In The Geography of Bliss Weiner, an American journalist, takes us along on his search for the happiest country in the world. He starts in the Netherlands as it is highly rated in happiness charts and surveys across the world and is home to the World Database of Happiness. He travels around the world questioning how happiness is measured and the different types of happiness that exist. He finds that some of the happiest places on Earth are ones that we might not immediately expect, such as Iceland, Bhutan and India. A captivating and inspiring read, The Geography of Bliss will have you daydreaming about your next adventure.
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
Vagabonding is sure to inspire you to take a break from your normal life, to take risks and to live a little more dangerously. Whether it be two weeks or two years, Rolf Potts aims to encourage people to really explore our planet and to make life-long memories along the way. As well as being inspirational, Vagabonding includes a lot of practical information such as how to finance your travels, how to decided on destinations, information on working and volunteering abroad, and how to handle difficult situations whilst travelling. Alongside this, Potts stresses the importance of creativity and self-development and how travel is an incredible way to grow in these areas.
The Great Railway Bazaar has become a must-read in the travel genre and is still immensely popular over thirty years after its initial release. Theroux recounts his incredible train journey from London Victoria to Tokyo Central and back again on the Trans-Siberian Express. Although essentially a travelogue, Theroux’s mastery of the art of storytelling shines through, giving it a captivating narrative. This book is remarkable as it emphasises the importance not of the destination but of the journey itself, and while Theroux’s descriptions of the places he visits are enchanting, The Great Railway Bazaar truly conveys travel as just as much a spiritual journey as a physical one.
The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents, One Unconventional Detour around the World
The Lost Girls is the candid story of how three friends in their twenties quit their jobs and left their fast-paced Manhattan lifestyles behind in favour of travelling the world. They write of stepping out of their comfort zones and leaving familiarity in order to find deeper meaning in life and to embrace the adventure that travelling for a year has to offer. They travel 60,000 miles across four continents to numerous different countries taking part in various enriching activities such as volunteering with schoolgirls in Kenya, driving across Australia in a camper van and exploring the Amazon. This is a great read for anyone, perhaps particularly young women, who are hesitant about stepping out of their comfort zones and grabbing life by the horns. It is also a book that really champions female friendships and sisterhood, giving it a really heart-warming message.
Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
Like The Lost Girls, Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of a woman leaving behind her ordinary, comfortable life to follow her dreams of travelling the world. Rita tells of her wish to connect with people from different cultures all over the world and writes about how she sold all her possessions to make this a reality. Tales of a Female Nomad is an incredibly exciting read, detailing Rita’s many amazing adventures from observing orang-utans in Borneo to living in a Zapotec village in Mexico. If you were deliberating escaping ordinary life to travel the world, this book will give you the push you need – it is truly inspiring!
A little different to the rest of the books on the list, The Travel Book by the travel experts at Lonely Planet is photography book that will definitely give you the travel bug. The Travel Book contains breathtakingly beautiful photos capturing every country on the planet and informative text about each place. It gives you the chance to discover destinations that you might never have heard of and add them to your travel list. They say a picture speaks a thousand words and this book really gives that saying justice.
Novels have a incredible way of transporting you to a different place and can inspire you to go and discover it yourself. Shantaram does just this. A tale of an escaped convict from a maximum security Australian prison who flees to Bombay, Shantaram beautifully captures this unique city and depicts all the diverse people living there. Roberts depicts life in the Bombay slums in such a way that makes you feel that you have been there yourself. This highly descriptive novel is sure to inspire you to go and explore the enchanting places in India so beautifully conveyed in Roberts’ writing.