As my departure date moves ever closer (4 months to go – Yay!), I have been finding more and more ways to become further inspired for the adventure that lies ahead.
One of the many ways I find inspiration comes from reading. I find reading helps paint a picture of the sights, sounds, tastes and wonders of exotic lands that I have yet to explore.
I have put together my top 5 books that have inspired and influenced me to further my travels. I’d love to hear if any of these resonate with you and what books you may have read that have inspired your own travels.
1. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
This novel is a classic for a reason. I have read this book countless times and each time completely fall in love with Kerouac’s views surrounding life on the road. The style of his writing captures the inescapable awe and wonder of travel while highlighting the vivid characters and their youthful bohemian lifestyle during the times in the 50’s-mid 60’s. This book sparks passion and excitement for the unknown.
2. Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilbert explains with honesty what it’s like to re evaluate your life values and to follow an inner yearning to travel in the face of social obligation. As a successful writer who seemingly had everything that a woman of her age should want (within the standards of western mainstream culture) her decision to let go of everything, including her marriage in order to follow her inner instinct and passion to travel is definitely inspiring.
3. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
This book is epic – both in size and content. From the very first page, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty and intricate love for India that Roberts conveys in his writing. Although this book may take some time to get through it’s well worth it. When reading Shantaram there is a distinct mix of emotions ranging from positive resilience, gleeful humor to deep sorrow and darkness, which perfectly captures the diversity within the Indian culture and lifestyle. The story becomes intensified and you will find that putting it down gets more and more difficult as you turn the pages.
4.Destination Cambodia – Walter Mason
I found this novel in a small bookstore one day and decided to purchase it after being intrigued by the exotic colourful front cover. After reading it, I promptly booked flights to Cambodia. The way that Mason describes the beautiful nature of the Cambodian people and culture had me intrigued and excited to experience the country for myself. Although his experiences in Cambodia range from dangerous bus rides, traditional hill tribes nestled within lush forests to a potentially fatal scenario falling from the top of an ancient temple. The main theme from this captivating novel is the warmth and beauty of the Khmer people which in my opinion, is the greatest, most dazzling aspect of Cambodia.
5. Into the wild – Jon Krakauer
This book highlights the inner search for enlightenment within a society which sometimes feels false or materialistic. The adventurous and somewhat fearless naivety of Christopher McCandless instills a sense of empathy and connection with the reader, as we follow his call to adventure that is so often found within a lot of travelers. Although this thought provoking book is inspirational and philosophical it does leave you feeling quite saddened. Despite the melancholy ending, I definitely believe this book is worth the read.