Words to Inspire and Encourage You onto Adventure
Many people – myself included – will swear that traveling is the best time to crush some books. Whether we’re trapped on a 12-hour plane ride, are spending the entire day on a train, or find ourselves in a hostel with less than useful WiFi, reading is one of the best past times when you’re on the road.
If you’ve got a big trip coming up, or need some reading material to inspire you onto your next adventure, here’s 50 awesome, thought provoking, wanderlust-filled books to add to your reading list!
When it comes to books that fuel your sense of wanderlust and give you that urge to travel, odds are guidebooks don’t soar to the top of that reading list. But this here guide, written by travel legend Matt Kepnes (many people will know him as Nomadic Matt), gives you the knowledge and insight you need to make your travel dreams a reality. Like many people, traveling for months at a time was something I’d always wanted to do, but I’d always been too daunted by such a Herculean task that I’d put off actually going. It’s thanks to Kepnes’ tricks, advice, and travel hacking ways that I was able to have the confidence and know-how to actually go on my own adventure of a lifetime. If that doesn’t fuel wanderlust, I don’t know what does!
In this story, Kate Harris illustrates a matter that many of us can relate to: the desire to explore only for the sake of exploring. She dreams of setting off into places nobody has ever gone before, pursuing lands without borders just like Marco Polo, Magellan, and other explorers of old. As a child, the extent of Kate’s explorations are along a short section of the fabled Silk Road before she settles into a life of academia. And along the way, she makes a discovery – an explorer is anyone, regardless of day and age, who refuses to live between the lines. And with this in mind, she sets off to bike the Silk Road for real, all the way from beginning to end!
This story is actually two in one – Zeyn Joukhadar weaves a picture of two girls – Nour and Rawiya – who, although they live 800 years apart, find themselves on an incredible, and dangerous journey across North Africa and the Middle East. For Nour, she is dealing with the loss of her father, while also running as a refugee from the 2011 bombings. Rawiya, a restless 16-year old, leaves home to become the apprentice to famous mapmaker al-Idrisi and joins him as he embarks on an expedition to create a map of the world. Both these girls experience beautiful coming-of-age stories, while bringing us along for their harrowing and insightful journeys.
In the fallout of her failed marriage, Rita Golden Gelman tells us how she, an ordinary woman, went from living a typical life in L.A. to pursuing an extraordinary one across the world. She leaves behind her possessions and lavish lifestyle to become a nomad, and lives in Zapotec villages in Mexico, among sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, and residing in the jungle so as to observe orangutans. Along the way, she teaches us the value of connecting with others, experiencing other cultures, and finding joy in the spirit of travel.
In the spring of 1922, a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless hitchhiked all the way to Alaska, and disappeared into the wilderness to live off the land in the most real way humanly possibly. From a well-to-do family, the young man donated his life’s savings to charity, ditched his car, and cast off most of his possessions to pursue the most hardcore, vagabonding lifestyle that he could. Renaming himself Alexander Supertramp, he wanders across the West and Southwest, from the Mojave Desert to Mexico, and then back again. He lives in the wild up until his death. We learn of his life and adventures, so influenced by his heroes like Jack London and John Muir, through the reporter who put together the story of how he died. And although he died young, McCandless/Supertramp teaches us the significance of pursuing what’s actually important, rather than filling our lives with things that may not be as important as we think.
On the verge of turning 40, Gail Francis quits her job and sets out to hike one of the greatest trails in the world. With her life packed up on her back, she spends five months trekking from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Braving deserts, mountain passes, and lava fields, she brings us a story that’s fueled by an eclectic bunch of individuals who make up her fellow hikers and imparts to us the pristine beauty of the wilderness.
Arguably the greatest piece of literature that Paulo Coelho has ever produced, the Alchemist brings an enchanting story about an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago, who leaves his home in Spain to find buried treasure near the Egyptian pyramids. Along the way, he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who claims to be a king, and an alchemist – who all assist Santiago in his quest. In a simple yet powerful narrative that starts off as a quest for worldly treasure turns inward, Santiago’s journey teaches us about the beauty of the human experience, and what we’re capable of.
