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Rekindle Your Wanderlust With These 7 Travelogue Books

Spark your wanderlust spirit with these 7 travelogue books

Team ZZ

Growing up books were the easiest escape into a new world, feeding imaginations, and taking us to places around the world. As teenagers, we often used travelogue books as a way to enter the secret land of Narnia or spent a day with Harry Potter at Hogwarts. We owe our creative traveller spirit to our younger selves for fuelling our minds with a thirst for wanderlust. Lost in a world where books have been replaced with gadgets, it’s time to rekindle that lost traveller spirit that will feed your soul with an urge to explore places.

Here are 7 of the best travel-related books to inspire the traveller in you:

1. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

A modern classic by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, this book will take you on a journey with a young shepherd, Santiago, all the way to Egypt from Spain. A book about following your heart’s deep desires and dreams, The Alchemist is one of the best books to read while travelling. Santiago's journey is an inspiring tale of self-discovery, wisdom, and a search for mystical riches in the world.

“If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man… Life will be a party for you, a grand festival because life is the moment we’re living right now.”

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2. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter

A New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Ruins by American writer Jess Walter takes you back to the Italian Riviera in 1962. Lavishly set in mid-century Italy, Jess takes his readers on a luscious journey to Hollywood and beyond. Unfurling an intimate plot of treachery and romance, the beguiling pit stops from the Ligurian coastline to Switzerland will make you want to take a holiday in the hills ASAP. Unlike traditional travel books to read, this one will leave you wanting to travel with wholesome companionship.

“Sometimes what we want to do and what we must do are not the same.”

3. Love With a Chance of Drowning, Torre DeRoche

One of the best travel books of all time, travel blogger turned author Torre DeRoche’s Love With a Chance of Drowning is a beautifully written masterpiece. Even if you are not a lover of travel love stories, we bet this book will be hard to put down. The story of a city girl with a fear of water who sets off to explore the world and on the way meets Ivan, the love of her life. A year-long voyage across the Pacific Ocean, this read will take you along the world’s most exotic remote destinations, proving some risks are worth the shot.

“If something happens on the ocean, we'll die as two people in love who are living a remarkable adventure. That's a good way to die.”

4. How to Be a Family, Dan Kois

A refreshingly relatable journalistic memoir by Dan Kois, this book tells a heartwarming tale of his globe-trotting experience after uprooting his family. A decision that turned their lives upside down, Dan recalls eye-opening moments of warmth and frivolous fun as they live away from home but closer to one another. Taking you from New Zealand to the Netherlands and from Costa Rica to the small town of Kansas—How to Be a Family makes you dream of the adventures you could take with your family. It is one of the best travel books to read if you haven’t already.

5. Stranger On A Train, Jenny Diski

British author Jenny Diski’s Stranger On A Train is a cross between contemporary travel novels and a memoir. Taking a cross-country trip on AmTrak, Jenny’s experience of seeing America via rail will take you on an excavating journey as she encounters travellers from across the globe.

“It isn't important what you do, it is the attitude with which you proceed through the world that matters.”

6. Dark Star Safari, Paul Theroux

If you are looking for books to start a reading habit, try this one by the veteran travel writer Paul Theroux. An “unputdownable” book so meticulously written, Dark Star Safari takes you on a journey from Cairo to Cape Town. As he traverses the African continent by bus, cattle truck, and ferry, Theroux’s encounters paint a realistic but heart-wrenching picture of Africa. Try to read his books while travelling for an exhilarating feeling of wanderlust.

“You go away for a long time and return a different person - you never come all the way back.”

7. The Lost City of Z, David Grann

Hunting for travel book ideas that are a blended trove of history, mystery, and adventure? David Grann’s The Lost City of Z takes you on a quest that leads you into the impenetrable Amazon jungle. A land steeped in culture and history before being inhabited by the Westerners, the travelogue is based on the fabled lost city of Z.

“Society, in other words, is a captive of geography.”

The importance of travel books in our daily life is more than just a means to pass time. Reflecting on enthralling narratives, these travel books share wisdom from great minds who have undertaken great pursuits to find themselves along their travel adventures. 

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