madagascar, it would take a dedicated traveller to journey across the continent. In Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux, readers follow him through his real-life encounters as he makes the trek across Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town. Theroux’s travels are gritty and real, which is why he’s earned a reputation as one of the greatest travelogue writers out there. You can’t go wrong with this book.
Australia is a country full of deadly animals and coastline upon coastline. Before you head out for your outback adventure, be sure to read In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. This New York Times Best Seller makes for great summer reading and will have you rolling in the sand laughing as you join Bryson for a day on Australia’s shoreline. There are plenty of books out there that will give you a good synopsis on what to expect when travelling, but this playful guide may be the best book to prepare you for travel in Australia. In a Sunburned Country is sure to entertain and lend a sense of the country’s culture and history through playful storytelling.
For another bright bit of reading, pick up The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers. He and his cat, Norton, will convince you to travel abroad with your furry friend through their adorable tale of travels in France. In the book, Norton does his best to assure the love of Peter’s life that Peter is one she should settle down with. This great travel book gives you a taste of Gethers’ quest with his favourite kitty and takes the reader through Paris.
Why not take a trip back in time through the mountains of France in Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Louis Stevenson? This novel follows Robert and his donkey, Mosestine, on a walking journey. It’s an unlikely friendship at first, but travelling on foot in 1870s Europe has a way of building companionship. Stevenson documents the landscape and stories of those he encounters, so you feel like you’re travelling along with him and good old Mosestine.
An international best-seller entitled The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho features Santiago, an shepherd boy from the south of Spain who yearns for adventure. This tale takes readers on a journey about chasing dreams and finding hope. It’s more than just a great travel adventure. It will inspire you to travel within yourself to find out what matters most to you, which is perhaps the most powerful travelling one can do.
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts is a great travel book for anyone who has ever wanted to just drop everything, throw together a backpack and go. He points you in the right direction for you to discover what life is like outside of a 9 to 5, and gives you the confidence you need to navigate a travel-centric lifestyle. If you don’t think you have the time or the funding to travel, pick up this book.
The travel ban doesn’t need to stall travel completely because you can go anywhere in the world just by picking up any of these terrific book recommendations. Since you can’t travel physically, travel in your mind - you can learn a lot from a good book. Once you’ve finished your latest travel tale, be sure to check out our blog for lots of great ideas on how to spend the quarantine travelling through food and fun.
Do you have a favorite travel writer or a suggestion on what to read next? Leave a comment and let us know!