Our list of inspiring travel books may have just what you need to embark on the adventure of your dreams. Check out these 15 epic books that inspire wanderlust.
15 Books that Inspire Wanderlust
According to Merriam-Webster, wanderlust is a “strong longing for or impulse toward wandering.” Do you yearn for an adventure to a faraway land? Whether you can fly across the world at a moment’s notice or only have the budget to get lost in a book, we’ve put together a list of 15 inspiring travel books that will stir your soul for adventure.
Inspiring Travel Books with Pictures
National Geographic: The Photographs by Leah Bendavid-Val
Filled with iconic photographs, this book offers a rare—and incredible—glimpse of people, places, and wildlife from all corners of the world.
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World by Lonely Planet
Explore 229 destinations around the world without ever leaving your couch. With over 817 stunning images, this is certainly a book that will inspire wanderlust.
Inspirational Travel Books that Speak to the Soul
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Find the inspiration and courage to follow your travel dreams in this beloved book. The Alchemist gives a gentle push for timid adventurers who find themselves reserved when it comes to traveling somewhere new.
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
This book encourages readers to live life—and travel—outside of the norm. While the book doesn’t teach you how to be a vagabond, it does provide a path for you to figure out the art for yourself.
Travel As Transformation by Gregory V. Diehl
In Travel as Transformation, you’ll follow the author on his journey from San Diego to Central America, the Middle East, and Africa. Through his travels, you’ll discover how travel can influence the way you view yourself and the world around you.
How NOT to Travel the World by Lauren Juliff
Follow the author as she travels the world on a series of adventures that were supposed to be healing, but ended up disastrous. This book follows an encouraging theme of overcoming fear and following your dreams, regardless of what life throws at you.
Books About the Author’s Adventures
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
A collection of rambunctious adventures, poetic thoughts on travel, and excellent quotes, this book is all about the pursuit of freedom in the age of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.
The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux
Beautifully and authentically written, this book tells of the author’s journey by train down the entire length of North and South America.
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain
This book is Bourdain’s journal of his travels in the United States and around the globe. Feast your eyes on never-before-seen photos and outrageous commentaries and get inspired to expand your bucket list for travel and eating.
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson
This classic brings you back to 1870’s France, where you will explore the landscapes, religion, and people of the day.
World Walk by Steven M. Newman
Explore 22 countries and 5 continents with the author as he recounts his tales of arrests, wars, natural disasters, wild animal attacks, and more. If you’re interested in solo backpacking on a budget, this book is for you.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
While this book isn’t completely factual, it is an incredible read. Follow the story of an Australian convict as he hides out in Bombay, searches for love, runs a clinic in the slums, and serves the Bombay mafia – all at the same time.
Travel Books About Specific Places
The Beach by Alex Garland
Discover a hidden lagoon, untouched scenery, and the carefully selected commune that dwells there in this intriguing adventure tale.
Mawson: And the Ice Men of the Heroic Age: Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen by Peter Fitzsimmons
This book outlines the tale of three famous Antarctic explorers and the one that survived. If you’re interested in Antarctica or human resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, you will find that this is a book that inspires wanderlust in you.
Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux
Adventure from Cairo to Cape Town with the author as he recalls his journey across the African continent. Read about dangerous adventures, disturbing circumstances, incredible beauty, and so much more.
Whether you spend your days manufacturing insulated concrete blocks or keeping house and parenting children, the desire to change the routine—to go new places and see new things—is a normal one. From reading an epic adventure tale to absorbing an inspiring travel book that gives you the boost you need to book a flight, you’ll find something in our list of 15 books that inspire wanderlust that gives you the courage and inspiration you need to follow your travel dreams.
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