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10 Books that Make You Want to Travel


By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

These 10 books are must-reads for the budding traveler. Inspirational and motivational, they are books that will make you want to quit your job, pack your bags, and head off on an adventure.

VagabondingVagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life, from six weeks to four months to two years, to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. More >  

On the RoadOn the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac’s years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, “a sideburned hero of the snowy West.”  Kerouac’s classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be “Beat” and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than 40 years ago. More >  

100 Places1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz

Packed with recommendations of the world’s best places to visit, on and off the beaten path, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die is an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more. It seizes on exactly what makes each entry worthy of inclusion and includes the nuts and bolts: addresses, phone numbers, websites, costs, and best times to visit. More >  

Travels with CharleyTravels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck

To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light — these were John Steinbeck’s goals as he set out, at the age of 58, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years. More >  

WildWild by Cheryl Strayed

At the age of 26, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s devastating death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. With nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State and to do it alone.  More >  

The Geography of BlissThe Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner

The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness or, in the crabby author’s case, moments of “un-unhappiness.” The book uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science, and humor to investigate not what happiness is but where it is.  More >  

Great RailwayThe Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

The Orient Express, The Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow of Kuala, the Trans-Siberian Express; these are just some of the trains steaming through Paul Theroux’s epic rail journey from London across Europe through India and Asia. More >  

Blue HighwaysBlue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon

A 38-year-old laid-off college professor of Sioux and white blood drives around the U.S. on the “blue highways,” the rural back roads that are colored blue on old maps. The places he discovers during his 13,000-mile journey are unexpected, sometimes mysterious, and often full of simply the wonder of the ordinary. More >  

Into the WildInto The Wild by Jon Krakauer

In April 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. More >  

Motorcycle DiariesThe Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara

The Motorcycle Diaries is Che Guevara’s lively and highly entertaining travel diary, which was turned into a popular movie and a New York Times bestseller. In January 1952, Che set out from Buenos Aires to explore South America on an ancient Norton motorcycle, where he encountered an extraordinary range of people. More >  

Add the 10 Books that Make You Want to Travel to your bookshelf.