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4 Best Travel Books to Inspire Your Wanderlust

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If you’re a travel junkie, you might get antsy while awaiting your next destination. Perhaps circumstances prevent you from traveling as much as you’d wish, or maybe you’re a seasoned traveler and need some good reads during long train rides or boring plane trips. 

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. These travel books will satisfy the wanderlust within and may be just as rejuvenating for your soul as the journey itself. 

For the best travel books shop these inspiring titles and see the world through the author’s lenses. 

1. The Alchemist

One of the most popular travel novels, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, is a must-read for anyone with a sense of wanderlust. This fictional book follows a shepherd boy from Spain to Egypt and takes you on his experience of meeting mysterious people, learning a new language, falling in love, and finding a piece of himself. 

Travel isn’t just about exploring the material things, it’s about exploring your heart and bringing your passions, desires, and values to the surface. That’s just what the Alchemist does. 

Filled with inspiring quotes and magical experiences, this book is both moving and captivating. 

2. Humans of New York

One of the most enthralling aspects of being a traveler is connecting with others. People, especially from cultures we’re not used to, can seem so different from ourselves. But once you get to know their story, you realize that we’re all so similar, so human. 

This is what brought Humans of New York, originally a blog by Brandon Stanton, immense popularity. This photoblog features average, everyday people with a short snippet of their personal story as told in an interview. Their stories are sometimes happy, sometimes inspiring, sometimes sad, and most of the time many of these at once.

In 2013, Stanton used his blog to create a book, featuring 400 people, their portraits, and their stories. The stories and people are diverse, moving, authentic, and purely raw and real.

Hitting the New York Times Bestsellers list almost immediately, this book will allow you to see the person behind the face and the story behind the person.

3. Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love is a 2006 memoir by American author Elizabeth Gilbert, who chronicles her trip around the world after an arduous divorce. Wanting to leave her painful past behind to explore the world, Gilbert takes us on her journey through Italy, India, and Bali. 

The title of the book describes her experience in each place. She made her first stop in Rome, where she enjoyed the culture of simple yet mouthwatering food (Eat). She moved on to spend three months in India, where she got in touch with her spirituality (Pray). Ending the year in Bali, Indonesia, Gilbert found new love and a happy ever after (Love). 

This popular book is a great option, especially for those wanting some solo-traveling inspiration. 

4. A Cook's Tour

So far, we’ve discussed soul-searching, human connection, and solo-traveling. What’s next, but food? Many travelers will agree that food is one of the best ways to experience a culture. Famous chef Anthony Bourdain showcases this best in his book “A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal.”

Bourdain recounts his travels and his experience tasting cultural foods, and he certainly doesn’t shy away from the exotic.  

This book showcases food from several countries, including Portugal, France, Vietnam, Russia, Morocco, Japan, Cambodia, Mexico, Spain, and the infamous French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley.

This funny, well-written book was turned into a famous television series on the Food Network, with Bourdain as the host. If you’re a traveler and a foodie, this is definitely a book for you.

Travel Through Pages

One of the best things about travel books is that you can live the experience through the book, sometimes learning more than you do on your own travels. 

Travel literature, whether it’s fictional novels, memoirs, or travel guides, will help you understand the ins and outs of traveling and how to not only experience something new but to bring about change within yourself.

These are some of the best travel books out there, so get your hands on them and start experiencing your journey right from home.

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