Explore the world from the comfort of your own home with riveting voyages of discovery and personal accounts of off-the-beaten-track adventure. If you’re not travelling right now but dreaming about it, there’s nothing stopping you from reliving it through someone else’s words – and experiences.

With a little help from bookworm travellers around the world, here is a list of our favourite travel memoirs on the market. From North Korea to Morocco, China to Paris (and even circumnavigations of the world), we can take you on an exciting mental journey.

Happy reading!

 

‘Dark Star Safari’ by Paul Theroux

Recommended by Wander-Lush

As a lover of long, meandering journeys, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a drawn-out trip by rail or road. American author Paul Theroux shares the same passion. Dark Star Safari is one of his many memoirs written to chronicle an epic cross-continental adventure.

This particular volume follows Theroux’s overland journey from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a very personal journey for the author, as he reminisces along the way about his younger days as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. In true Theroux style, the novel is filled with witty observations and candid descriptions about the landscapes and the people he encounters as he moves through the heart of the continent.

Travelling exclusively by train, bus and car, this is slow travel at its essence. He soaks up all the little details (the good, the bad and the obscene) and pours them onto the page for his readers to devour. Having not yet visited this part of Africa myself, this memoir completely captured my imagination.

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‘My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth’ by Wendy E. Simmons

Recommended by Red Around the World

My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth is an educational and entertaining encounter of her time visiting one of the most locked down nations in the world: North Korea.  While most people want out, she wanted in to see what it was really like, but as we all know, what we get to see isn’t what it’s really like.

I have always been fascinated by the far-flung, lesser-visited countries and North Korea tops that list.  While there are many other books sharing about life in North Korea as a citizen and foreigner, this book is the perfect show of what it’s like visiting as a tourist or as much of a tourist as you can be there.

This is an entertaining and hilariously written book full of color pictures to take you along the journey with her through Pyongyang, propaganda, and even a wedding.  If you’re looking for a more casual encounter of North Korea as opposed to escape stories, this is the perfect book for you.

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‘Venice’ by Jan Morris

Recommended by Where You’re Between

Not only is Venice by Jan Morris easily the greatest book written about one of the world’s most spectacular cities, it’s also one of the best travel books ever written.

Part travelogue and partly a biography of the city, Morris delves deep under the skin of La Serenissima, exploring every aspect of one of the world’s most multi-faceted cities.

Morris leaves no aspect of the city untouched, detailing how Venice has consistently managed to function and flourish under unique and often perilous circumstances. Morris also explores how Venice is just as influenced by its history as much as its geography.

Morris weaves through Venice’s history, linking the past with the present to illustrate how this magnificent city still captures the imagination like nowhere else.

Though first published in 1960, before rampant overtourism began to plague the city, Morris’ book is still hugely relevant and remains a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most magical cities.

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‘Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper’ by Fuchsia Dunlop

Recommended by Kan and Iris 

Fuchsia is an Englishwoman and is a pioneer for the Chinese culinary dining scene and was the first foreigner to graduate from the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine in Chengdu. Her memoir recounts her experiences in Sichuan from the perspective of a foreigner and particularly the food, something that I personally love.

The book goes into the beautiful and crass aspects of China and highlights just how incredibly deep the Chinese food scene is. Something that she personally has mentioned is that there’s no other country that comes close to it.

As someone who has Chinese roots but grew up in a western country, I can’t help but admire her observations and I can most certainly draw similarities in my experiences during my first time travelling to China. China is somewhere where you must park all of your perceptions and references.

Fuchsia’s memoir offers scrupulous detail on what it’s like to be a foreigner there and more importantly, dine there. If you’re planning to go to China, there’s no better book to read than this.

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‘Whatever You Do, Don’t Run’ by Peter Allison

Recommended by Ginger Around The Globe

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run is a book full of short stories from the perspective of a safari guide. Once you start to read it, you will get to know why locals called Peter Allison “The horny elephant” or how he almost domesticated a honey badger.

This is my favorite book about traveling Africa. It is my dream continent and I’ve wanted to go on a safari for a very long time – this was almost like being there. And moreover, it did actually prepare me for the safari, that I booked shortly after reading it!

I didn’t get to know only personal stories from Allison, but also what to prepare, what to expect and what to pack for a safari. It was one of the funniest books with some pretty good points about tourists in Africa and different situations that you will be facing in any place, whether you are on safari in Botswana or just at your home. The book has fantastic depth and it’s very wholesome.

