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As Anna Quindlen says “Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home.” In order to embrace the armchair travel these days, I´ve curated for you an ultimate reading list with 40+ wanderlust books hard to put down, including world classics, iconic travel memoirs, and modern bestsellers.

Table of Contents

The Ultimate Traveler´s Reading List

Have you ever read a book that inspired you to pack your bags and set out on a journey to see the world? As someone obsessed with visiting new places and experiencing new cultures, I´m always in search of great travel reads. Especially, when actual traveling is not possible.

Inspiring travel memoirs have made me wander through time and space many times. So, I´ve decided to pull up my old reading lists and search through my bookshelves to wrap up the ultimate recap of wanderlust books for you.

You´ll find something for every taste here – classics, bestsellers, lesser-known gems, travelogues, fiction, and non-fiction stories. But all these books have one important thing in common – they describe epic adventures lived by a writer or a protagonist around the world. Some will take you back to the Age of Discovery, others will bewitch you with beautiful prose and metaphors.

Every travel journey shapes our personality and literally divides our lives into before and after. How about starting to travel virtually and living adventures from the comfort of your couch right now?

My initial idea was to give you a few travel book suggestions to spark Wanderlust, but in the writing process my inner bookworm got out at some point. So it all ended up as a long nerdy reading list.

For your convenience, I´ve divided everything into 3 sections: travel books from the classics of World Literature, memoirs from history´s greatest explorers, and modern travel reads. You can check the Table of Contents below to jump into the section of your interest.

As this post was already getting too long, I’ve limited the modern reads section to 20 books, even though there was obviously more to the story. The other two posts Travel Coffee Table Books and Female Travel Books are currently in the works and will give you even more wanderlust books ideas once published. If you´re looking for more romantic stories within an international context – check my list of Romance Novels Around the World.

Best Wanderlust Books Around the World

Travel books from the Classics of World Literature

Are you a picky reader and need more than an adventurous spin? – The classics of World Literature has quite a few wanderlust books worth reading again and again. These stories from world’s most iconic writers will take you on a virtual journey full of beautiful prose and eye-opening history.

Also, what I like about this section is that most of the books are actually the lesser-known works of famous authors. You actually shoot two birds with one stone here – channel your inner adventurer and storyteller while improving your emotional intelligence and knowledge of the World Literature.

1.“On the road” by Jack Kerouac

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” – Jack Kerouac

Let´s start this list of wanderlust books with an obvious classy pick. “On the road” by Jack Kerouac combines the unique smoky, jazz-filled atmosphere with a rebel spirit of adventures. This book has literally left its mark on the culture of the late 20th century, while inspiring numerous books, films, and songs. If you´re already familiar with “On the road” – set your eyes on the author´s other book ‘The Dharma Bums‘.

2. “Wind, Sand and Stars” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected. To live is to be slowly born.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

While Antoine de Saint-Exupery gained his world fame with “The Little Prince”, his book “Wind, Sand and Stars” was awarded Grand Prix of the Academie Francaise. This is a personal account of the author´s adventurous experiences with flights. “Wind, Sand and Stars” is one of the top wanderlust books as it combines air adventures, prose, and a bit of philosophy. Also, it is considered one of the most popular literature pieces about flying of all time.

3. “Roughing It” by Mark Twain

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain, Roughing It

We all adore Marc Twain for his epic fictional novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. But did you know that Mark Twain had a wanderlust era in his youth? He traveled a lot throughout the American West with his brother, switching towns and jobs.

“Roughing It” is a chronicle of Twain´s life and experiences, full of humorous adventures and real-life facts. Additional wanderlust books suggestions here would be “The Innocents abroad”, Life on the Mississippi”, and “A Trump Abroad”.

4. “Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes” by Robert Louis Stevenson

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The author of the world-wide famous “Treasure Island”, Robert Louis Stevenson, once embarked on the 120-miles-long journey across the French region of Cevennes, accompanied only by a stubborn donkey called Modestine. The writer recorded his experiences in this journal, which honestly contrasts with his more famous works in terms of a writing style. However, it gives the reader a rare glimpse of an actual character Robert Louis Stevenson had and definitely adds to one´s Wanderlust.