In the wake of her mother’s death and her destroyed marriage, Cheryl Strayed does the unthinkable, in an effort to turn her life around – with no training or experience, she sets out with the goal to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail. Covering more than a thousand miles, she’ll journey all the way from the Mojave Desert in California to the verdant forests of Washington state. And she’ll do it alone. This story, told with genuine warmth, heart wrenching moments, and twinkling humor, is Cheryl’s mad and inspired journey that is equal parts about finding strength and, ultimately, healing.
In 1911, a young professor from Yale University journeys into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encounters the ancient – and now famous – mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu. A century later, this same professor is cast as a villainous thief who stole both priceless artifacts and credit for finding one of the greatest archeological sites in the world. So, Mark Adams, a seasoned editor for adventure and travel magazines, decides that he’ll investigate these allegations for himself by retracing the Yale professor’s path to Machu Picchu. The best part about this story, though? Our investigator has no actual experience when it comes to adventure travel. His journey, attended by an eccentric Australian survivalist and several indigenous mule tenders as his guides, takes us through the gorgeous and historic Peruvian landscapes – from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to the ruins of Vitcos and Vilcabamba.
It’s been 15 years since the Apartheid fell when Karen Baldwin accepts an offer to teach elementary school in the rural but beautiful village set in the foothills of the Drakensburg Mountains in Africa. And while she’s chomping at the bit to bring in modern Western medicine and education, she finds herself up against witchdoctor magic, superstition, and tribal traditions that stand in strong contrast to what she’s used to at home. This deeply personal narrative paints a touching and compelling story of a young woman who unintentionally incites both gender and racial unrest and must ultimately flee for her own life in a culture that’s not her own.
Back in January of 2002, Rory Stewart set off on the adventure of a lifetime by walking across the entire country of Afghanistan. Trusting in only his wits, knowledge of local language, and the kindness of strangers, he slowly worked his way through snow covered mountains, abandoned hamlets that had been destroyed by the Taliban, and communities that still make their living amid the remains of medieval civilizations. Stewart’s journey is filled with heroes, retired fighting mastiffs, tribal elders, teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. His story is full of these beautiful illustrations about ideology, the forces of tradition, and the bonds people share that transcend map lines.
Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s memoir traces his journey across South America – all on motorcycle. The 23-year-old medical student and his friend set off on their own odyssey and witness the social injustices and persecutions that are strewn across the region. In his travels across the Andes, Atacama Desert, and the Amazon River Basin, Guavera’s story illustrates a young man, born into an upper-middle-class family, will go to great lengths to understand his country and his desire to see it united someday.
13. The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau
When he turned 35 years old, Chris Guillebeau set off on a larger-than-life goal: to visit all the countries in the world. And on this journey, the last thing Chris expected was to meet so many other people like him. Maybe these fellow travelers weren’t on a mission to see all the countries on the planet, but they were on their own missions – ambitious culinary projects, producing the world’s largest symphony, and completing unfinished goals. The longer that Chris travels, and the longer that he meets other likeminded individuals, the more he comes to appreciate this link between questing and finding lifelong happiness. If you’re looking for a story to inspire or motivate you, this is the one!
14. Expedition 196: A Personal Journey from the First Woman on Record to Travel to Every Country in the World by Cassie De Pecol
At age 27, and in the wake of her experiences on Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid – not to mention the cyberbullying she faced after the show – Cassie De Pecol becomes the first woman on record to travel to every country on Earth. Her story is about a young woman who drops out of college only to become a daring adventurer, philanthropist, and humanitarian activist.