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‘What I was Doing While You Were Breeding’ by Kristen Newman

Recommended by Run With Amber

Newman takes us through the highs and lows of traveling, the good and the bad travel partners, the exhilarating vacation romances, and the embarrassing one night stands, while making us wish we were on each trip with her.

While tackling her career ambitions as a writer Kristin turns to travel for answers, comfort, and joy at a time when she’s single and everyone around her is getting married and starting families. She struggles to find her perfect fit, but continues to be true to herself, grows and heals little by little with each trip that she takes.

Newman, fearless when it comes to foreign language, culture, and strangers, faces her true challenge in life – love. Each chapter is a juicy tale of adventure that gets her one step closer to her best self, and you’re rooting for her the whole way.

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‘New Europe’ by Michael Palin

Recommended by The Platinum Line

British people of a certain age will know Michael Palin as one of the members of Monty Python’s flying circus. Younger people will know of him for his travels Around The World in Eighty Days, Pole to Pole, Across the Himalayas, and more.

In 2007 when the countries of the former Soviet Union were about to join the European Union, he made another journey in conjunction with the BBC and visited twenty countries. New Europe is the book he wrote about that journey.

He writes with wit and warmth while managing to slip in a lot of information. I recently visited some of the countries on a Balkan cruise and I found it fascinating to see the similarities and differences since his journey, and to see how far his hopes and fears have been realised.

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‘Lost on Planet China’ by J. Maarten Troost

Recommended by Meghan The Traveling Teacher

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to travel through China, J. Maarten Troost’s story of traveling throughout the country for 6 months will keep you hooked with his crazy stories and fascinating epiphanies. This book was the perfect read before traveling to China. It gave me insight into the huge mega cities of Shanghai and Beijing as well as the small villages in remote Tibet.

Troost strikes the perfect balance between offering hilarious antics and serious looks into a complex society that has been changing fast in the modern world. The name is fitting for this book, as you might be able to guess, there’s really nowhere else in the world quite like China and you can tell from his stories, it’s almost as if China is a planet of its own.

You’ll get a first-hand look inside the culture, history, major sites, and daily lives of people in China.

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‘The Caliph’s House, A Year in Casablanca’ by Tahir Shah

Recommended by See Nic Wander

If you’ve ever dreamed of restoring an old home in a far-away land, The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah should be the next book on your list. In this hilarious and heart-warming memoir, Shah and his family decide to leave behind everything they know in London to restore a dilapidated mansion in the heart of Casablanca.

Of course, everything that can go wrong with a historic restoration happens to the Shah family within their first year in Morocco. As a result, they end up meeting a tremendous cast of characters that, by the end of the book, feel like family.

The entire time I was reading The Caliph’s House, I felt a deep desire to jump on a plane to Morocco. Shah has an uncanny ability to capture the authentic “feel” of Casablanca, and I found myself missing a city I’ve never even been to.

At its core, this book is a celebration of Moroccan culture and an inspiring story about taking a risk to build your dream, one brick at a time.

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‘Out of Africa’ by Isak Dinesen

Recommended by Outside Suburbia

Out of Africa is one of the best travel memoirs and got me dreaming and planning our epic trip to East Africa.  It gives you a major dose of wanderlust for Kenya and to go on a safari in Africa. Written by Karen Blixen, the book was published under the author’s pen name, Isak Dinesen.

It is about an aristocratic Karen Blixen who travels to Africa to join her husband in Kenya to run a coffee plantation below the Ngong Hills, ten miles southwest of Nairobi. Karen develops feelings for a hunter named Denys when she finds that her husband is unfaithful.

She brings to life the heydays of game drives and safaris, the local community of Masai children that come to her house every day, her plantation that she tries very hard to make work.

You can visit Karen Blixen’s museum and even live out some scenes from the book and the movie of the same name when you visit Kenya.

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‘My life in France’ by Julia Child

Recommended by Executive Thrillseeker

This book is written based on words and letters written by Julia and her husband Paul. The charm and strength of Julia Child’s personality flow through the pages, even though she didn’t physically write the book but dictated it at the age of 92!

It is quite difficult to determine the book’s genre, I’d say it’s a biography with a twist that describes Julia’s culinary adventures around France and some history. Julia tells about her life, meeting her future husband, moving to France, falling in love with French cuisine, studying at ‘Le Cordon Bleu’, and the idea of writing her own cookbook.

However, this book is not only about cooking – it’s about France at the end of the 50s and a little bit about Germany. She reveals what people ate, their expectations and concerns, strikes and the influence of communism.

