It is said that one who reads lives several lives, while the one who does not read lives only one. As if the world is a book, and one who does not travel has read only one page, however, right now during quarantine traveling is no longer an option, but reading travel books indeed is.
Learning about the world begins with books and travel. Curiosity is our main motivation and when combined with imagination, it can take us in who knows which direction. It can encourage wanderlust, especially if you are reading travel books about distant or near, more or less familiar cultures and traditions.
Find out which 13 travel books should be on your list of required travel books, and which will encourage you to research and plan your next vacation. It might take some time before it happens, but luckily, we have an alternative – travel books. Those fantastic travel adventure stories can not only fulfill our wanderlust, but it can even beat our boredom during the quarantine.
That’s why I have prepared a list of my personal favorite travel books that you can read during quarantine and feel the beauty of traveling even without leaving your quarantine refugee:
Sihpromatum is a travel book based on a four-year family trip around the globe with backpacks and nothing else. Savannah was 14 in 2005 when her mother decided to sell everything they owned and embark on a journey without a clearly defined return date with her three children.
The travel book “I Grew my Boobs in China” is the beginning of a touching, fascinating, and emotionally charged story in which the author describes a real family adventure. This is not a typical guide to famous semi-exotic locations where it is otherwise difficult to fully feel the local culture, this is a story about a woman maturing and growing up on the road while tasting roasted duck tongues in China or getting lost in the Gobi Desert.
It is a book that will remind you of your teenage years and make you think what they have been like if you have spent them on the roads of China.
“Backpacks and Bra Straps” is actually a sequel to the saga of a four-year family trip around Asia. The second part of the Shipromatum series continues where the first part stopped, “I grew my boobs in China”, which describes family dynamics that are intensely influenced by the constant presence of all family members. In addition, it also serves you on a plate a true camaraderie of the backpacker community from a young woman’s perspective.
The plot of the second part of the saga takes place in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, western China, and Tibet. What it’s like to watch the sunrise over Mount Everest, and what the development of a young person who writes about their experiences in a somewhat raw and honest way looks like, you’ll read in this bestseller that differs in many ways from typical travel memoirs.
This is the story of a “completely ordinary type of a man” who achieved 2 life goals that others told him was unattainable. First, he set a record in the longest car trip around the world during which he passed through minefields, survived a serious accident on K2, was nearly lynched in Pakistan, and lost three of the five who went on a trip with him. Two were overcome by illness, and the third by the Viet Cong.
It took him 47 years for the second record, but he managed to become one of the few who traveled ALL the countries of the world. He survived riots, revolutions, civil wars, children of light soldiers on a trigger, voodoo priests, robbers, pickpockets, corrupt cops, and Cape Buffalo. The author was not even stopped by tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, snow, or sandstorms. What’s more, he ate everything, from old camel meat to the brain of a still-living monkey. He survived attacks by crocodiles, anacondas, giant leeches, flying crabs, and several girls who insisted on “stopping that nonsense” and marrying them.
This is a travel book about great adventures, perseverance, and incredible determination, as well as the ability to get out of almost unimaginable and dangerous situations with memorable stories over and over again, along with a host of humorous anecdotes.
This is a story that will make you think in which ways your personality would grow if one day after COVID 19 is long gone, you decide to pursue the same adventures
Another travel book ideal for reading in quarantine is Kon-Tiki Expedition by Thor Heyerdahl. How does a 4300 nautical mile-long trip through the Pacific sounds to you? Frightening and amazing at the same time, right? Well, multiply it by 1852 and you get the mileage traveled on one raft.
Fascinated by Polynesian folklore, biologist Thor Heyerdahl believed that the inhabitants of the South Sea Island were descendants of a people who immigrated under the leadership of the great leader Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory and repeat the legendary journey.
He sailed with five crew members from Peru on April 28, 1947, and after three months on the high seas, fighting whales and sharks, he saw the mainland – the Polynesian island of Puka Puka. Kon-Tiki is a classic translated into 65 languages and an inspiring story about the coexistence and struggle of man and the endless blue sea.
Although they stopped for 4 days in Wales for climbing lessons, they became the first Englishmen to visit the area back 50 years. Newby’s honest and humorous way of writing from this travelogue has created a classic of travel writing.
Jack Kerouac, then still fresh, an alcoholic, describes the American periphery as he travels in freight carriages. He wrote the book in a couple of weeks. A real charming adventure and a must-read for those who want to wander around just like he did back in the day.