5. “Just So Stories” by Rudyard Kipling

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” – Rudyard Kipling 

You’ve definitely read Rudyard Kipling´s “The Jungle Book”, largely inspired by the author´s life in India. Even if you don´t really share his Colonial and Imperial views, you cannot deny Kipling´s unique writing style and talent. “Just So Stories” contains beautiful short tales, most likely derived from folk legends that Kipling heard during his time in South Africa and India. All the short narratives are full of magic, occasional humor, and subtle wisdom.

If you were introduced into the exotic world of Kipling as a child – it might be a good moment to read some of his books again, or simply to tell his stories to your children or grandchildren. “Just So Stories” belongs on any list of wanderlust books suitable for all ages.

6. “The Whispering Land” by Gerald Durrell

“Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colorful as a child’s transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.” – Gerald Durrell

In his book “The Whispering Land” Gerald Durrell invites us to share his journey to Argentina, where he sets off to find and film penguins. It is a sequel to the author´s book “A Zoo in My Luggage”.

While I have a conflicted attitude towards the zoos, I can´t deny that this book magically teleports every reader to the Patagonian shores and tropical forests of Argentine. “The Whispering Land” is written in a delightful way, while mixing elements of travel, comedy, wildlife, and natural history.

7. “Magellan” by Stefan Zweig

“Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere; sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore.” Stefan Zweig

An iconic Austrian-born writer Stefan Zweig in his book “Magellan” brings to life the Age of Discovery by sharing the story of one of the world´s most daring adventurers and navigators, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480–1521). His flowing and elegant prose turns this biography into one of the must-reads on every list of wanderlust books.

8. “A Russian Journal” by  John Steinbeck

“I take a pleasure in inquiring into things. I’ve never been content to pass a stone without looking under it. And it is a black disappointment to me that I can never see the far side of the moon.” – John Steinbeck

“A Russian Journal” is both a remarkable memoir and a unique historical document, created by John Steinbeck and war photographer, Robert Capa. Both men set off to the Soviet Union after WWII and shared all the details of their adventures along the way. This book contains wonderful descriptions of places and people from Moscow and Stalingrad, including the countryside of Ukraine and the Caucasus.

While Steinbeck´s most iconic literature works are definitely “The Grapes of Wrath” and “East of Eden”, “A Russian Journal” remains a masterpiece of investigative journalism. Mainly, because the author attempts to portray the truth of ordinary people´s lives in the Soviet Union in a way that most of the prejudiced media have never done before.

Don´t miss another one of wanderlust books written by John Steinbeck – “Travels with Charley: In Search of America”.

9. “Journey to the Center of the Earth”  by Jules Verne

“Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.”  Jules Verne

It´s hard to think of another wanderlust book as adventurous as Jules Verne´s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. Jules Verne is considered the father of science fiction for a reason, his books look fun, adventurous, and original even in the present day.

The main character of “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, professor Liedenbrock embarks upon an expedition down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the Earth’s very core. This book is also an inspiring read if you plan to travel around Iceland one day.

10. “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway

While “A Moveable Feast” was written during the last years of Hemingway’s life, the book gives a scoop into the author´s deeply-personal past, back when he was an unknown writer living in Paris. It is a memoir full of writer´s romance with the city. So if you share his passion for this one of the most romantic travel destinations ever – have a look into “A Moveable Feast”.

An alternative choice from the wanderlust books written by Ernest Hemingway could be be “Green Hills of Africa”.

11. “Istanbul: Memories and the City” by Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk is the only living author on this list of World Literature Classics, but his place should arise no questions. Aside from his numerous international awards, this Turkish novelist was a recipient of the 2006 Nobel prize in Literature. While his most popular works include “My Name is Red” and “Snow”, “Istanbul: Memories and the City” is one of his most interesting reads from a traveler´s perspective.

“Istanbul: Memories and the City” is a moving and beautiful encounter with the city through the melancholic memories of Orhan Pamuk. I´ve already told you on numerous occasions that ever since my first layover in Istanbul, I’m never tired of returning there. Former Constantinople literally awakens my inner history geek with all the stories of ancient civilizations, cultural clashes and exchanges, architectural wonders, and destructive wars for world domination. 

Travel books from World´s Greatest Explorers and Adventurers

1. “The Travels of Ibn Battutah” by Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battutah is the author of one of my favorite wanderlust quotes. There’s no better book about travel and self-discovery, like the one written by someone who set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca and never returned home. Ibn Battutah traveled the world for 29 years through more than 40 countries on the modern map, covering 75,000 miles.