The book describes the impressions of a person who was directly involved in the country’s life. Julia Child met people from all walks of life thanks to her husband’s job and her own curiosity, and that’s how she also got acquainted with the intellectual elite of Paris.

It’s really hard to stop after you read a book, so you might want to watch the movie Julie & Julia with Meryl Streep in the role of Julia Child.

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‘Long Way Down’ by Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman

Recommended by Travellin Lite

The book documents the motorcycle journey of two friends (McGregor and Boorman) from the top of Scotland (John o’Groats) to the southernmost tip of Africa (Cape Agulhas) in 2007.

The book (and accompanying TV series) trace their odyssey across Europe into Africa, a distance of 15,000 miles (24,000kms).

There is something intensely inspirational about people taking long distance motorcycle journeys. Ted Simon showed how it could be done years ago when he did it solo around the globe on motorcycle; not once, but twice.

After reading Long Way Down, I felt it was time for me realise a dream and tackle Africa on two wheels. Not quite the journey of the authors, but in 2010 I rode 6,200 miles (10,000 kms) across South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.

But why a motorcycle? Because you get the full experience, the rawness of it all. Every sense is engaged – sight, smell, sound, touch, taste. You’re not hiding behind shatter proof glass in air-conditioned comfort. What begins as the physical transforms into a journey of the heart and soul.

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‘Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth’ By Albert Podell

Recommended by Travel Melodies

In Around the World in 50 years: My Adventures to Every Country on Earth, the author Albert Podell shares tales of his adventures while visiting every single country in the world. The book is full of unusual, insightful, fascinating, crazy, goofy, frightening, brave, and hilarious travel tales. It makes you awe, gasp, jump out of the couch, shudder, and laugh out loud – all at the same time.

You are bound to get inspired by the author’s dogged determination to tick every country off his list. I mean, it certainly seems like an impossible task for most of us. But, Albert’s persistence, courage, and undying determination are infectious.

Vivid and exciting, the storytelling at its finest – this book not only satisfied the wanderlust in me but also inspired me enough to follow my dream of visiting all the countries in the world (well, I’m on my way already).

Plus, I learned and discovered things I didn’t know even existed in the world. The book changed my perspective of the world at large. If you are as curious as me to know this world – this book is for you!

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‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts

Recommended by The Travel Scribes

The smell of curry spices permeates your nostrils. Your eyes are assaulted by people and animals and cars, snarling in the morning traffic. It’s Mumbai India, as experienced through the written words of Shantaram, one of the best travel memoir books on the market.

Penned by Australian ex-convict, Shantaram is a contentious memoir as when it was originally released, it was marketed as an autobiography. Later, upon criticism, Roberts was forced to reclassify it as ‘semi-autobiographical’, since it seems he took a bit too much liberty in outlining his tale.

Regardless, Shantaram is one of the ‘must-read’ novels about India, detailing Roberts’ (known as Lindsay or Lin) escape to India from an Australian prison. It’s a fascinating take as Lin travels around Mumbai with his trusty local guide, Prabaker, and tries his hand at managing a health clinic in one of the city’s slums, falling in love with a Swiss-American woman, smuggling weapons for Afghanistan’s freedom fighters and landing back in prison – this time in the infamous Arthur Road Prison in Mumbai.

It’s a terrific tale told by an accomplished writer which, regardless of it’s reality, is an ‘unputdownable’ novel.

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‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ by Ernesto Guevara

Recommended by My Adventures Across The World

In The Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto Guevara shares the story of his trip across South America. Starting from Buenos Aires, the then medical student travels south on board of a motorbike – La Poderosa – with his friend Alberto Granado, a biochemist. They live many adventures and misadventures; they visit incredible places; and they have an impact on the many people they encounter.

Yet, and most importantly so, it is the lives and the struggles of others that have an impact on the lives of Guevara and Granado, an impact that will change their approach to life forever.

Guevara’s journey is as much a physical one as it is an introspective one. This is what shaped him into what he became – a revolutionary who fought for justice in many countries. Through the book, the reader acquires conscience not only of the beauty of a continent, but also about its many issues – issues that Guevara vowed to fight against. It is a real eye opener.

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‘The Travels of Ibn Battuta’ by Ibn Battuta

Recommended by Oman Travel Guides

Ibn Battuta, a widely traveled scholar, documented his 30-year journey in A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling. His expedition across North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia gave a glimpse into a world that is so different, yet so similar to our own today. While reading his rich accounts and colorful tales, I could practically see and experience the destinations that he so brilliantly described.

