Travel Books to Read: Inspiring the Wanderlust

Nobody really needs convincing that it’s nice to go on a trip. That’s already a given. But you might need some pushing and inspiration so you can start saving up and planning that long overdue trip. Here are some books that will make you wish you’re flying to some exotic country, and will make you wonder why in the world haven’t you planned that holiday yet.

The Motorcycle Diaries 

This book follows the journey of Che Guevarra and pal Alberto Granada aboard a motorcycle. It speaks of how traveling changes a person, and how it can transform you from a nobody to somebody who cares about the world and who can do something about it.

The Alchemist

Still an inspirational book that will make you look deep into your soul, this masterpiece by renowned author Paulo Coelho tells the story of a man who journeys through the world to find his great personal treasure. Explore the fields of Spain, the deserts of Egypt and the beauty of Africa as the protagonist finds something beyond the physical.

Playing with Water – Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island

A non-fiction book that talks of James Hamilton-Paterson’s stay in the Philippines, this book tackles the fun and rich culture of the Filipino people. It gives clear and attractive descriptions of the Philippine seas and environment, and also gives a glimpse to uniquely Filipino practices like politics in the village, superstitious beliefs, and yummy food.

On the Road

Jack Kerouac isn’t a famous author for nothing. On the Road, one of his popular works, brings us to his own footsteps as he journeyed through America, from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco. You’ll read nice poetic words, hear excellent jazz music, and take some amazing drugs – all while sitting down with the book. This piece should make you think of who your best traveling buddy is – one who’s more adventurous and crazier than you are.

Lonely Planet guide books

Just browsing through the pages of a Lonely Planet guide should already make you feel excited about going to a trip. What’s your dream destination? Paris? Pick a Lonely Planet Paris guide and just immerse yourself in all the information. Soon, you’re already booking your flights and writing on your piggy bank “Paris fund”.

The Beach

Although the story is scarier than it is exciting, it is thrilling enough to make you question yourself and what you’re doing (or not doing yet). This novel has inspired travelers to head to more exotic locations and buy airline tickets that take them to uncharted territories, in search of adventure and of the ultimate escape that the protagonists in the book experienced. If only you look like Leo diCaprio, then this novel will make the most sense.


Books to Inspire the Traveler in You

You’d think that the desire to travel comes easily to anybody, but this isn’t the case. Some people would rather spend their money on gadgets, and some travel but don’t quite experience the real meaning of traveling.

If only they knew that traveling sets their minds and hearts free, if they knew that the value of a single travel surpasses that of the latest tech gadget, then everybody would prioritize it.

Sadly, this isn’t the case. It has become my advocacy to convince friends to get out and not miss out on all that traveling can give them. Most of the time, I encourage them to read my favorite travel blogs. An even more effective tool to inspire the inner traveler in everybody is by reading books that are travel-themed. Just as how a book provides an escape from the everyday life, so does traveling. Here are the books that create an escape and encourage its readers to go on that literal escape through traveling.

  • Eat, Pray, Love. At the top of our list is the travel novel of today Eat, Pray, Love. It is a visual story that leads the reader through author Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey as she moves on from a failed marriage. It effectively captures the essence of a travel, letting go and being open to all possibilities, even to the possibility of finding new love.


This novel epitomizes the art of letting go and opening yourself to possibilities
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Call it geeky, call it unrealistic, but isn’t this what traveling is all about? This work of fiction (unfortunately, technological advancements in this book hasn’t been developed yet) is an interesting read that will unleash your inner geek. Aside from being great at inspiring you to travel, it also serves as a great read during a long wait at the Caticlan Airport. It’s best to bring a less bulky edition of the book over the hardbound gold-printed one.

Take me to the other world.

  • The Odyssey. Another geek book? Before you walk out on me, let me just say that no work of fiction can excite going to Greece or Italy more than Homer’s masterpiece (unless you’d rather read a Greek Mythology reference book). Moreover, the adventures of Odysseus are a good standard to set you off to your own adventure, whether it’s in Greece, in Italy, or in the streets of Metro Manila.

Epic poems, anyone?

  • Lord of the Rings. Since we’re along the lines of adventure (cyclops and whirlpools, anyone?), let’s not forget JRR Tolkien’s epic novel that has inspired travelers and non-travelers alike. The fellowship of the ring travels Middle Earth to fulfill their purpose; you should too, travel Middle Earth (that’s just the world, in plain non-Tolkien words) to find and fulfill your purpose in life.

Our beloved Frodo… and Gollum

  • No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. I love the show, I loved the book! Anthony Bourdain is someone I can look up to in terms of wit, taste, sarcasm and experiences. How I wish I could take my own version of humor to dine in the best restaurants and to travel the ends of the earth. Can you imagine a sushi restaurant in Japan that serves 20 pieces of sushi for P16,000? Now, can you imagine eating there and eating the best sushi you’ll ever have in your whole life, and get paid for doing it? Anthony Bourdain is one lucky bastard.

    Wit, humor and of course, good food