Fresh off the press and some classics
The Best Travel Books That Aren’t Travel Books

The Best Travel Books That Aren’t Travel Books

The Best Travel Books that I have read

5 Good Travel Books that I Recommend Reading

Reading is like traveling in many ways.  When a person is reading, every page can be a new adventure or twist to a story line.  People can live out their wildest dreams by reading a book, just as the traveler experiences a whole new life by living it.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

                                                 – St. Augustine

I truly believe that the world can be a classroom.  A person can learn more in a few months of traveling than in a few years at home.  This is because of stimulus and exposure.  You are constantly challenged to new things on the road just as a book constantly challenges your intellect and thoughts.

Here is a list of good travel books that I have read and recommend.  Notice that they do not all relate exactly to traveling.  In fact, several of the books are psychological and even economical at times.

  1. Blink.  Blink is not a travel book.  However, I find that it very easily relates to travel, which is why I recommend it.  Blink, written by Malcolm Gladwell of The Outliers, is a book entirely about our perceptions.  Perceptions of people, snap judgements, and preconceived notions that we keep with us.  These notions are societal, and in many cases, they have been implanted into our thinking from a very young age.  This book will help you see topics like ethnocentrism and racism through a different pair of eyes.
  2. The Alchemist.  If you haven’t read this book, I strongly recommend that you get it now.  Reading The Alchemist is like sparking your inner desire to cut loose and experience true living.  It is one of the most liberating books that I have read.  I like the idea of seeing life as a journey, which is the way Paulo Coelho presents the story line in the book.  A young shepherd boy travels to realize his greatest dreams.  This short book will keep you on edge with its symbolism while spiking your esteem with the spirit of wanderlust.
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning.  Man’s Search for Meaning was written by Viktor Frankl.  He was an Austrian Jew who was held in several different concentration camps during the Holocaust.  Frankl, a noted psychologist, was able to turn his experience into a learning experience by analyzing fellow prisoners, officers, and even himself at times.  Frankl refuses to accept pity, and will make you think about your life in a different light.  Check out his book for an alternate perspective on how you can handle life’s situations.
  4. Freakonomics.  Freakonomics is the odd travel book of this group.  I chose to include it primarily for one reason: Freakonomics made me look at economics differently.  Economics runs our world.  It is ingrained at every level of society and enables the different levels of society to function within their regard.  The authors of this book give readers a chance to see things before them that they might not have noticed before reading about them.  I have noticed that because having read this book, I have started to look at things differently when on the road traveling, specifically things relevant to economics.
  5. The Four Agreements. This book, written by Don Miguel Ruiz offers holistic and down to earth thoughts deriving from ancient Toltec Wisdom.  The Toltec’s are a Native American Indian tribe from present day Mexico.  Ruiz, who was raised by a shaman and a healer,  offers his thoughts on integrity, giving your best, and social interactions.  It is a short read, but well worth it.
A bonus travel book:
  • Innocents Abroad – Written by the legendary Mark Twain (Samuel Clements).  I have not actually read this book yet, but I would like to.  It is on my list because I have heard it called one of the greatest travel books of all time.  

These books may not be the best “travel” books ever, but I really think that they challenge you to think outside of the box and realize different perspectives exist even in the most basic sense.  I have read these books, some of them multiple times, because they remind me of why traveling is so important to me.  Each book is uniquely different.

Tell me what you think!

Have you read any of these books?  Do you think that there are any books I should add to this list?  

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  1. The Alchemist sounds great. I’m looking for some new books to read and I feel like I need something like this to pick me up 🙂

    • The Alchemist is a fantastic book. It blends the art of being free and truly pursuing what you want from life and tries to answer the question what is life about. I was introduced to the book by a friend and it will remain with me forever. It is definitely a pick me up, but I warn you, you’ll want to go traveling forever. Thanks for commenting Helen!

  2. Sounds like a good list. I’ve heard a lot about Freakonomics and it seems to come highly recommended.
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