2. “Voyage of the Beagle” by Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was only 22 when he set off on the voyage of a lifetime – it was this epic journey that has transformed him from a young man into a scientific celebrity. “Voyage of the Beagle” is based on Darwin´s journal, revealing his personal observations on the road.

3. “The Travels” by Marco Polo

Marco Polo is considered one of the top figures in the world of travels and discoveries. “The Travels” tells the story of Polo´s adventures from Beijing to northern India, while mixing factual and fictional. The author´s imagination always comes to the picture when he encounters the exotic or the unknown. So I guess it´s both fictional and non-fictional read.

4. “The Four Voyages: Being His Own Log-Book, Letters and Dispatches with Connecting Narratives” by Christopher Columbus

Another world´s most famous explorer – Christopher Columbus. In “The Four Voyages” you will find a collection of narratives describing his voyages throughout the Caribbean, and Central America, that marked the discovery of the “New World”. History geeks might want to check this post about the main Christopher Columbus sights in Spain.

5. “The Silent World” by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Frederic Dumas

Jacques-Yves Cousteau has opened a new era of undersea exploration in 1943 when he submerged into the Mediterranean with the first aqualung. “The Silent World” is a stunning story of the magical Seaworld, sunken ships, water caves, and all the other greatest undersea experiences men have ever had.

6. “Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph” by T.E. Lawrence

“Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph” is a memoir of the soldier known as “Lawrence of Arabia” that was recreated by cinematography into one of the greatest Adventure Travel Movies of all time. Although many claim that the book blows the film away, I personally, enjoyed both though.

“Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph” reveals a personal journey of Lawrence thhough the lands of Arabia, rediscovering his controversial personality and determining his loyalties. This book is an unusual mixture of Middle Eastern history, international politics, and adventure of a lifetime.

7. “The Journals of Lewis and Clark” by Meriwether Lewis

“The Journals of Lewis and Clark” is dedicated to one of the most amazing American journeys based on the journals that explorers Lewis and Clark’s kept on the road. Back in 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were assigned to lead an expedition from the Missouri River to the northern Pacific coast of the USA and back.

“The Journals of Lewis and Clark” is full of the rich details about flora, fauna, magical landscapes, and peculiar native tribes Lewis and Clark encountered during their journey.

8. “Kon-Tiki” by Thor Heyerdahl

Honestly, there’s no list of wanderlust books without Thor Heyerdahl. I’ve briefly talked about him in my Tenerife blog post, when visiting the Pyramids of Guimar.

While Thor Heyerdahl has been associated with many historical theories, his most famous adventure is definitely reflected in the “Kon-Tiki” book.

Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east. In order to find proof of that, he decided to duplicate the legendary voyage on a balsa log raft. After 3 months on the open sea, he arrived at the Polynesian island of Puka Puka. “Kon-Tiki” literally awakens the inner adventurer in everyone.

9. “The Journals” by James Cook

“The Journals” represents an interesting insight into the mind of James Cook (British explorer, navigator, and cartographer) through selections from his journals, edited by A. Grenfell. The book takes us back to the Cook´s eighteenth-century voyages of discovery explorations of Australia, New Zealand, and the Hawaiian Island. “The Journals” include rich descriptions of new plants species, land features, and people encountered.

10. “Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone” by Martin Dugard

“Into Africa” shares with the world a story of a life-changing journey into the heart of Africa carried out by the legendary explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, who was also accompanied by a young journalist, Henry Morton Stanley. This book is an engaging narrative about the exploration of the largely uncharted African continent in the mid-1800s.

11. “The White Nile” by Alan Moorehead

“The White Nile” is a bestselling book by Alan Moorehead describing the exploration of the Nile River in the second half of the 19th century. Back then it was one of the most mysterious and impenetrable regions, attracting legendary explorers. “The White Nile” is filled with incredible historical details and unique travel stories that will definitely spark your wanderlust.

While it was published in 1960, “The White Nile” is still considered one of the most comprehensive, well-researched, and elegantly written studies of the Nile region. You can also check Alan Moorehead´s other book – “The Blue Nile”.

12. “The Conquest of New Spain” by Bernal Díaz del Castillo

Bernal Díaz del Castillo was a soldier in the army of Hernan Cortes, the famous Spanish conqueror and explorer. “The Conquest of New Spain” represents a fascinatingly detailed description of the Spanish landing in Mexico in 1520, their exploitations and a capture of the Aztec capital.

