It’s no secret Team Inspired love to travel and take on epic adventures. But where did that love come from? For some of us, a good (nay – really good) book did the trick. From stories of walking across the harsh Arabian desert, to evocative descriptions of the beautiful country we call home, to the arduous but self-changing journey that comes with hiking over 1,770 km along the Pacific Crest Trail, the world is a truly incredible place, made even more enticing by the stunning prose of some of our favourite authors. So whether you’re seeking some travel inspiration or just want to escape in a sea of exquisite words, check out 10 amazing books that will inspire you to travel.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Wild is a 2012 memoir by American author Cheryl Strayed, detailing her 1,100-mile (1,770 km) hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995. It’s a tale of perseverance, inner-strength and getting back to what’s truly important in life. Also, if you need some motivation to tackle a big hike or trek – this will definitely give it to you!
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Darymple
City of Djinns reveals the layers of Delhi’s centuries-old history, highlighting an amazing collection of characters along the way – from eunuchs to descendants of great Moguls. Our CEO, Justine, had this to say about the book:
“This book had a profound effect on me, peeling back the layers of Delhi it made me realise there is so much more to a place than what meets the eye. Dalrymple has turned what can often be seen as a chaotic, polluted, squalid city into a destination bursting with the richest stories going back in time leaving you to marvel at the relics left and their great history.”
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
What is travel? Why do we travel? Is it ethical? How does it impact people, nature … the world? Michelle de Kretser seeks an answer to all these questions in her book Questions of Travel. It’s imaginative, transformative and highly moving.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Simple but full of so much wisdom, The Alchemist is a story of self-discovery, questioning how far you need to travel in order to discover yourself. This story is a true testament to the transformative power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
Island Home by Tim Winton
Island Home is a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are. Inspired’s Operations Manager, Rachael, had this to say:
“Tim Winton’s Australian landscape memoir has got me itching to explore this vast island we call home. A rich, descriptive and evocative book about the significance of place across time and how important country is to First Nation’s people, white Australians and migrants alike.”
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
On the Road details Jack Kerouac’s years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady. It’s a story of the trials and tribulations, joys and transformations that travel can bring to a person. This novel is a true inspiration, remaining a classic since it was published in 1976.
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts
Who hasn’t dreamed of quitting their 9-5 job for a life on the road? Vagabonding is just about that, chronicling how anyone armed with a carefree and independent spirit truly can achieve the dream of lengthy overseas travel. It features handy tips like how to finance your travel, choosing a destination, adjusting to life on the road, volunteering and working overseas and how to reassimilate into ordinary life when you go home … if you choose to go home!
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
Strange, unique, but highly entertaining, The Great Railway Bazaar is a modern classic of travel literature. The Direct-Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur and the Trans-Siberian Express create Theroux’s ambitious journey by rail through India and Asia. His travels cause him to come into contact with an array of places and people, food, faiths and cultures. Featuring plenty of humour and sardonic observations, this novel is the perfect read for the passionate explorer and the armchair traveller.
Wild Coast: Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge by John Gimlette
Between the Orinoco and the Amazon hides a beautiful forested land that man has barely touched. Much of Guiana never witnesses sunlight, and new species are often tumbling out of the dark. Award-winning author, John Gimlette, sets off on an adventurer to discover this coast, writing up its amazing story. His journey takes him into the deep jungle, from the hideouts of runaway slaves to penal colonies, bizarre fortresses, remote Amerindian villages, a ‘Little Paris’ and a space port. He comes face to face with rebels, outlaws and sorcerers and follows the trail of a brutal Georgian revolt. Outlandish but written in beautiful prose, this story will have you hooked from the beginning.
Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger
Arabian Sands chronicles Thesiger’s amazing adventure through the dry “Empty Quarter” of Arabia. Thesiger truly disliked the rigidity of Western life, “the machines, the calling cards, the meticulously aligned streets.” To escape the humdrum of his life, he set off to explore the deserts of Arabia, traveling among peoples who had never seen a European. This classic novel remains and invaluable tool to understanding the modern Middle East.
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