In between trips, the closest thing we get to traveling is reading. Books delight and enlighten us with stories of places we’ve yet to discover and places we’ve yet to see in a different light, inspiring us in choosing our next adventure.
Here are 9 titles that will definitely fuel your wanderlust.
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner
This book takes you on a trip from America all the way to Thailand in the author’s search for “un-unhappiness.” The story is insightful, humorous, and thought-provoking as the author travels to the world’s most contented places to discover what makes them so happy.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Based on the travels of Kerouac across America, On the Road tells the story of two friends who embark on a cross-country road trip in search for meaning and true experience. You’ll relate to how the characters are fueled by their jadedness and desire to get more out of life, and how they discover hope at the end of their journey.
The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet
This classic memoir of a mother who brings her children along on a boat to the coastal waters of British Columbia, Canada every summer, year after year, makes you wonder how different Vancouver Island and the mainland are today than they were in 1930. Each journey the author took that pitted her against weather and wildlife will inspire you to go on future adventures in the great outdoors.
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, Dylan Thuras
If you’ve always been the type to stray far from the beaten path, this book is your must-have travel companion. This explorer’s guide features just some of the strangest and most unique places around the world. You’ll learn about the self-mummifying monks of Japan, a fiery crater that has been burning in the Turkmenistan desert since 1971, a cave lit with glowworms in New Zealand, and more curiosities you never would have imagined.
A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
You won’t be able to put this down easily. This book narrates the author’s discoveries about what makes Denmark the Happiest Country on Earth. You yourself will grow curious and amazed by the culture, the people, and — strangely — the government laws that affect the happiness of locals and how “living Danishly” can actually be possible for the rest of us.
Eat, Pray, Eat by Michael Booth
Although not entirely a spin-off of the renowned Eat, Pray, Love, this memoir likewise talks of spiritual enlightenment in the face of emotional turmoil. The author embarks on a trip to India with his family hoping to produce a definitive guide to Indian cuisine but instead spirals deeper into depression which he attempts to overcome with yoga and meditation. Not only will you find hope in his story, but you’ll also see India (and, as a bonus, its cuisine) in an entirely new light.
The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them by Thomas Swick
According to the author, there are seven joys of travel. In his book of personal essays, he illustrates each one through different stories of his trips to Munich, Bangkok and Sicily among others. The Joys of Travel will reawaken your wanderlust, supply you with tips on making the most out of your travels, and prove that there’s no greater luxury than traveling.
Eating Vietnam: Dispatches from a Blue Plastic Table by Graham Holliday
To anyone who’s preparing for or considering a trip to Vietnam, this entertaining book will give you everything you need to know and more about the country’s vibrant cuisine and culture. Not only will it make you anticipate your trip to Vietnam, but it might also make you change your itinerary to fit in your eventual food trip.
A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise by Alex Sheshunoff
Of course you want to know what it’s like to drop everything and move to a remote island. From blending fruits without a blender to putting a diaper on a baby monkey, the author’s retelling of his experiences and zany how-to’s about living in a tiny island in the Pacific are so fun and informative that it might drive you to move to your own paradise as well.
Which of these books are you planning to put on your reading list this year? Tell us below!