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12 Of The Best Travel Books To Keep You Inspired

12 Of The Best Travel Books To Keep You Inspired

May 01, 2020

Travel inspired books are an amazing way to ignite your wanderlust and to keep your travelling spirit alive.

Here is a list of incredible travel books to keep your travel and adventurous spirit alive. 

Even if you can’t travel right now these books will make you fall in love with travel all over again and inspire you for your next adventure.

1. A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush By Eric Newby

A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush is a classic travel-inspired book by Eric Newby. Its Newby’s iconic account of his journey through one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth. 

In 1956 Newby and a friend set off from his glamourous life in London to the mountains of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. They arrived inexperienced and ill-prepared! They continued to embark on a month of adventure and hardship journeying through the Hindu Kush mountains.

Newby writes with charm, humour and sharp wit making him one of the greatest travel writers of all time. This book is a must to spark your sense of wreckless adventure.

2. Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America By Catherine Ryan Howard

Backpacked is the hilarious tale of Catherine’s backpacking adventures through Central America. Catherine prefers bath robes to bed bugs, lattes to lizards and mini-bars to malaria so why would she go backpacking? She didn’t know either!

One day her friend announced plans to backpack across Central America. Catherine’s US visa was about to expire but she wasn't ready to go home to Ireland yet. So she agreed to go along without realising what she had signed up for.

Catherine finds herself living with cockroaches, sleeping on wooden planks, dealing with sickness and other wild adventures she was not prepared for.

Backpacked is the tale of what happened when one reluctant traveller hit the backpacker trail for the first time.

travel books

3. The Hidden Europe By Francis Tapon

The Hidden Europe is an account of one man’s journey to visit every country in Eastern Europe. Francis Tapon yearned for a European adventure, but Western Europe seemed too tame. Instead, he spent 3 years visiting all 25 countries in Eastern Europe. 

When people say they’re going to Europe they’re usually referring to Western Europe. Most people don’t consider exploring Eastern Europe but you don’t really know Europe until you’ve visited the mysterious east.

In his quest, Francis visits every country from the Gulf of Finland to the Black sea. He left the east to share the side of Europe that few know. 

Countries visited include Poland, Slovakia, Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Russia and so much more. 

This is an entertaining chronicle of interesting travels where you will learn how the locals live, fascinating history and what Eastern Europe is really like today.

4. In A Sunburned Country By Bill Bryson

In A Sunburned Country is Bill Bryson’s report on what he found on his travels through the continent of Australia. A place with strange and lethal wildlife, the hottest and driest weather and some of the friendliest inhabitants.

Bryson takes us on a wild ride beyond the beaten tourist track. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, proud and always have a good supply of cold beer on hand. 

Bryson’s account is comedic, full of amazing facts and of course adventure. Bryson combines his humour, wonder and unwavering curiosity in this book.

If you dream of travelling to Australia make sure you pick up a copy of In A Sunburned Country!

5. Slowly Down The Ganges By Eric Newby

Slowly Down The Ganges is another travel tale by Eric Newby. This book is a classic told with Newby’s self-deprecating humour and offers a window into an enchanting piece of history.

Slowly Down The Ganges tells the story of Newby’s incredible journey down the 1,200-mile length of India’s holiest river. In a misguided attempt to keep Newby out of trouble he is accompanied by his wife. Their treacherous journey takes them slowly from Haridwar to the Bay of Bengal.

They travel via boat, train, bus and even cart with pitstops to rest on the riverbank and in remote villages. The Newby’s cross paths with engaging characters, have mighty mishaps and come to realise large scale maps don’t really exist in India!

This book takes you on a colourful journey that will inspire you to get off the beaten path!

6. Shantaram By Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is an epic book set in the underworld of bustling Bombay in India. It is a true story about Lin, a convict who escapes prison in Australia and flees to India to start a new life. 

He soon befriends a local man who helps him survive in the slums. They end up getting involved in Bombay’s dark underbelly of gangsters, drugs, prostitutes, cash and crime.

Shantaram is about a search for love, meaning in life and survival. This book will take you from the poorest slums in India to prison, to the mafia and even to war.

You will not be able to put this book down. Shantaram will leave you breathless.

This book can be found on the shared book self in every hostel in India! If you are inspired to travel to India or have been to India before this book is a must. 

