The only thing that can compete with the experience of traveling is reading about it! As an avid reader, one of my favorite pastimes is to curl up with a book—before I had the freedom to explore new places, reading was a way for me to visit foreign cultures and to try and understand the world better. Recently I’ve been really into the travel literature genre for obvious reasons. I thought I would share some of my favorite books for Generation Y wanderers—if you love traveling, you’ll love these titles.
Tracks: A Women’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
When she was in her twenties, Robyn traversed the Australian outback with her dog and her troupe of camels. Davidson is a nuanced writer (the book is based off an article she wrote for National Geographic), and we get the portrait of an intrepid journey and the young woman brave enough to take it on. Not only is it an interesting look into traveling at a young age, but it also reminds us that any trip is possible.
The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti
What attracted me to this book was the enticing promise that the book was about cheese (I simply can’t resist), but it’s much more than that. It’s a personal journey sifting through the lies and truths that come along with storytelling. The Telling Room is not only a travel essay, but it’s also a multi-layered history of Spain, a certain cheesemaker, and, of course, a piece of sublime cheese.
The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux might be one of the most popular travel writers today, and he combines years of experiences from his own travels and others’ to create a book filled with quotes and interesting tidbits about the act of traveling. You won’t get lost in a sweeping tale, but as he tries to define what “travel” is, he comes across some interesting insights and offers them as advice to fellow wanderers. It’s also a very portable book, so you can take it on your own adventures and leaf through the quotes and bits of wisdom provided.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
It would be a shame not to mention this classic for Generation Y travelers. On the Road has a certain cultural significance that very few other travel books can claim. Between Kerouac’s unique style and the hidden moral (or perhaps not so hidden) that freedom trumps all, it’s the perfect travel Bible for our generation. We’ve idealized it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any less of an impact than it did when it was first published sixty years ago.
What are some of your favorite travel books?
Image courtesy of unicellular.