From the interesting characters he spoke with to the strange situations he went through, it is difficult not to want to follow his footsteps and embark on a similar journey. The illustrations of his time in India, his travel around Oman, and his journey through China are particularly vivid, taking readers through souqs and mountains and palaces, among other places of interest.

If you are a bit of a history and political nerd like me, The Travels of Ibn Battuta will surely fuel the wanderlust in you.

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‘The Whole Story – A Walk Around The World’ by Ffyona Campbell

Recommended by Minimize and Travel

I first read this book over twenty years ago and having read many travel journals since, it is still my favourite.

FFyona started off walking the length of the UK when she was sixteen and then continued to walk around the globe. Her strength and determination to carry on against all sorts of problems along the way really inspired me. She even had to hide up trees because lions were following her in Africa!

She talks about the freedom walking gave her, and how it helped her heal. If you have seen or read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, then this is of a similar genre.

Ever since reading it, I have chosen walking over travelling in a vehicle wherever possible – you definitely see more. I also consider it to be the book that inspired my personal wanderlust.

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‘Sex Lives of Cannibals’ by J. Maarten Troost

Recommended by Explore More Clean Less

Sex Lives of Cannibals is a frank, funny travel memoir written by J. Maarten Troost that covers the two years him and his girlfriend spent living in a tiny remote Pacific island in Kiribati.

There’s no sugar coating to the realities of isolated beach living in this story. The plot highlights anecdotes about their transition from the Western world, like duct taped planes and feral dogs. Despite this, or maybe because of this, reading his story inspired serious wanderlust in me when I first read it in high school.

Having never strayed far from the Midwest and living in a relatively homogeneous community, this was the first relatable peek into a completely different culture that I can remember. While it’s hard to imagine experiencing the bubuti system, where you have to trade a favor or thing for whatever the other person is offering, the vivid storytelling and warm profiles of folks living there sparked my first interest in the idea of traveling for experiencing culture and meeting people instead of just seeing landmarks!

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‘Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth’ by Lisa Napoli

Recommended by Our Backpacker Tales

Radio Shangri-La is about a radio journalist named Lisa Napoli who travels to Bhutan to work as a volunteer for the first youth-oriented radio station in Bhutan, Kuzoo FM. She has written about her experiences in Bhutan and the changes this Buddhist Kingdom was undergoing as it opened its doors to the outside world gradually.

I read this book while I was still in college, and I have had Bhutan in my bucket list ever since. The simple lifestyle of the Bhutanese people and their deep connection with nature fueled my desire to visit this country even more.

I traveled to Bhutan last year and things have changed a lot since the book was written, but it is indeed one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. It is a wonderful experience, spiritually as well as when it comes to thrills. From hiking up to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery to meditating in a traditional Buddhist temple, there is a lot to explore in Bhutan.

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‘The Long Ride Home’ by Nathan Millward

Recommended by BeeLoved City

If you are looking for an inspiring and adventurous book, The Long Ride Home by Nathan Millward will be perfect. In this book, Nathan tells us his story and how he rode from Sydney, Australia to London, UK on a motorbike!

He travels through very underrated countries such as West Timor and discovers the local culture in depth. His journey is not always easy. But if there is one good thing that always comes out of his struggles – it’s the kindness of the local people he meets along the way.

The amazing thing about this beautiful story is not even the adventure itself, but the fact that Nathan wasn’t an adventurous person in the first place! This British chap did go to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa but he never really experienced the proper backpacking life that most people have ‘Down Under’.

This was a rather spontaneous and unexpected decision for someone like him yet he did it! Everything that everybody thought was impossible and crazy. Following him onto this amazing journey is an absolute pleasure and I can not recommend it enough!

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‘No Place like Home, Thank God’ by Steven Primrose-Smith

Recommended by Experiencing the Globe

How do you see your own hometown after biking for 22,000 miles (35.400 kms)? It certainly puts some perspective into it.

Steven Primrose-Smith embarked on a journey that took the better part of three years to see every capital in Europe using only his bike to move. Although we disagree on the way he counts capitals and in what he considers to be Europe, the tale of his adventure is witty, fun and beautifully written to boot.

On the trip he will experience how different things can be within the same continent (from bureaucracy to the quality of the roads), and how there’re wonderful people everywhere.

With some lessons learnt and some self-discovery done, this British author will see Blackburn, the city he calls home, with new eyes. And still rather be anywhere else (hence the clever title of the book). Reading it made me re-think my relationship with my own hometown –and be grateful I live somewhere else!

