Perhaps the next best thing to actually being able to travel is reading a great book about it. Second only to first-hand experience, being sucked into a book that makes you want to pack your bags and get the heck outta dodge is simply a fantastic feeling. Here’s a list of what I believe to be some great reads all centered around my favorite hobby…hope ya like it!
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
This is one of my all time favorite books. I’ve read it multiple times and during each stage of my life it means something totally different to me. Highly recommended…it’s such a beautiful story.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Had I not read this book during my time abroad, I would have probably interpreted it as a great book about a drug I have no experience with during a time period in American history which I long to know more about. However, for me this book was as much about traveling as it was about anything else. It was all about the experience and groups of strangers coming together and uniting over a common interest. Strangers who became friends and stuck together, traveled together and experienced together. I couldn’t help but relate all of this to my own life but in a more sober sense. Really, a fantastic book.
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Another classic travel read. This book totally made me want to travel via hitch hiking. I wish we (in the USA) still lived in an era where this was so widely accepted. I haven’t read too many books about traveling in my own country of residence, but this one quickly claimed a spot on my “all time favorite books” list.
The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
I have yet to actually read this book because it isn’t available for download on the Kindle (best non-human travel buddy ever!), but It will be my first literary purchase once I return to the States. My friend was reading it during one of our trips together and lets just say it shaped our entire experience (and beverage choices) in Ibiza. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
I am currently reading this book as it was recommended to me via Twitter. I have barely begun but am already sucked in. It is written as a collection of essays divided into five parts (Departure, Motives, Landscapes, Art, Return) in which the author is investigating the reason for why we travel. It’s gonna be a good one!
This one is also on my “to-read” list. I am a little nervous to read it until I know I am ready to drop everything and skip the country again. Not that I would need persuasion, but apparently this book is a good one for those needing the extra push to jump the pond. I’m intrigued…
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
I remember reading this book a few years ago while I was studying in Madrid. Hemingway spent a considerable amount of time in Spain throughout this life, and this story is centered around his experiences in the northern part of the country. Truth be told, there isn’t a book by Hemingway that I didn’t enjoy, but this one was so easy for me to identify with.
I actually picked this book up on a whim while I was in Amsterdam. I saw it in the window of a bookstore and ran in and purchased it without giving it a second thought. I still have yet to read it, but this topic is something I have thought about CONSTANTLY since I have been learning a second language. It is all about how our world is shaped and perceived by the language we know to describe it. It makes total sense, really. I often have a hard time translating things from Spanish to English or vice versa. Many times something can make absolutely perfect sense to me in Spanish, but I have no idea how to say it in English (weird, right?). I’m not saying everyone will be interested in this book…but I for one cannot wait to read it!
What’s on your list?