Australia takes first prize in terms of a country that has lethal weather, environment, and wildlife. Between the sharks, snakes, riptides, and deserts, many people look at Australia with a wary eye. But not Bill Bryson. He adores Australia, and his In a Sunburned Country is a cheerful, hilarious, and wacky tribute to this beautiful country. His love for the friendly people, wholesome cities, and constant sunshine make this a wonderful and inspiring read.
16. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
Everyone’s heard of the famous novel written by Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love is a really heartfelt memoir that explores that depicts a woman’s brave decision to upend her life for a year of travel, leave behind the traditional cornerstones of a successful life in America (marriage, big house, robust career). Her goal is to explore the art of pleasure, devotion, and balance in Italy, India, and Bali respectively. Clever, funny, and wise – this is a great book to read if you’re looking to be in spired to make the plunge and go on your own adventure.
17. A Year Off: A Story About Traveling the World – And How to Make It Happen For You by Alexandra & David Brown
There are so many reasons to love Alexandra and David’s A Year Off. For one, their story perfectly captures one of many wonderful things about travel and the magic it can have on you. After only knowing each other for a few months, this couple decided they would both quit their jobs and leave behind their “normal” lives to travel the world for a year. The portion of this book that serves as a memoir shows their travels together, and how they got to know one another. But that’s not all there is to A Year Off! The book is also comprised of travel essays, photo journeys, and enough tips that it can be classified as a travel guide. For a book to check the boxes on both beautiful story and practice travel advice, Alexandra and David’s knocked it out of the park!
After enduring an earth-shattering spiritual experience, Hector Jesus Arencibia ditches his real estate life in Miami, Florida and books a one-way ticket to travel across the world. He’s on a mission to discover his true self, and he brings us along on this journey of a lifetime across 5 continents and a myriad of different cultures. Arencibia’s book is a mix of the practical and the profound, giving us thought provoking insight on how to live better, the importance of sharing your faith, and inspiring other people to also pursue what they love. If you believe that travel is a deeply spiritual experience, then you’ll love this read!
Americans Tsh and Kyle are both avid travelers when they meet and get married in Kosovo. After living the expat life for almost a decade, they head back to the US with three kids. After four years of being “home,” wanderlust strikes again. The two parents decide to take the whole family on the road, and head out for a nine-month long trip that takes them to China, New Zealand, Ethiopia, England, Italy, and more. In the midst of their adventures, Tsh meditates more closely on this concept that all travelers have mulled over at some point in their lives – the concept of home. When you oscillate between different countries, cultures, and languages, is it possible to still feel at home, rather than calling one particular point on the map home?
Everyone loves a good travel guide, but not all travel guides are created equal. As a female traveler who’s gone on trips with friends and also by myself, I can say from experience that there are some guides out there that I found more helpful than others because they gave me the practical knowledge I needed based on the trip I was planning. So, for female travelers who are going on their first or 15th solo trip, Sunni Dawson’s guide for Kicking Ass on the Road is the perfect resource. It sets you up with all kinds of useful travel advice, checklists, mind maps, and tips that can prepare you for the most amazing trip of your life. Perfect for any female traveler!
American-born Suzanne Adam has been living in Chile for over 40 years. She’s familiar with the culture, language, politics, and land. At home in the Patagonian glaciers and Atacama Desert, she considers universal truths and rare moments of beauty that are revealed to her by her American past and move to Chile, all spread out over the course of 63 personal essays. She explores the concepts of women’s roles, spirituality, friendship, and love, as well as her own cross-cultural experiences.
Trading his cushy car and traditional take on life, Martijn Doolard sets out on a transcontinental journey all on bicycle. This record of his journey is equal parts travelogue and visual journey, and gives us a sneak peek into the laughs, the adventure, and the pain that took him from Amsterdam to Singapore. In addition to sharing the gear and knowledge he gained from his trip with us, Doolaard also paints us a vivid picture of what happens when you indulge yourself in slow travel and a break from the norm.