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‘Tales of a Female Nomad’ by Rita Golden Gelman

Recommended by Raulerson Girls Travel

Rita Gelman doesn’t just visit places, she embraces the cultures and stays to live with them for months at a time. She learns how to cook their food and speak their language, basically becoming a part of their family and lives.

As a solo female traveler, you can relate to her first experience dining alone and enjoy following her story of falling in love again. Tales of a Female Nomad is an inspiration for women digital nomads. When life knocks you down, you always have the opportunity to get back up and start over. And that no matter what age, you can change your life and embrace a new direction.

This motivating book will give you some great insight into cultures you wouldn’t think of ever being a part of and hopefully inspire you to do more than vacation someplace, that you become a traveler instead!

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‘Turn Right at Machu Picchu’ by Mar Adams

Recommended by Drink Tea & Travel

Turn Right at Machu Picchu is a funny and “ah-so-true” travel memoir by a travel writer, Mark Adams, who recounts his journey to Peru, following the footsteps of Hiram Bingham III, the famous explorer who claims to have discovered Machu Picchu. The book, and Adam’s journey follows the original route taken by Bingham III back in 1911, but it is filled with modern day problems and hilarities.

Adam’s does a great job of detailing the history of the Incas as well as Bingham’s original expedition, making the adventure sound so appealing. We were so inspired that we even followed in his own footsteps during our trip to Peru. Instead of following the crowds along the Inca Trail to well-known Machu Picchu, we opted to do the hike to Choquequirao, another set of ruins that played an important role in Bingham’s and Adam’s journey, as recounted in the book.

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‘Midnight’s Chicken’ by Cal O Cal

Recommended by Big World Short Stories

The author of the book, Cal O Cal, has lived in Asia, Europe, and North America and traveled to over 130 countries. He used to write daily observational short stories on social media using sarcasm and irony. This attracted the attention of many people who insisted that he should write a book. That’s how Midnight’s Chicken was born.

The book is a sequence of interconnected satirical stories which start in Munich, where the author lives, then goes around the world from Germany through India, Burma, Philippines, Australia, South Korea, China, Mongolia, Tibet, Scotland, Portugal, Spain and back to Munich.

It is a travel book of a different kind where reality and fiction mixed with several real and imaginary characters takes you on an unforgettable journey around the world. This book might be especially interesting for those trying to understand Germany and German culture as Germans, especially Bavarians, are presented here in a very satirical and funny way. Happy reading!

 

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‘If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India’ by Srinath Perur

Recommended by Two Together

When the world went gaga over the charms of solo travelling, Srinath Perur undertook ten conducted tours with strangers and lived to tell the tale. Be it on the whirlwind tour of Europe designed for affluent Indians whose search for everything strictly Indian, everywhere leads to some hilarious outcomes. Or on that trip where he joins a band of men trying to get laid in Uzbekistan, or on the religious pilgrimage that he undertakes on foot through rural Maharashtra.

Srinath’s portrayal of his co-passengers and the cultural landscape is witty and astute. Not only does he take the reader along with him, but he also manages to analyze and critique, often humorously, the motivations and idiosyncrasies of his fellow travellers.

If It’s Monday is more than just a travel memoir: it not only celebrates the destinations, but also the spirit of community travelling and human nature itself.”

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‘The Voluntourist’ by Ken Budd

Recommended by Backpack Adventures

Have you ever considered volunteering abroad, but are you not sure it is something for you? Or are you worried you might cause more harm than good? The Voluntourist by Ken Budd offers enough inspiration for you to book a volunteer trip.

At the same time, the book lowers your expectations. As a volunteer you won’t change the world, but small things do matter. The Voluntourist is not just about the authors experiences in countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, Palestine and Kenya, but also about his personal motivations to go and his doubts about his own usefulness in the projects he has done.

The Voluntourist is an honest account describing both the good and the bad things regarding the authors volunteer experiences. Still it is written in a way that is inducing the desire to go yourself and this book will definitely help you in choosing an ethical and sustainable volunteer project.

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‘Down Under’ by Bill Bryson

Recommended by Many More Maps

Whilst planning my trip to Australia, I knew I would spend a lot of time on the road, and packed Down Under by Bill Bryson to kill time during those many hours. In this travelogue, Bryson employs his trademark wit to tell the story not only of his travels through Australia, but of how Australia came to be, sprinkling in snippets of famous citizens and historic tales along the way.

