My favourite type of book to read are ones that are travel inspired. They have the power to make me feel like I’m somewhere else, even if I’m just at home sitting on the sofa! In 2016 I read over 30 books! When I moved to America, I even signed up for a library card! There was a huge library in my hometown in England but for some reason I never really used it once I was an adult, I always just bought paperbacks or downloaded Kindle books! Here are some of my favourite books, some have even inspired me to travel because of reading them!
Country Specific Books
Bill Bryson is one of my favourite authors. He was born in Iowa and moved to England…the reverse of what I’ve done! I think he’s absolutely hilarious and his books have literally had me crying with laughter! In a Sunburned Country is my favourite book of his, all about Australia. I had read it after I had visited and it just made me want to go back again! Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe is another good one that made me laugh out loud and his book A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail was made into the film “A Walk in the Woods” back in 2015!
Papua New Guinea
The only way I can describe Steve Backshall is that he’s like the British version of Steve Irwin! Papua New Guinea has never been on my travel radar and to be honest I didn’t really know much about the country. Steve Backshall describes Papua New Guinea with SO much passion and enthusiasm it would make anyone want to jump on a plane and visit! He writes a lot of children’s books about deadly animals that are found around the world but this book is aimed at adults.
Expat Books About Living in Another Country/Multi Cultural Relationships
Written by a fellow British Expat living in America. I loved this book. As a new Expat, I could completely relate to the feeling of not really belonging in a country and missing my homeland. Some of the things Tracy writes are exactly the same thoughts I’ve had too. It’s one of the joys of reading when you can relate to the story and can feel exactly the same as the characters!
Girls Who Travel is about a girl who met her ‘boyfriend’ while travelling. Again, I could relate to part of this story. I met my husband while on holiday in Jamaica. For 3 years we had to contend with the distance between us. Although this story didn’t quite turn out how my reality did, I still couldn’t put it down!
Girl Online is written by Zoe Sugg, a British blogger and YouTuber. The book is aimed at a teenage audience but I found myself not being able to put it down! The story follows a British blogger who went to New York after tagging along on her Mum’s business trip. She ends up meeting an American and falling in love. Again I could relate to some of the thoughts and feelings about things like the differences in accents!
The first time I read The Alchemist, I had just visited Gibraltar and taken the ferry from Spain over to Morocco. I then read it again after I had gone camping in the Sahara Desert…literally following in the footsteps of the character in the book. The Alchemist is jammed packed with positive, inspirational quotes all about how you should follow your dreams. For example: “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of”.
I love Charley Boorman’s books. I was even lucky enough to meet him at a book event a few years ago in the UK. He’s completely down to earth and writes his books exactly like how he talks in real life. Most of his around the world journeys are undertaken on a motorbike. Long Way Round follows his journey with Ewan McGregor right around the world, Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotland to South Africa does exactly what it says on the tin…they ride from Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa, in By Any Means: The Brand New Adventure from Wicklow to Wollongong he travels between Ireland and Australia using any form of transport he can (without flying!).
Books That Inspired me to Travel
OK so the Harry Potter series aren’t exactly travel books but I HAVE travelled because of them! I visited ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ in Orlando, Florida, I’ve been to the studio tour just outside of London, Kings Cross Station in search of platform 9 and 3/4 and even to some of the film locations in Scotland! They were the first series of books that really got me into reading when I was 10 years old and I’ve just grow up with them!
Again, not really a travel book, but the sport of bobsleigh HAS inspired me to travel (which I will talk about in more detail in a future post!). Steve Holcomb is my favourite athlete and this follows his story about how a medical condition threatened to destroy his bobsleigh career and how he over came it!
Working in Travel
I’ve read a whole bunch of books about people’s experiences working in various roles in the travel industry. It’s really interesting to discover what happens ‘behind the scenes’ and just how pathetic and demanding some travellers can actually be!
Do you have a favourite travel related book? I’m always on the look out for more books, I’d love to see your recommendations in the comments below!
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