No matter who we are, there are things we’d all like to do someday, but we often find ourselves facing down excuses and allowing our dreams to take a backseat to our busy lives. Kath Stathers’ The Bucket List is making time for those things you’d like to do “some day.” From glassblowing in the Czech Republic to swimming in the oceans around New Zealand, this book contains a myriad of activities that speak to self-improvement, sports-related goals, seeing natural wonders, experiencing new cultures, and more. Each activity is location-specific and takes you all over the world. Active or laidback, serious or lighthearted, the Bucket List has something for everybody.
Helen Russell’s novel becomes with a discovery: the country of Denmark, not Disneyland, professes to be the happiest place on earth! After being given an opportunity to start a new life in rural Jutland, Helen makes the decision that for one year, she will do all in her power to figure out the secret to happiness that the Danish have gotten nailed down. Examining childcare, education, food, interior design, taxes, SAD, and sexes, the Year of Living Danishly is a comical record that illuminates why people in Denmark are so happy, and how others can benefit from also living more “Danishly”.
Don’t you just hate when you happen upon a love-at-first-sight moment with a handsome, soulful Argentinean man but he’s about to set off on a round-the-world type of trip? Oh, and this journey is taking place all on a small sailboat? Well, even if you can’t relate to it, that’s exactly what happens to Torre DeRoche in San Francisco. And rather than let the man of her dreams slip away, she agrees to kiss solid land good-bye and join him on this epic sea voyage across the world. Not only does she struggle with keeping her sanity and getting her bearings with this new relationship, she also has to deal with her fear of deep water. But this love story meets travelogue is a charming, hilarious story that’s all about reaping the rewards of taking risks and being bold.
When the infamous Boxing Day tsunami strikes Thailand, Louise Fenton flies to her homeland in search of her mother who’s missing. When she arrives, the only trace she can find of her mom is a beautiful atlas, written by a Claire Shreve and full of notes, mementoes, and messages. Louise explores all of these clues in the hopes of finding her mom, but what she finds is a life-changing secret that ties together Louise’s mother and our mystery mapmaker.
Lin is an escaped convict, who flees a maximum-security prison in Australia to the one place he can disappear: the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by Prabaker, both guide and faithful friend, Lin will make his home in the poorest slum of the cities, where beggars, gangsters, holy men, prostitutes, Indians, soldiers, and exiles all reside. He’s alone in the world, and as he works to rebuild his life, he’ll encounter people along the way who, while coming from all walks of life, will ultimately find meaning in his new existence. This gargantuan narrative is though-provoking and all-encompassing of the human experience. If you love gripping literature that’s larger than life, this book is perfect for you.
Known for his iconic journey around in the globe in his Around the World in 80 Days, Michael Palin decides to take this extreme form of travel to the next level by setting out on a journey that will take him from the top to the bottom of the world. In the span of 6 months, he winds his way through 17 countries total, including Greenland, Russia, Kenya, South Africa, and Chile. He’ll work his way across widely diverse cultures across Europe and Africa, as well as pay witness to these communities who are in the midst of turbulent changes in the aftermath of the Berlin Wall being torn down. Palin’s story is a thrilling read that touches on more than just travel, but also the cultural and political.
Like many of the authors seen in this post, Tom Chesshyre is also on a mission to see the world, only his means of transportation are a bit different. His goal? To work his way around the world with only trains as his mode of transportation. He’ll hop on everything from colonial steam locomotives to high-tech bullet trains and find himself whizzing through crowded cities as well as getting off the beaten path. In a journey that takes him from Sri Lanka to Tehran, Chesshyre shares with us a fascinating adventure that’s all the more unique for having done it by rail.
If you’ve ever taken an extended trip abroad, then you know that more often than not, things go wrong rather than right. But hey, that’s part of the travel charm. We’ve all experienced mishaps while traveling, but there’s one traveler who stands above the rest: Lauren Juliff, who gives us all a look into her own bad luck, disasters, and near-death experiences that litter her year of travel. She’ll find herself at the mercy of the land and people around her, while also battling anxiety, heart break, and an eating disorder. And just when she’s about to throw in the towel and go home, she meets a stranger that changes everything!
