If we could, we would spend the majority of our year travelling – wandering the open road, learning about new cultures and partaking in a little self-reflection. Sadly, our bank account has little interest in helping us hit that goal.
So when not reaching for a map or guidebook to inform our latest vacation, we spend our time reading a few books to sate our wanderlust. Not only will the following 10 reads inspire you to take a trip, they’ll also challenge your notions of what’s possible (whether you’re a natural adventurer or not).
Did we miss a particular tale? Tweet us your favourite pick @theloopca.
10 books that will fuel your wanderlust
'Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail' by Cheryl StrayedAnother book that eventually turned into a movie, this tale follows a young Strayed as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail in search of meaning. She describes in honest detail what travelling alone can be like (lonely) and also discusses what compelled her to leave her life behind (a feeling of being lost). The read will inspire anyone to hit the road in search of something deeper.Amazon
'No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach' by Anthony BourdainAnthony Bourdain is an incredible storyteller -- onscreen and on paper. This book traces the chef's travels from New Zealand to New Jersey, and features tales of food, scenery and some of the 59-year-old's trademark commentary and anecdotes. It will make you want to see the world through his eyes.Amazon
'The Lost Girls' by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda PressnerWhat happens when three successful women get sick of their busy New York City lifestyle and trade it in for travel? A whole lot of awesome. This read outlines how the three authors saved for a year of adventure, and has tons of information on how you can quit your job and become a world wanderer, too. The moral of the story: ditching the daily grind isn't as difficult as one would think.Amazon
'A Moveable Feast' by Ernest HemingwayIn this memoir, the famed author recounts his time in Paris in the Roaring '20s alongside other writers like Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you liked the film Midnight in Paris, you'll love this book. The way he describes the Parisian attitude toward life (laissez-faire, n'est pas?) and cocktails at classic bars will compel you to book a trip to the city.Amazon
'The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World' by Eric WeinerYou know those people who hate to travel and cringe when you discuss your last vacation? Those people need to read this book. It's written by self-proclaimed "grump" Weiner, who hits the road to search out happiness. Along the way, the author figures out that by adopting an “everywhere you go there you are" mentality, you'll spend your days in extreme bliss.Amazon
'The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost' by Rachel FriedmanThis tale is essentially 'Eat, Pray, Love,' only better, more honest and incredibly real. Rachel the consummate "good girl" has spent most of her life living by the book and doing what others think is "right." Then in her twenties she decides she's had enough of living a life that's been dictated for her. She travels to Ireland and, from there, unwraps the meaning of life and the strength people can gain from experiencing adventure.Amazon
'Under the Tuscan Sun' by Frances MayesThis book is full of romance -- and how could it not be? It's set in one of the most picturesque parts of Italy and follows a woman seeking to find herself after a brutal divorce. She ends up buying a villa, fixing it up and learning to cook Italian. Our favourite quote from the story sums up why you should read it: "I had the urge to examine my life in another culture and move beyond what I knew."Amazon
'Into The Wild' by John KrakauerIf there's one book that's sure to inspire you to travel it's this famed (and also sad) tale. It follows Chris McCandless' search for freedom and enlightenment by ditching his privileged upbringing and moving to the Alaskan wilderness. (Promise us you'll bring food if you decide to head into the wild!)Amazon
'The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World' By Lonely PlanetThis comprehensive book outlines the many reasons you should visit every country in the world. It breaks down local customs, food rituals and even landmarks to see. The visuals accompanying each outline will make you feel like you've done nothing with your life and will compel you to crack open a map and hit the road.Amazon
'Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel' by Rolf Potts"Ditch everything and travel" should be the subtitle of this book. Potts goes on to extol the virtues of selling one's possessions and hitting the open road. While the message of the book is not entirely practical for those of us with a mortgage, it does offer tips and tricks for how to tackle long-term travel in a cost-effective way. It's the kind of read that will crush any of your concerns about venturing out into the world.Amazon