I never have much time to read, which is unfortunate as I actually really like clouding my mind with romantic trashy novels about true love and unrealistic drama. One of the best parts of backpacking is that you spend so much time in trains, buses and planes that there is never a shortage of opportunity to finish all the chick lit your brain can handle.
Most countries that are popular with backpackers will usually host a variety of second-hand bookshops or at least a few budget hotels with a shelf to trade your old book for another that someone else has left behind. This is your chance to read all the books you’ve ever wanted to read and discover a whole lot more that you never even knew existed.
For my upcoming trip to India I wanted to start reading about other travelers’ experiences in the most populated country in the world before I was even there (this is a lovely method of really building up your own excitement to a max). So I went to the local bookstore and asked for the following: a girly, humourous novel with a bright and colorful cover written by a woman who had traveled to India. What I got was this:
I couldn’t have asked for a better recommendation. Iris bahr’s dork whore is hilarious to say the least. I laughed out loud at least once on every page, and that means something, coming from someone who is harder to entertain than a new yorker in a coma. In ‘dork whore’ iris bahr talks about her autobiographical experiences backpacking through asia looking to finally get laid for the first time. Something that proved to be a rather challenging enterprise.
This is also a practical read, because if, like me, you’re not opposed to flirting with hot fellow backpackers (I much recommend new zealanders, americans, italians,…,mexicans, chileans, germans,….), you might just get into the do’s and don’ts of the on-the-road hook-up. Done right, this can be a refreshing, guilt-free experience, as you can not only escape to another country if the person you adored last night turns out clingy/gross/asshole-ish the next day but are also freed from potential gossip. Backpacking = sexual freedom.
If you long for a bit more in-depth info on the actual country of India and you speak German, there is only one option:
Alright, maybe not just ONE option, but this one is a really good one. Helge is a journalist who’s spent most of his life backpacking and has a ton of good stories to tell, which he does in this book. His other books are great too.
Some other great reads I came across while backpacking are the following:
Backpack – Emily Barr (My very first book iI read when I traveled the world in 2005–pretty good stuff)
The joy luck club – Amy Tan (Any amy tan is pretty great, and this particular book about daughters and their mothers really sucks you in and sends you through all sorts of emotions)
To kill a mocking bird – Lee Harper (A classic and wonderful story)
The da vinci code – Dan Brown (A book I long refused to read but then loved when I did)
Nanny diaries – Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin (loved this book, but mostly because I was an aupair many years ago and could relate to much of the story)
The other side of the story – Marian Keyes (Definitely not least though last on this list. Marian Keyes has become my favorite author to read on the road. Her novels just pull you into a world of boys, career and drama, which make them pretty easy to identify with. Keyes is also just a super funny writer)