Born in Canada and raised by Hungarian-Croatian parents, Jennifer Klinec is no stranger to travel, especially to countries that few people would visit. But by the time she quits her corporate job to start a cooking school from her apartment in London in her thirties, she’s already searched high and low around the world in search of recipes. Her search brings her to Iran, where she meets a local woman who promises to teach her the in’s and out’s of Persian cooking. Her son, Vahid, is incredibly suspicious of the independent foreign woman, but they ultimately find themselves drawn to each other. Jennifer’s story is about travel, food, culture, as well as the laws and customs in Iran that stand in opposition to her and Vahid’s interest in each other.
We’ve all had moments where we wanted to really explore different parts of our personalities, or become different people altogether. That’s essentially what young Kristin Newman does in her wanderlust-inducing, comedic travelogue What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding. While all of her friends are busy getting married and having babies, “Kristin-Adjacent” spends her twenties and thirties traveling across countries like Russia, Argentina, and New Zealand. She strikes up a number of steamy affairs all over the planet, while ultimately falling in love with the independence and freedom she gets from traveling all over the world. Hilarious, adventurous, and incredibly relatable – this book will get you off the couch and on a plane!
33. The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure by Rachel Friedman
Rachel is a storybook good girl – she does well in school, doesn’t get wild or make questionable decisions. But she takes everyone, including herself, by surprise when she buys a ticket to Ireland. Despite never having been to this country before and setting out on this adventure by herself, Rachel quickly forms a bond with an adventurous girl from Australia, who pushes her to take a yearlong trip around the world. Traveling together, Rachel will wind her way across Australia and South America, where she’ll learn to get outside of her comfort zone and ultimately embrace a fierce love and travel.
We all dream of taking week-, month-, and even year-long trips, but like it or not setting out on an adventure of a lifetime is a pretty daunting task. There are lots of things to consider when you commit to long-term travel, many of which you have to think about before you even get on the plan. But Rolf Potts, veteran travel writer and seasoned vagabond, explains how anyone – and yes, he means anyone – can embark on extended overseas travel. This one-of-a-kind books is both an accessible and inspiring guide on how to finance and plan your trip, adjust to life on the road, handle problems you encounter, and even re-assimilating into your normal life. If you need to be inspired as well as educated, give this short book a read!
Many people already associate ideas of antiquity with the city of Morocco, but Medina of Fez, known as the Old City, is as good as it gets. It’s the best-preserved, medieval walled city in the world – a vibrant community that is a beautiful medley of the ancient and the contemporary. While on holiday in Morocco, married couple Suzanna and Sandy Clark make the bold decision to buy a run-down, centuries-old riad in Fez. They’re seized by the idea of restoring this Arab-style house to its former glory, but only with traditional craftsmen and handmade materials. While A House in Fez is a retelling of this hilarious, and often bewildering, adventure, it’s also a chronicle of the customs, lore, and culture that makes Morocco so unique.
36. To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret by Jedidiah Jenkins
Terrified at the thought of finding himself trapped by a cookie-cutter lifestyle that wasn’t his choosing, Jedidiah Jenkins makes the crazy decision at the age of 30 to quit his dream job and spend 16 months cycling from Oregon to Patagonia. He catalogs his trip on Instagram, and over the course of his trek, draws hundreds of thousands of people who are interested in this seemingly absurd way of living. Jed’s memoir doesn’t just narrate his cycling journey to the bottom of the world, it’s a reflection of the internal journey that he underwent. This thought-provoking read is another great take on how travel has the power to transform us.
Tragedy strikes Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for the band Rush, when he loses his wife and 19-year-old daughter, both in less than a year. In the faceof overwhelming sadness and loneliness, Peart embarks on a 55,000 mile journey across the majority of North America, Mexico, and Belize. He makes this entire journey on motorcycle in a desperate effort to grieve his loss. As he recounts his incredible journey to find peace and solace from his loss, Peart weeps, reminisces, tells stories, and plays music. This memoir is a unique and epic demonstration of how travel has the ability to heal us.