When Jack released this book, it became an instant hit and manifesto of a generation whose attention was fragmented and eternally in search of freedom. Just like we all are now.
This is probably one of the most important travel books ever written because Marco Polo was the most famous traveler of his time. Marco Polo’s travels began in 1271 when he set out on the Silk Road to China, where he served Kublai Khan in many diplomatic missions as an adviser.
Descriptions of his travels tell of things he had never encountered before, such as other religions, customs and societies, textiles and spices, precious stones, and exotic vegetation. His book changed the view of the then West to the eastern countries, and a guide for all adventurers through sea routes and unknown continents.
It is a book that not only will take you around the world, but it will also take you back in time.
When Kapucinski arrived in Africa in 1957 as a correspondent for the Polish state newspaper, he came in time to follow from the front lines the decline of colonial power on the African continent. From the early days of Ghana’s independence to the (still current) ethnic genocide in Rwanda, he traveled miles and miles to record the events that followed the liberation. He hitchhiked with caravans, wandered the Sahara with nomads, and lived in Nigerian slums. He wrestled with the royal cobra and survived malaria.
Please note that Kapuscinski’s Africa is not Africa of groups of nations or geographical locations, a blend of different cultures, peoples, and encounters. His unorthodox approach and deep respect for the cultures and people he encounters challenge a conventional understanding of the problems facing Africa at the beginning of the 21st century.
If you have never visited this beautiful continent or if you have, but you just want to go back – then this is the book for you.
When, in 1953, two friends in a small Fiat barely made their way from their native Geneva to the Khyber Pass, they were not even aware that that trip will shape their personalities as nothing else would.
Interesting encounters and unexpected adventures, as well as impressions from a journey that enlightened them in its own way, are recorded in Bouvier’s diary, which he kept during his many years of travel.
This travel book is considered to be an extraordinary work of art, and a voyage of self-discovery, and what better time to take that voyage then now?
Bryson’s first book, The Lost Continent, is considered one of the funniest travelogues ever written. After a 20-year break from the last student wanderings, its author set off from the northernmost point of Europe, Hammerfest, to Istanbul with a backpack on his back and a hand on his wallet.
Note that his way of writing will make you laugh to tears, teach you how not to be robbed in Florence, and how not to order tripe and eyes in a German restaurant. It even stops in Liechtenstein on the way!
This travel book is a perfect ticket to Europe in times when that is simply barely possible.
Another book by the amazing Bill Bryson, this time focused on another part of the world. If you want to explore the desserts, coastlines, and wildlife of Australia then this travel book is a must-read for you. Written in a hilarious way it is about a journey through this magnificent continent that seems so disconnected from the world.
The best thing is that although it is not a typical guide-book to Australia, it still contains some fun facts that sure wouldn’t fail to amaze any reader. What’s more, it might even make you put Australia on your bucket list after quarantine is over like that was the case with me.
Love Paris and love cats just like I do? If the answer is “Yes” and these travel books are perhaps the one you are looking for to read during the quarantine. It is a story about the adventures of a cat named Norton. Although unusual about cats, Norton follows Gethers on filmmaking trips and even helps him to convince the love of his life that he is Mister Right.
It is a book that will make you laugh as if you are watching a comedian because the trips that Gethers and Norton went through are described with a dose of adorable humor that we all need from time to time.
In addition, if you want to visit Paris one day just like this cat did then I recommend you to read my post about how to act as if you were born and raised in Paris. I wrote it based on my own experience and observations while in Paris.
On the other hand, speaking of books about cats, I just can’t resist recommending you another one. Although it is not really about traveling is still an amazing true story about how a cat transformed the life of a former drug addict and you can still enjoy the vivid descriptions of the streets of London.
Yes, if it sounds familiar that’s with a reason because the book later became a movie that many cats love have seen “A Street Cat Named Bob”. However, although the movie is great it still can’t compare to the book written by James Bowen that you can find here on Amazon.
While speaking of books, I will highly recommend you think about getting a Kindle reader device if you already haven’t. I admit that at first, I was a little bit skeptical as well, but now I love it! It’s amazing to know that you have so many books just with a few clicks and the best thing is that it feels like a real physical book. It doesn’t have any screen reflection which protects your eyes! Here are some of the best Kindle reader devices on Amazon:
After that make sure to join the Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans.
Finally, although these are my personal favorites, there are still many other amazing travel books that you can find here. Hopefully, this list will help you out to travel with your imagination in times when traveling is simply not safe enough.
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