13. “Arabian Sands” by Wilfred Thesiger

Educated at Eton and Oxford, Wilfred Thesiger escaped the Western life to explore the deserts of Arabia, very much like T. E. Lawrence once did. “Arabian Sands” is an engaging story of his journey through the Middle East that gives a reader an insider scoop into the life in Arabia.

14. “The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen” by Howard Carter

For sure, you’ve heard about stunning artifacts from the Tutankhamen tomb, currently housed in Cairo Museum, Egypt. “The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen” is one of the top wanderlust books, written by Howard Carter only a year after the sight´s shocking discovery. It cronocles in detail all the exhilaration of the historical find, process of excavation and the wonder of opening a treasure-filled inner chamber, hidden from the world 3,000 years.

15. “West with the Night” by Beryl Markham

“West with the Night” is a wanderlust-inspiring memoir of Beryl Markham, the first solo female to fly the Atlantic from East to West. Beryl was an English woman who grew up in Kenya and love for Africa shines through the pages of her book. “West with the Night” is a unique memoir that is both lovingly written and exciting to follow through.

Although Beryl Markham is still a feminist icon nowadays, “West with the Night” is a great read for everyone. Even Ernest Hemingway in a letter to his publisher once said that this book was written so well that he felt “completely ashamed of himself as a writer”.

16. “Farthest North” by Fridtjof Nansen

“Farthest North” tells the story of the 1893-1896 polar expedition undertaken by Fridtjof Nansen and his crew, while taking the reader to the isolative world of the North Pole.

It is a magical read on a cozy winter evening because of its mixture of adventurous story, scientific observations, and poetry. Just take this one single quote: The spirit of mankind will never rest till every spot of these regions has been trodden by the foot of man, till every enigma has been solved.”

17. “The Valleys of the Assassins: and Other Persian Travels” by Freya Stark

“The Valleys of the Assassins” brings to life the stories of the ancient kingdoms of the Middle East through the eyes of Freya Stark, Anglo -Italian explorer and travel writer. It is one of the most engaging female wanderlust books, as the author lived her adventures in places where women traveling alone were unheard of. The book describes her travels into Luristan (the mountainous terrain nestled between Iraq and present-day Iran) often with only a single guide and on a tight budget. 

You can also check “Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark”, written by a biographer Jane Fletcher Geniesse.

18. “The Road to Oxiana” by Robert Byron

“The Road to Oxiana” tells the story of Robert Byron´s journey through the Middle East via Beirut, Jerusalem, Baghdad and Teheran to Oxiana. This is one of the best wanderlust books to awaken your artsy sid, thanks to its detailed descriptions of the vibrant Islamic architecture.

What makes “The Road to Oxiana” especially interesting is the fact that Robert Byron travels through Iraq, Persia, and Afghanistan, the regions which are currently quite complicated to explore. Most of the unique and ancient architecture described on its pages is probably lost for us to see for a very long time (if not forever).

19. “In Ethiopia with a Mule” by Dervla Murphy

“In Ethiopia with a Mule” is a travelogue of Dervla Murphy, who set out on a dangerous trek through the Ethiopian highlands. Accompanied only by her trusty mule, she tells of their often dangerous adventures on the inhospitable terrain. However, the wilderness and the relative insecurity of Ethiopia only reinforce her love for its out-of-this-world landscapes and friendly locals.

One of Murphy´s most popular books is “Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle”. However, it´s partially describing her journey through Persia and Afghanistan (the region already highlighted in a few books from this list), so I’ve decided to pick a book set somewhere different.

20. “A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh Fermor

There’s been so much of far-away land and exotic places on this list of wanderlust books, that I’ve decided to add a touch of Europe’s history, art, and culture.

“A Time of Gifts” reveals the story of Patrick Leigh Fermor, who set out on a journey across Europe by foot – from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. The author mostly walks across new places, which is literally the only way for a traveler to discover “local color”.

Modern Travel Reads

Let´s get to the topic of modern authors and travelers. As I’ve already mentioned before, in order to prevent this list from being endless there’ll be two separate posts – Travel Coffee Table Books and Female Travel Books – to complement this section.