Famous for his book In Siberia, Colin Thubron takes us on a journey across the shadowy land of Central Asia. While people commonly associate it with the great Mongol empire, as well as the site of Stalin’s cruel deportations, this corner of the world is often misunderstood and passed over. But Central Asia represents an incredibly important region of the world, not to mention its very diverse landscape. Thubron takes us on a journey across steppes, desert, and mountains in order to gain a better understanding of this rarely visited, yet beautiful corner of the world in the Lost Heart of Asia.
What began as a plan to volunteer for 3 months before setting off on year-long trip around the world, becomes an epic mission to reunite the lost children of Nepal with their families. When Conor first shows up on the steps of the Little Princes orphanage, he’s not sure he has what it takes to work with the rambunctious herd of children, let alone make it in a country that’s deep in civil war. But as Conor grows closer to the children, he learns that they are in fact victims of child traffickers, who promised families in remote villages to protect them from the civil war and ensure they’re educated – all for a handsome fee. Eventually, Conor makes it his mission to track down these families and reunite them with their children – even if it means a life-threatening trek into the remote mountains of Nepal where civil war and renegades run rampant. This heartbreaking and hilarious story is a testament to the love and bond that transcends culture, language, and borders – a perfect read for people who love to travel and connect with others.
40. Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World by Rita Golden Gelman
In the late 1980s, a newly divorced Rita did the unthinkable – she sold off all her possessions and set out to become a nomad, making her home wherever she was in the world. This journey took the world by storm, when she published her trips in her famous Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World. Now, she and other female travelers have come together to publish a collection of essays about travel, stories, relationships, and food. This book will make you laugh, cry, and possibly send you off on a trip of your own. But most importantly, it’ll make you want to cook any number of these unique recipes that have been curated from local communities all around the world. If you loved Rita Golden Gelman’s first travel book, you’ll devour this one (pun intended)!
As far as authors go, Alice Hoffman’s prose has a unique quality to it that I don’t see very often. The majority of her narratives, to some degree, have some element of magic or otherness to them; and with this particular work, the Foretelling presents a unique combination of myth, legend, and supernatural that’s all centered in the homeland of the Amazons. This fresh take on the woman warriors is carried on the shoulders of Hoffman’s powerful protagonist – Rain – whose strength, intelligence, and moral fiber are tested in every way in this coming-of-age story. Hoffman’s prose wholly transports you out of your world into Rain’s and is a must-read for everyone who loves a strong female character that goes against the grain.
When it comes to novels about self-discovery, Siddhartha is a classic, and packs a punch that has inspired generations of readers. Hesse’s story is that of a young Brahmin who’s on a quest to discover the ultimate reality. His journey takes him from indulgence, sensuality, ascetism, and self-denial. It’s a story about seeking wisdom, and learning lessons that can only be experienced, not taught. This story uniquely addresses inner struggle and personal experience, and the grueling process of self-discovery that so often comes with travel. So many travelers can’t help but connect self-discovery and personal growth with the act of travel, and if that statement resonates with you, then you’ll love Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha.
If you’re a traveler who orchestrates their life around adventure and thrill-seeking, then this collection of essays that National Geographic was made for you. Epic Journeys transports you from Colorado to Nicaragua, the Arctic to Vietnam, and Madagascar to Sri Lanka. This inspiring guide uncovers more than 225 of the best destinations in the world for hiking, skiing, diving, rafting, and much more. Find your next adventure with this handy guide of top ten lists and adventurer essays.