I loved that Bryson, unlike almost all other travellers to Australia, myself included, kept mostly away from the cities of the East Coast, dedicating a lot of time on the Australia less visited.

As I traversed through red, dusty land, past glittering oceans, huge skyscrapers and vast, empty desert, Down Under captured, for me, exactly what it feels like to be travelling through Australia.

If you’re in Australia, planning to travel there, or just daydreaming of the land down under, this book is the perfect companion.

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‘McCarthy’s Bar’ by Pete McCarthy

Recommended by Let’s Go Ireland

This is the book to read if you want to be inspired by a travel memoir and laugh out loud more than you think you can. Someone once called it a Bill Bryson book without the boring bits. I think this wittily sums it up.

Pete McCarthy travels to Ireland to discover his mother’s homeland. Traveling from Cork in south of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way to Donegal in the north, his only rule is to “never pass a bar that has your name on it”…and there are a lot of McCarthy’s bars and pubs in Ireland. If you are a teetotaler, this book might not be for you!

However, if you like to be beautifully entertained by an incredibly witty and funny book that includes many fantastic travel stories (like meeting a married priest, English hippies, an Anglo-Irish Marquess and many more), then you might want to give it a try.

If you love Ireland and the warmth and wittiness of Irish people, then it definitely should be on your reading list!

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‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed

Recommended by Cassie The Hag

Wild follows the real-life story of Cheryl Strayed who, at 26, decided to walk the mighty 1100 kilometre Pacific Crest Trail in America. She was totally alone with no hiking experience, seeking to find self-resolve after the death of her mother, alongside other stark family and relationship issues.

Although I read this book after I began my personal travel journey at 27, and my 4-day solo hike in Japan along an old pilgrimage trail during my second week on the road was far less hard, I found it relatable.

It was encouraging to read an account of travel that wasn’t wanderlust-inducing in a traditional sense, but a reminder that travel shows us – especially solo female travellers – of how capable and self-sufficient we can be, and how we really can make remarkable changes no matter the challenges we’ve faced.

And yes, it will also make you dream of being out the wilderness; empowered, exhausted and free.

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‘A Walk in the Woods’ by Bill Bryson

Recommended by Bright Lights of America

Camping and hiking seem to be big things in the US, at least in California where I live. So when I arrived in San Francisco from Australia, I decided to read Bill Bryson’s account of hiking the Appalachian Trail.

It was supposed to give me an idea of the hiking and camping culture I could expect. The first couple of chapters enlightened me to the frightening prospect of bears.

The more I read, the more I loved Bryson’s tale of a man who felt he was teetering over the precipice of being “too old” to tick the 2,100 mile trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, off his bucket list.

Frankly, that was all I needed to hear. Not having grown up with camping or hiking trips, my confidence was boosted by Bryson’s hilarious recounting of his own trip. And I’ve been on many a camping trip and countless hikes since I’ve read his book.

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‘The Wind in My Wheels’ by Josie Dew

Recommended by Travel Drafts

From a very early age, I had the desire to travel the world, and when I read this book in my teens I asked myself, is it that easy to travel? And started planing all the adventures I would go on to do.

Josie Dew travels the world only with a bicycle, some savings, and equipment. Starting in England, she travels alone through 4 continents, 36 countries and does 128 thousand km by bike.

She has an open-minded approach to travel making it seem easy even when everything goes bad. Of course, she is a little crazy, and traveling the world by bicycle isn’t easy, but it must be fun and adventurous.

If you are into bike adventures or simply adventure travel, this is the right book for you. It is a light and easy book to read, very funny and full of adventures.

It won’t be the best book you will ever read, but it makes you dream of traveling, and if it’s not with a bicycle it can be by train, boar, or plane. You just need the will to travel.

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‘Fear and loathing in Las Vegas’ by Hunter S. Thompson

Recommended by It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor 

Fear and loathing in Las Vegas is really not your traditional travel tale – it shares the legendary adventures of gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson in “A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream”.

The novel itself is a roman a clef, mixing both fact with fiction, as it follows the spontaneous drug-riddled misadventures of Raoul Duke (Hunter S Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo on journalist road trips between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The main settings for these somewhat surreal adventures include the arid backdrop of Route 66, misadventures in hotels and casino resorts, and immersion in the weird and wonderful goings-on in America’s notorious City of Sin.

Admittedly it may not be overly inspiring to some, and for many it may feel the opposite, but the humour and frivolity of adventures make for great reading.

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