From the Pacific Crest Trail to Machu Picchu, Andalusia to Australia, these six travel memoirs and novels are sure to spark your wanderlust.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (2013)
An account of Strayed’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail after experiencing much loss in her life, Wild is all about self-discovery. Reading this book will make you want to travel to find yourself and will reveal the healing effects that traveling can have.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams (2012)
Adams attempts to recreate the original expedition to Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Although Adams has spent his career as an adventure and travel magazine editor, he is not very adventurous himself, and so his decision to physically retrace Bingham’s steps results in a very humorous and eye-opening account of the explorer’s journey. Not only will you laugh while reading this novel, but learn a lot about the history of a popular tourist destination.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988)
To be honest, I did not like this book the first time I read it. I attribute my initial distaste to the fact that I had to overanalyze it in a high school English class. However, after rereading it at my own leisure a few years later, I really enjoyed it. Santiago’s journey from Andalusia to Egypt will make you want to take a pilgrimage of your own in order to accomplish your dreams (or “Personal Legend” as it is referred to in The Alchemist).
Tracks by Robyn Davidson (1995)
Davidson traveled 1,700 miles through Australia’s outback with nobody else but four camels and a dog. This book highlights Davidson’s encounters with Aboriginals and Australia’s perilous wildlife. Reading Tracks will not only make you want to travel but fully immerse yourself in another culture.
Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian (1990)
Soul Mountain is part autobiographical and part fiction as it recounts Xingjian’s inspiration to travel into rural China after receiving a false lung cancer diagnosis. The book covers a lot of cultural and political references from that time period in China, but mainly is a novel about one man finding his “inner self” through travel.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman (2011)
A personal account of the author’s impulsive post-grad trip to Ireland. Her journey ends up taking her to Australia and South America after she meets a free-spirited friend in Europe. This book will truly ignite your inner wanderlust and make you want to stop what you are doing and just go!