This might have nothing to do with filmmaking, but sometimes when you get no motivation at all, you can do two things, either you pack your backpack and head out to an interesting, unexplored place alone or you lock yourself with the best travel books and go on a virtual travel adventure. So, here I am listing out all those great travel books that I’ve read or would love to read right now. It can be a daunting task to pick out 10 best books from hundreds of thousands of great books, plus each one of us has different perspectives towards travel. Most of us love to be labelled as tourists since that’s what we do all our life, but the real pleasure comes from being a lonely traveller, where you have no idea about where to go, what to do and how to survive.
So, without wasting time, here are my 10 favourite travel books. I’ve read a couple of them and the rest are the ones I’m going to read and finish by the next couple of months. I’m sure you’ve all heard about them, but if you’ve not read them, now’s the time. Plus, if there’s a title that you’d like to suggest, I’ll be really glad.
#1 Into the Wild: Jon Krakauer
I’m sure; you’ve watched Into the Wild, the movie based on real life incidents of Christopher McCandless, but it’s this book that introduces you to that young boy accurately. Christopher McCandless gave up all his savings and left his city life to travel across North America to reach Alaska. If you’re the kind of soul who has nothing to do with the world right now and need some motivation to head out to the wilderness, Into the Wild is the best book to read right now. You’ll definitely learn a few things and love your life more.
#2 The Geography of Bliss: Eric Weiner
Want an answer for what happiness is? Well, this may not be the answer. Hah! Confused? Eric Weiner started out his journey to find where one can find happiness. Travelling across the globe, from America to Iceland, to Bhutan to Qatar, to India, to Switzerland to various other places, he answers the question with wit, sarcasm, humour and also has moments of self discovery. You’ll definitely have lots of moments where you just can’t stop laughing and I believe laugh is the single most compelling reason to read it now.
#3 City of Djinns: William Dalrymple
India is a cultural festival and when you read books like City of Djinns, you’ll have no doubts. Written by William Dalrymple when he was in New Delhi for six years, this book is more of short stories put together rather than your typical travel narrative. It is more of a love affair with New Delhi, the historic modern city with focus on its past and present and how the writer falls in love with it.
#4 Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story: Tony Wheeler & Maureen Wheeler
Have heard about Lonely Planet? Well, you need no introduction to this book. Unlikely Destinations comes from the founders of Lonely Planet who have created the best travel guides for almost every place you wish to head forward. This is all about stories, travel, business and how the lonely planet became what it is.
#5 Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail: Cheryl Strayed
Looking for an inspiration to head out somewhere alone? Here’s another great read for the lonely traveller inside you. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a true account of her Self Discovery via 1100 mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. The book focuses on her life occurrences that led her to this gruelling journey. The book was recently adapted into a successful Hollywood film by the same name last year where the lead role by played by Reese Witherspoon. This one is for all of us who are looking for some grit and determination and if you are a woman, it’s a must read.
#6 The Motorcycle Diaries: Che Guevara
No travel book list will be complete without the Motorcycle Diaries, the memoir that highlights the travels of Che Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado in 1952 on a single cylinder 1939 Norton 500cc motorcycle. Realizing what he wanted to change, this book takes you through their journey where they watch social injustices and decide to fight for the poor and the unity of Latin America. The journey made Che Guevara, the Marxist revolutionary that we all remember.
#7 Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff: Rosemary Mahoney
Would you ever think about taking a solo trip down the mighty river Nile and that too in a seven feet row boat? Perhaps, no, but Rosemary Mahoney in 1998 went on an amazing journey. It’s motivating for the fact that a woman, a westerner headed towards Egypt to find the modern beliefs.
#8 Journeys of a Lifetime: National Geographic Society
Talk about travel without talking about the people who know it the best, well, that’s not fair. Journeys of a Lifetime reveals the best journeys one could take all around the world and the insights come from the best National Geographic travel writers. Read this if you would love to be a tourist while being a traveller.
#9 The Great Railway Bazaar: Paul Theroux
A love travelling and love railway, well this one has to be for you. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux is an interesting travelogue that highlights his four month train journey from London to Europe, Middle East, India, Southeast Asia and Trans Siberian Railway. It is considered one of the greatest classic in travel writing. Published in 1975, Paul Theroux retraced his journey and his second journey can be found in his book Ghost Train to the Eastern Star.
#10 The Backpacker who sold his Supercar: Patrick Hamilton Walsh
This is the one I’m reading right now. I came to know who Patrick Hamilton Walsh is with my love for Nokia and now Lumia smartphones on Facebook when I first joined the group, Nothing but a Nokia, which he founded. The backpacker who sold his supercar is for someone who has unfulfilled dreams and is working to achieve that dream. Patrick had goals like travelling from London to Sydney, Breaking a Guinness World Record for a good cause, owning a Porsche before he turned 30, attending dinner with the President and what not. As Patrick says, “LifeIs” what you make of it, this one is for everyone.
You can purchase or order you copy from Amazon here, or you can even check out his other books here.
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