1. “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” by Laurie Lee

“As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” is one of the first wanderlust books on the Modern Reads section. It´s a story of a young man who left his safe home in Cotswolds and headed up to London, playing the violin on the street and depending on the kindness of strangers. His youthful energy and desire to explore made him took a boat to Spain, where he started a long journey across the country, heavily impacted by a recent Civil War. Laurie Lee captures the atmosphere of Spain he saw as a young man and tells the story of its life and people.

2. “Seven Years in Tibet” by Heinrich Harrer

Tibet is one of the places I’ve always dreamt of visiting myself. “Seven Years in Tibet is a story of Heinrich Harrier’s journey through Tibet and his eventual friendship with his Holiness the Dalai Lama. The mountain climber describes how he escaped from an English internment camp in India in 1943 and spent the next seven years observing life and locals in Tibet.

3. “The Snow Leopard” by Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen’s “The Snow Leopard” is the author´s account of his two months in Nepal. Matthiessen set off on an expedition to study Himalayan Blue Sheep (and perhaps catching a glimpse of the rare snow leopard). This book is full of vivid details, describing landscapes and people of Nepal, that might make some real-life photos pale in comparison.

4. “Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus” by Robert D. Kaplan

Robert D. Kaplan has written quite a few books describing his journeys across various regions of the world. Most of them combine, historical context, interviews with important local figures, and the author´s reflections on life and future, which makes his works both interesting and informative. “Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus” follows Kaplan´s journey across the Balkans, Turkey, Syria, Israel, and Caucasus.

Depending on a part of the world you want to discover, you can also check Robert D. Kaplan´s other books: “Balkan Ghosts”, “Asia’s Cauldron”, “Imperial Grunts”, “Monsoon”, or “The Revenge Of Geography”.

5. “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” by Paul Theroux

If you’re looking for one book to take almost everywhere – check “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” by Paul Theroux. The author describes his 25,000-mile-long journey through Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, China, Japan, and Siberia.

“Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” (published in 2008) is a sequel to the writer’s most popular book ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’, written in 1973. Therefore, it´s also really interesting to follow through both of Theroux´s books, because he clearly makes a reader realize how many things have actually changed around the world in a short period of time.

6. “Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition” by Buddy Levy

One of the fresh additions to this list of wanderlust books – “Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition” by Buddy Levy. This story is especially recommended for people interested in the exploration of the Arctic, as it describes the journey of The Greely Expedition.

To sum up: 25 scientists and explorers head to the Farthest North and overcome incredible challenges in order to discover the last region unmarked on global maps. It’s one of those books impossible to put down – you can´t stop learning more and more details about one of the most extraordinary and terrible voyages ever made by humanity.

7. “Life and Death in the Andes: On the Trail of Bandits, Heroes, and Revolutionaries” by Kim MacQuarrie

A must-read for all the fans of South America and its cultural heritage – “Life and Death in the Andes”. You might know that the Andes Mountains are the world’s longest mountain chain connecting most of the countries in South America. No wonder, this region is incredibly rich in history.

“Life and Death in the Andes” is a mix of a historical journey and interesting insights into the lives of South America´s most famous personas like Che Guevara, or Pablo Escobar, as well as the Andes region´s most iconic sights, like Lake Titicaca.

8. “River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze” by Peter Hessler

“River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze” is a deep introduction to Chinese culture, largely impenetrable for the Western world. Peter Hessler arrives as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1996 to the small city of Fuling, in China´s Sichuan province. While teaching in one of the local schools and traveling across the region, the author shares lots of personal stories full of vivid descriptions of all the people he met along the way.

9. “The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner

Tha author of “The Geography of Bliss”, Eric Weiner, spent a decade as a foreign correspondent reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Indonesia. After seeing life in remote and unstable places, he undertakes a year-long journey around the world to visit the world´s happiest nations in order to discover the sources of bliss. He visits numerous countries, including The Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Thailand, Great Britain, and India.

“The Geography of Bliss” is an attempt to find answers to the eternal question of what makes people happy and what can we learn from the happiest nations around the world..

10. “The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton

If you’re tired of travelogues and exotic countries at some point, give a try to Alain de Botton´s “The Art of Travel”.

This book focuses on the psychological side of travels and how travel impacts our inner-self. “The Art of Travel” is an ultimate source of self-reflection ideas. You’ll not find in it a list of places to visit or geographical wanderings – this story is about how we truly “see” and “feel” the places we inhabit as we grow through life.

