Books That Will Inspire You To Travel

Friday, May 31, 2013

If there are two things that go hand in hand, it’s reading and travelling. But like the chicken and the egg – which comes first?

Are you the kind of person who reads about a destination and then fires up Google Chrome and books a ticket? Or do you jet off to a destination, purchase a book in duty free and then spend the rest of your trip being inspired and led blindly by the words on your page?

I’ve always been a bit of both.

I often use books as a starting point for my research into travelling – and quite often I’ll read a beautiful poem or paragraph from a novel describing somewhere in such a wonderful way that mind then won’t rest until I’ve seen it for myself. But I also read a lot when I’m actually there – fuelling my mind with more inspiration and wanderlust than I started with.

The thing about travel is too – that’s it’s hugely subjective. Everyone’s take on somewhere is different – everyone’s experiences are varied. You never hear the same two travel tales twice that’s for sure., even to people who were in the very same place at the very same time. The amazing sticky rice and mango that you loved from that Hong Kong street vendor – may have given the guy behind you food poisoning – and I bet anything his story about that day will be miles different from yours.

That’s why I love reading about travel, learning about travel – and of course – the travelling itself. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of books I’ve enjoyed whilst travelling, but more importantly, these books have spurred me to see and do more. They’ve pushed my feet forward, and they’ve ignited the imagination inside of me – to keep booking those flights and keep the adventure going. The gift of enthusiasm and curiosity these books fill you will make them worth any money you’ll send purchasing them…

1. The Geography of Bliss – Eric Weiner
This New York Times bestselling author, explores the world via stereotypes here – questioning whether our geographical location is bound to result in whether we’re happier in life. It’s a fun read, and Weiner’s personality makes it worthy of your time too – as he feels like an old friend chatting right thought the paper pages.

2. Across Many Mountains – YangzomBrauen
This is the story of three women (one family, different generations) and their journey across their country – during the war time. It’s a powerful piece and it’s gripping from the moment you pick it up. But mainly, it fills you with all the pleasure and curiosity that reading about a journey should – along with the heartbreak and sadness of the powerful plot.

3. The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris
For those who have dreamed of travelling the world – but don’t see a way of making it possible (perhaps because of time constraints or money restraints) this book will give you so much motivation and courage to move forward with your plans. I talked to so many people who have found themselves stuck in their lives – and after reading this book the felt freedom to go out and at least try to make those dreams happen.

4. A Year in the World – Frances Mayes
This tale of travelling has been written by someone blatantly in love with travel and all things travel related. In fact, when reading this book it’s hard not to be injected with a little bit of her enthusiasm for the world. This book is made up of many stories, antidotes and tales that lead you around the world in a glorious circle of beauty and knowledge.

5. The Beach – Alex Garland
For those back packers reading this article – or student travelers looking to explore the paradise that is Thailand, you can’t get a much better book than this. It’s full of travelling information (you’ll even get a few tips when reading this) but it’s also written through the eyes of someone like yourself who is living their adventure right in front of you. I was hooked on this book and read it within a few days, and it definitely played a part in my visit to Thailand years later.

About the author:
Milda is the Community Manager @ AsiaRooms. Born in Lithuania (love it!), studied in the UK, travelled around Asia and USA, taught in Africa and now residing in Singapore where, equipped with a strong cup of coffee and surrounded by an amazing team I’m blogging about travels, cultures, events and hotels in Asia.

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