Books for the Girl (or Boy) Who Travels
Beaches, beats, bags.
by Bong Sta. Maria | May 27, 2015
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Most of us cannot just easily drop everything and move somewhere far to a place where computers don’t exist and overtimes are irrelevant.
A quick escape doesn’t necessarily mean riding a plane somewhere. If you like to travel but do not always have the time and resources to do so, you can turn to books!
Here are some of the best ones that explore travel; stories that can take you far away and bring you back smiling, quenched, refreshed. This is for those waiting in airports, those in front of their desks awaiting the next adventure, those who cannot leave (yet).
The Beach by Alex Garland
Will take you to: Thailand
This one’s a page-turner. Narrator Richard is an Englishman in Thailand is handed a map to a hidden beach in the gulf of Thailand that tourists are not allowed to access. He and French couple Etienne and Francoise set off to paradise on Earth, and discover something much more than blue waters and fine sand, something about civilization and the idea of utopia. This also has a movie adaptation, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
If I’d learnt one thing from travelling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Will take you: Across the United States
Follow Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty across America in the late 1940s to the 1950s—the time of The Beats and the era of jazz. They travel across New York-Chicago-Denver-San Francisco-Mexico, driving wild, indulging in debauchery, loving, and living.
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Will take you to: Alaska, USA
This non-fiction book tells the story of Christopher McCandless, a young man from a well-to-do family who chose to donate thousands of dollars in savings to charity, abandoned his possessions, drove to the Alaskan wilderness, and changed his name to Alexander Supertramp. His decomposed body was found four months later.
Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Will take you to: France, Spain
Described as one of Hemingway’s greatest works, this modernist novel take tells the story of group of American and British expats traveling from Paris to Spain (this is actually based on the author’s trip there). It follows main characters Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley, and explores the roaring 1920s Paris, post-World War I, and the Lost Generation (or people who came of age during/after WWI).
I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.
A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal by Anthony Bourdain
Will take you to: Cambodia, France, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Vietnam.
This 2001 book, which was also published as A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, follows the culinary bad boy chef/author/TV host/foodie hater Anthony Bourdain in his travels, which is composed of eating the best (sometimes exotic) local dishes, and getting to know each culture. This was simultaneously made into a Food Network TV series.
They’re professionals at this in Russia, so no matter how many Jell-O shots or Jager shooters you might have downed at college mixers, no matter how good a drinker you might think you are, don’t forget that the Russians – any Russian – can drink you under the table.
Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson
No travel book list is complete without Bill Bryson, one of the most prolific travel writers of his time. He currently has written more than a dozen books on travel, language, history, and science. This book is a travelogue documenting his Eurotrip in the 1990s. Entertaing, funny, and 100% real.
Traveling is more fun–hell, life is more fun–if you can treat it as a series of impulses.
What’s your favorite book about travel? Share them in the comments!