6 Travel-Inspired Books To Satisfy Your Wanderlust

Although we all love the full experience of going abroad, there are times where it is simply not possible. When you’re stuck on the couch instead of a plane, these travel-inspired books will ease your international culture cravings.

travel-inspired books
Embark on the quintessential American road trip in On the Road | SUZANNE EMILY O’CONNER

On the Road

Jack Kerouac’s coming-of-age tale follows Sal and Dean as they adventure through North America. On the Road reflects the freedom and curiosity of beatniks in the 60s and paints a picture of the United States from the past. This book will leave you feeling like you road-tripped across the U.S. and had the time of your life. 

The Alchemist

With topics of spirituality and destiny, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is more than just one of our favorite travel-inspired books. The story focuses on a young shepherd, Santiago, who discovers his destiny and leaves Andalusia for the Egyptian pyramids.

He must work odd jobs to get the money for a camel, then cross the daunting desert. Along the way, he meets a variety of people who change his life and teach him what it means to live. This quick read will leave you contemplative, with your wanderlust quenched. 

zimbabwe railroad
Explore the wide open railroads of Zimbabwe in Dark Star Safari | LUISAO PEPE

Dark Star Safari

Dark Star Safari is a true story based on the experiences of author Paul Theroux. The author solo-travelled from Cairo to Cape Town on buses, trains, canoes and even armed convoy. His goal? To learn what an Africa freed from colonialism looked like. He gives an eye-opening glimpse into the hardships faced by communities in the early 2000’s, yet also tells of the beautiful people he encounters within those places.

travel-inspired books
A historical stone building and lavender fields typical of Provence | HANS BRAXMEIER

A Year in Provence

In this heartwarming (and true) story, author Peter Mayle follows his dream to move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the countryside of Provence. While spending A Year in Provence, Mayle is honest about the reality of this dream, learning to live through harsh seasons and teaching us to do the same. Mayle gives an intimate account of life in remote French towns. From interesting local celebrations to delicious cuisine, we are able to live a Provençal life through Mayle. 

pacific crest trail
Snoqualmie Pass, part of the Pacific Crest Trail that serves as the background in Wild | UNSPLASH

Wild

If you’re a backpacker (or want to be), this one’s for you. Wild shares the true story of author Cheryl Strayed. After a culmination of bad decisions and unfortunate life events, Strayed decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. She had never backpacked or even really hiked. She crammed materials into an overly heavy backpack and headed off, alone. Strayed shares her struggles along the way, both physical and mental, and coming to terms with her past. 

travel-inspired books tuscany
A view of the rolling Tuscan hills from Montepulciano | ROWAN HEUVEL

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy is a classic when it comes to travel-inspired books. This memoir by Frances Mayes will transport you to the rolling hills of Tuscany. A dreamy tale, the author restores an abandoned villa and learns to call Italy home. A chef, as well as a travel writer, Mayes includes local recipes for the readers to provide an authentic Italian experience, without actually going there.

-Annie Lancaster