11. “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way” by Amanda Ripley

Like Nelson Mandela, I believe that education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world. Amanda Ripley in her engaging book “The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way” compares American schools to those of other nations through the lens of foreign exchange students’ experiences. As a mom of two, I often think of my kids´ future education – this book definitely gives some interesting insights to chew on.

12. “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel” by Rolf Potts

“Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel” is dedicated to all those people chased by their wanderlust, but lacking useful tips and inspiration to make those world-travel plans applicable. Rolf Potts shows how anyone “armed with an independent spirit” can achieve the dream of traveling the world.

Here are a few quotes to explain the essence of vagabonding: “Vagabonding involves taking an extended time-out from your normal life – six weeks, four months, two years – to travel the world on your own terms. It is about using the prosperity and possibility of the information age to increase your personal options instead of your personal possessions.”

13. “Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found” by Cheryl Strayed

When life of Cheryl Strayed falls apart she takes an impulsive decision to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. This adventure all alone changes everything for her, while strengthening and ultimately healing Cheryl.

“Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found” is an ultimate bestseller that has also made it to the big screen as one of the greatest adventure travel movies.

14. “The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country” in the World by Roz Hopkins

While this list of wanderlust books is more about inspiring reads, as a passionate photography lover I can´t help mentioning a few visual pieces.

“The Travel Book” is one of the coolest coffee table and travel photography books any globetrotter would want to have at home. How else could you decide where to go next? Two pages are devoted to each country in the world and you can check some basic information about each place, while mostly enjoying stunning pictures from across the globe.

15. “Worldwalk” by Steven M.Newman

“Worldwalk” is a story of Steven Newman, a freelance journalist, who left his home in Ohio and went backpacking around the world. His 4-year-long journey of walking across countries and continents definitely adds to one’s Wanderlust with its insider stories of people and adventures from all over the world.

16. “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

I was having second thoughts on whether to mention “Eat Pray Love”, as I honestly doubt there’s anyone out there who hasn´t read the book or watched the movie yet. Nevertheless, I personally enjoyed both – so skipping this popular wanderlusts books pick would be unfair.

“Eat Pray Love” is unlikely to become your ultimate life-changing book, but it definitely provides the reader with some aesthetic pleasure. Plus, the book can be relatable for many women going through any sort of crisis in their lives, because “Eat Pray Love” is a story of the author´s personal healing through traveling the world and rediscovering herself.

Also, the movie “Eat Pray Love” is on my list of favorite romantic travel movies.

17. “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer

“Into the Wild” is another option between the wanderlust books that was turned into a movie in 2007. The books tell the story of Chris McCandless, a young man who left his family and friends, abandoned most of his material possessions, and went to live in the Alaskan wilderness. Jon Krakauer’s writing is quite engaging and research-based, so despite the fact that you might suspect how the story ends you actually make it towards the end of the book.

In case you’re familiar with “Into the Wild” book or movie, dive into the other works of Jon Krakauer – “Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster” or “Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains”.

18. “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail” by Bill Bryson

Longing for the wanderlust books with great outdoors? – Check Bill Bryson´s “A Walk in the Woods”. It is a travelogue of author´s journey through America´s Appalachian Trail. This book has a bit of everything – humor, adventure, danger, storytelling, and lots of beautiful outdoors from Georgia to Maine. 

Don’t miss other Bill Bryson´s popular books like “In a Sunburned Country”, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away”, “Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe” and “Notes from a Small Island”.

19. “The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca” by Tahir Shah

“The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca” is a vibrant and detailed story of the author´s move with his family from the gray London to the sun-drenched city of Casablanca in Morocco. This book gives the reader an insight into a new culture and all that comes with it. “The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca” captures lots of funny sides of life in Morocco. Plus, there’s always something inspiring about picking up and moving your life to a new and exotic locale, isn’t it?

20. “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle

In case your idea of wanderlust books doesn’t involve dangerous adventures and exotic far-away lands, “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle will teleport you into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life in France. This book is an entertaining account of the author´s move from Britain to Provence, his first year in a new home and a new country. There’s something relaxing and inspiring about “A Year in Provence”, especially when you focus on the tasty descriptions of French food and French life.

For more reading lists and ideas check my Pinterest boards Bookish Inspiration and Travel Books, Movies, and Quotes.

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Best Travel Books to fuel your Wanderlust - The Ultimate Reading List