7. I & Claudius: Travels With My Cat By Clare de Vries

I & Claudius by Clare de Vries is a heartwarming book about an intrepid woman in pursuit of a dream. She quits her life in London and goes to America with her beloved 19-year-old cat, Claudius, for a final adventure road tripping across the country for 5 months.

They travel from Manhattan to San Francisco and everywhere in between. From celebrity pet hair stylists in New York to brown bears in the Appalachians. From astronauts in Nashville to voodoo snakes in New Orleans to psychic cowboys in Texas.

This inspiring book is full of hilarious adventure, bumpy mishaps, heartbreak and a whole lot of love.

8. Are You Dave Gorman? By Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace

Are You Dave Gorman? By Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace is a hilarious book about two flatmates who after a night out drinking decide to set off to meet all 54 Dave Gormans in the world. 

They traverse the globe via Scotland, Ireland, France, Israel and America. They even hold a party in London for 50 Dave Gormans! 

This book is silly but engrossing and addictive. A funny story of two friends who share a mutual obsession that takes them on an epic adventure.

travel books

9. Eat Pray Love By Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love is a classic memoir of a woman, Elizabeth, in crisis who finds herself through travelling. This book is the source of inspiration for many travellers in particular women who want to set off on a solo trip for the first time.

Elizabeth finds herself in her thirties with a husband and a house but she doesn’t want any of it. A bitter divorce is then followed by a turbulent love affair. She realises its time to pursue a journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. Elizabeth travels to Rome where she gorges on Italian food, to an ashram in India where she finds spirituality and Bali where she finds her path to peace and love.

Eat Pray Love is a touching story and perfect for anyone who is craving to find themselves out in the world.

travel books

10. Little Princes: One Man’s Promise To Bring Home The Children Of Nepal By Conor Grennan

Little Princes is a riveting story of Conor Grennan’s year in Nepal. While volunteering at an orphanage, Conor discovers the children are not orphans, they are trafficked. Conor takes the risk and treks through villages of Nepal with pictures of the children, reuniting dozens of families.

The book is set in 2006 when Nepal is torn by war, greed and corruption. Nepalese children were being kidnapped and sold into slavery while their families are promised they will be taken to a safe haven and eventually returned. The lucky ones are dumped into an orphanage where they were found by Conor.

Conor was searching for intrepid adventures. But his trip turned into a philanthropic and dangerous mission fueled by the adoration of the children. The process involves weeks of trekking through the inhospitable Himalayan peaks and overcoming infinite cultural differences and language barriers.

Little Princes is an epic thriller, a love story and is full of life and hope.

travel books

11. Don’t Go There! From Chernobyl to North Korea By Adam Fletcher

Don’t Go There is a chronicle of one man’s quest to lose himself and find everyone else in the world’s strangest places. After Adam is accidentally tear-gassed in street protests in Istanbul he embarks on a journey to change his boring life with his girlfriend. 

Their quest to better understand themselves and everyone else threatens their world view, their sanity and their relationship. This book is a hilarious account of travels to far off places most people wouldn’t dream of going. It is full of interesting characters, uncomfortable moments, weird destinations and is topped off with classic British humour. 

Don’t Go There takes you to blizzards in China, mass dances in North Korea, corruption of Transnistria, apocalyptic scenes in Chernobyl and so much more. 

Throughout the story, Adam keeps his sense of humour and fascination for the weird and wonderful places and people they cross paths with.

12. A Walk In The Woods By Bill Bryson

A Walk In The Woods is another book written by Bill Bryson which chronicles his terribly misguided and terribly funny hike of the Appalachian in the United States.

After a 20 year hiatus from America Bryson decides to reacquaint himself with his home country by walking the 2,100-mile trail from Georgi to Maine. The hike provides incredible landscapes of forests and lakes and endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of other human beings.

His account of the trail is hilarious, filled with history and a plea to conserve America’s great wilderness. 

A Walk in the Woods is a classic of travel writing!

There you have a list of some of the best travel books you can get your hands on today. Even if you can’t travel right now you can stay inspired and dream up your next adventure. 

Off The Map Jewellery has a wide range of unique travel-inspired jewellery to keep your travelling spirit alive. From lucky runes to St Christopher pendants, backpack tags, signet rings and leather bracelets there is something for every traveller!



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