From the internationally beloved author of the Alchemist comes an iconic story about self-discovery, spiritual renewal, and personal growth. This is Paulo Coelho’s most personal novel to date published, and tells the story of how Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. In an effort to rejuvenate his spirit, he sets off to explore Africa, Europe, and then Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway. His goal is to travel, experiment, and reconnect with both the people and the land around him, and his journey will ultimately make him cross paths with a young woman, whom he loved five hundred years prior and betrayed in an act of cowardice. They’ll travel together on this mystical voyage, and uncover important understandings about love, forgiveness, courage, and change.
Strong, empowering, and exhilarating. These are just a few words that could be used to describe Gale Straub’s She Explores. This story about female bravery and courage has inspired women all over the globe and is the perfect story for any woman who pursues travel on her own terms. Combined with gorgeous travel photography, Straub has pulled together 40 unforgettable stories from women around the world who have undertaken some truly amazing journeys.
Described as “One man’s four-year journey alone and on foot,” Worldwalk is Steve Newman’s story about how, at the age of 25, a freelance journalist set out with just a backpack to explore the world alone – and all the while writing for a newspaper with an audience of over 1 million readers! His travels – which span 21 countries and 5 continents – are accompanied by total strangers, families, and friends of friends who invite this American stranger into their homes and into their lives. In addition to his stories that he published bi-weekly in the newspaper, Newman’s book is full of stories that cover countless life-changing, and often life-threatening, adventures!
If you love travel, but are also a sucker for fictitious thrillers, then Alex Garland’s the Beach is a perfect fit for you. While young Richard is staying in a cheap guest house on Khao San Road in Bangkok, he’s completely floored when a fellow traveler takes his own life, but leaves Richard with a carefully drawn map that leads to “the Beach.” Richard soon learns that the Beach is something of a legend among young travelers in Asia, a picturesque, idyllic lagoon that’s surrounded by white sand, coral gardens, and gorgeous waterfalls – all surrounded by a jungle that hasn’t been touched by humans for a thousand years. Supposedly, a carefully selected group of individuals from around the world have settled into something of a modern-day Eden. The Beach is Alex Garland’s spellbinding tale of how Richard – accompanied by a young French couple – tracks down this mysterious beach, only to learn that while it lives up to the legends, the Beach “culture” is troubling, and even dangerous.
48. The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, & Amanda Pressner
As their 30th birthdays swiftly approach, friends Jen, Holly and Amanda are feeling pressure to hit all the right American milestones: career, soulmate, house, and kids. Instead, the three decide to quit their jobs and leave everything that’s familiar to pursue a year-long journey around the world. They traverse 60,000 miles across four different continents, with each step of their journey pushing them out of their comfort zones and forcing them to embrace every new adventure they encounter. They’ll trek across mountains, suffer exotic diseases, share beds, heartaches, romances, and everything else that their travels have to offer!
49. Backpacker Business: One Girls’ Journey from Wide-Eyed Traveler to Worldwide Entrepreneur by Nikki Scott
From an amateur backpacker in Nepal to an established publisher in Thailand, Backpacker Business is Nikki Scott’s tale of how she traveled all across Asia as a young 23-year-old to set up the first print magazine for independent travelers in Southeast Asia. Born of business deals in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines, this English-born backpacker discovers all sorts of eye-openings ways to do business, as well as finds herself right in the middle of countless adventures. Nikki’s story is inspiring and encouraging – her unique story might even make you want to book a plane ticket to Asia so you can experience your own adventure.
Back in her twenties, young Sarah MacDonald backpacked around India, and after having her fill of heat, pollution and poverty, she vowed never to return. So when an airpot beggar reads her palm and foresees that she will return to India, she turns on her heels and gets out of there! But lo and behold, after 11 years, Sarah finds herself back in India after the love of her life is posted to India. After getting dangerously sick with double pneumonia, Sarah makes a discovery – “I must find peace in the only place possible in India – within.” So she sets off on a journey of self-discvoery, to get to the heart of her own fragile mortality and fill a spiritual void within herself. This hilarious tale is a very real story about a young woman’s journey towards inner peace, and her encounters with Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, and even Christianity.