15 Best Travel Books to Cure Wanderlust
Looking for some travel books to help cure your wanderlust? Here’s our 15 best books you have to read!
Reading helps many escape reality, and travel books can help inspire you to plan your next adventure, or at least cure your wanderlust when you can’t be on the road. From fictional tales, to personal travel accounts, there’s a book out there to give you what you’re searching for. So, are you looking to pick up a new book? Or perhaps a gift for the traveller in your life? We’re bringing you the 15 Best Travel Books to Cure Wanderlust!
1. Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe – Bill Bryson
This is a classic European travel book. ‘Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe’ takes you on his backpacking journey around Europe, starting in Norway and travelling all the way to Istanbul, Turkey. He crosses countries like Denmark, Germany, France, and Italy. The trip takes place in 1990 and reflects on many memories of two earlier Euro Trips he had made as a student. It’s written in a very funny and relatable way, making it one of the brilliant travel books to help cure wanderlust.
2. Forest Dark – Nicole Krauss
Forest Dark is a novel about two American strangers who set off on their own adventures to Tel Aviv. ‘Forest Dark’ centres around two individuals from New York: an older man named Jules Epstein, and a younger woman Nicole. Both characters find themselves at a crossroads in their lives, and embark on a journey of self-realisation and discovery. Pick it up and you’ll see why we’ve chosen this as one of our best travel books to cure wanderlust!
3. Black Girl in Paris – Shay Youngblood
Taking place in the 1980s, ‘Black Girl in Paris‘ is a novel about Eden, a girl from the American south. She sets off on a journey to Paris in search of artistic inspiration and freedom. Eden finds herself working many jobs and taking on several news roles, from an au pair, to a lover, and a thief. The novel focuses much on the contradictions in her mind on Paris and its realities.
4. The Baker’s Daughter – Sarah McCoy
It’s the story of a young woman living in Paris at the beginning of World War II. ‘The Baker’s Daughter‘ takes you on the journey of a young woman trying to understand what’s happening, where she fits in, and how she can help her country. She joins the resistance and the story unfolds from there. This novel is certainly a page turner and gives you a chilling insight into the lives of women in the resistance in WWII.
5. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
‘The Alchemist‘ is a book with a message, and one that teaches you powerful life lessons. It’s about a Spanish shepherd who wants to travel the world, especially to see The Pyramids in Egypt. He decides to sell his flock and go to the Arabic dessert. On his journey he learns a lot about himself, love, and what life is truly about. The main message is to follow your dreams, and when you do, life will becomes more satisfying. It’s been translated into over 80 languages!
6. One for the Road – Elise K. Ackers
‘One For The Road‘ is about a woman who escapes her extremely difficult home situation and travels Europe. She does her trip with 47 other travellers, and rediscovers her freedom as she sees new places and meets new people. It’s an emotional journey as she falls in love with a world far away from home.
7. Kinky Gazpacho: Love, Life & Spain – Lori L. Tharps
This memoir by Lori L. Tharps is one of our favourites on our 10 Best Travel Books list! Growing up in a mostly white, suburban neighbourhood of Milkwaukee, Wisconsin, Tharps arrives in Spain as a college student with a desire to find herself and experience life in a place where she assumes race doesn’t matter. Her experiences quickly prove otherwise, subjecting her to uncomfortable, racially-charged situations while in Spain. As she decides she wants to give up, she meets a Spaniard, falls in love, and gets married. Kinky Gazpacho is a story following her adventure of love, navigating life, and finding herself in the most unexpected places.
8. My Life in France – Julia Child
Julia Child, the famous master chef, wasn’t always great in the kitchen. When she first arrived in France she didn’t speak the language, and knew nothing about the country. ‘My Life in France‘ is just about that. By going to local markets, taking cooking classes, and immersing herself in the culture, her life changed forever. Upon returning to America, she becomes famous for introducing French cuisine. A great book to read if you’re travelling to France!
9. A Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the Happiest Country in the World – Helen Russel
When her husband got a job at Lego, Helen moves to Denmark with him. She soon realises the Danes are a lot happier than in other places, so she decides to do her own research. She covers everything from child care to taxes, sex, and education. ‘A Year of Living Danishly‘ is a hilarious book you can’t put down! If you’ve ever moved to another country it’s very relatable!
10. Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story – Tony & Maureen Wheeler
Anybody who travels knows Lonely Planet. The guides have become so popular you won’t find many people who don’t have a copy on their bookshelves. “Unlikely Destinations: the Lonely Planet Story” is written by Tony & Maureen Wheeler, the founders of Lonely Planet. It’s discusses the start and rise of the company combined with incredible travel tales. It’s amazing to read about the company that’s inspired so many to explore the world. A must read on your Europe trip!
11. The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe – Tony Perrottet
With his unique and original research, romping through hilarious anecdotes, the celebrated historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet brings us an exciting travel adventure through the scandalous backrooms of historical Europe. The Sinner’s Grand Tour explores a string of legendary sites and relics that are still kept far from public view. Whether he finds the lost “sex chair” of King Edward VII in Paris, or he talks his way into a banned room in the Vatican where the walls are covered by 16th-century pornography painted by Raphael, award-winning Perrottet offers a page-turning experience.
12. Travel Everywhere (and Avoid Being a Tourist) – Pavia Rosati & Jeralyn Gerba
This treasure piece of off-beaten paths gathers recommendations and stories from a network of interesting travellers who share how they unveiled the unknown side of the cities we are all used to traveling to. Through anecdotes, interviews, and mental images, you’ll find a clever approach to better explore the off-grid together with tips on where to go for a once-in-a-lifetime meal, how to contribute to the local cultures and learn more about their lifestyles.
13. Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious – Seth Kugel
Seth Kugel unveils the wisdom he gained about the world when he was strolling around the planet to write the Frugal Traveler column in The New York Times travel section for nearly six years. He pours much of that earned insight into this fun and fascinating book. Some of the best portions of the “Kugel Traveler’s” are when he disclosure the ugliness of the travel industry, taking it to task for being manipulative or overly brazen in its desire to fleece travellers.
14. Vagabonds in France – Michael A. Barry
If you are tired of “how-to” books and idealistic travel tales, then this is the book for you. Vagabonds in France is the story of a family who dared to leave the conventional life behind taking off from Florida to France, passing by Portugal and Spain. Through pictures and a lot of humour, Michael Barry narrates their adventures through an entertaining and yet still informative tone.
15. Daytripper – Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon
Daytripper is a classic of DC Comics featuring Bras de Olivias Dominguez in important periods of his life while strolling exotic Brazil. it’s a visual animation of traveling that touches our heart while is makes us consider his and therefore our own existence. Each chapter is filled with infinite possibilities of happiness and sorrow, good and bad, love and loneliness, rediscovering the many varieties of daily life, in a story about living life to its fullest.
15 Best Travel Books to Cure Wanderlust
We hope you’ve enjoyed our recommendations for the 15 Best Travel Books to Cure Wanderlust. If you want to consume these books in a sustainable manner, we recommend picking up a second hand copy (usually available on most platforms), or check out your local library! Most members of Europe’s Famous Hostels also have free book exchanges, so keep an eye out there if you’re already on the road.
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