2020 came down hard for travel enthusiasts, with international lockdowns and global travel restrictions left and right messing up our itineraries. But who’s to say we can’t scratch that travel itch? These days when everything seems to have turned virtual, going back to basics and reading a cool book about dreamy destinations is one way we can let our imaginations fly, discover new places, and plan ahead for when we’re allowed to satisfy our wanderlust once again.
Most of us have first read stories about certain places which piqued our interest and gave us the travel bug. From how Jack Kerouac allowed us to reimagine that transcendental road trip in On The Road to Hunter S. Thompson’s pursuit of the American Dream in Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, books take us places and stir our desire to explore new places and cultures.
Since this year has limited our concept of traveling to a number of good books, we found it fitting to list down a couple of must-read travel books that will help you decide what hotspots to put on your travel bucket list when all the pandemic smoke clears up.
Discover Athens in Outline: By Rachel Cusk
Quite reminiscent of Eat, Pray, Love, Canadian journalist Rachel Cusk goes on a teaching assignment in Greece’s beautiful capital of Athens during the height of summer in this engaging release from this award-winning and prolific novelist. There, she is immediately enamored by the locals, her students, and the culture that made the Ionian Coast such a magical place.
The author pays more attention to the eye-opening conversations that made her an avid and willing audience to how life in this mysterious yet transparent place really happens. From failed marriages to daily anxieties, she soon falls in love with the many sensually captivating features that the city offers its guests then enters into a hero’s journey that turns her life around in many unimaginable and surprising ways.
Goodreads.com gives this New York Times bestseller 3.65 out of five stars. If you want to learn more about Athens’ fascinating culture, mouth watering cuisines, and its most happening locations, Outline is a travel book that will take you there and most probably court you back again and again and again.
Discover Trinidad and Tobago in Love After Love: By Ingrid Persuad
Trinidad and Tobago has everything a beautiful Caribbean island can offer. With its many breathtaking views, relaxing beaches, and vibrant nightlife, it’s easy to forget your worries with one visit. However, Trinidadian writer and artist Persaud knows it all too well to tell this tale of heartbreak and life reflection.
Love After Love revolves around a widow, her son, and a mysterious colleague who took them as his own family. Soon, secrets begin to unravel and desperate actions become inevitable posing questions for its readers about the ties that bind a family, illusory love, and how our choices affect our lives. All set within the intoxicating backdrop of beautiful Trinidad and Tobago and New York.
You’ll instantly take this travel book off the bookshelf not only for Persaud’s impressive writing credentials, but for how passionate the prose coherently weaves the entire plot. It’s addicting and an easy read that Kindle gave it an easy 4.30 and we do agree!
Discover Australia in The Exiles: By Christina Baker Kline
Set during nineteenth-century Australia, The Exiles paints for us how the majestic continent formed its new society in a more historical perspective that will make us truly appreciate its beauty today.
Three women (two English convicts and an Aboriginal orphan) strike up a strong bond to weather the difficulties that life in Van Diemen’s Island throws at them. Here, we discover the vast aboriginal lands that were seized by the British government during the time to give as a fresh perspective of Australia from a feminist point of view.
Number 1 New York Times bestselling author Baker Kline’s brilliant tale of friendship, inclusivity, and grace born out of difficulties also gives us an Australian History 101 course that will reveal its true nature– a beautifully challenging land that also offers hope.
Goodreads score– 4.35 stars!
Discover Britain in Wanderlands: A Search for Magic in the Landscape: By Jini Reddy
If you’ve ever thought about exploring the wanderlands of Britain and immerse yourself in a magical world of nature, Wanderlands is the perfect read for you!
Here, Reddy captures the natural beauty of Britain and shares with her readers an unforeseen wilderness and mountainous land where she swears she hears a mysterious voice. This National Geographic’s Women of Impact lister takes us on a grand adventure maze in search of hidden wells, strange temples, and Goddess-worshippers that all lead to self-realization. As bonus, we get to see a glimpse of the author’s perspective on her Canadian childhood and the Apartheid era of South Africa as she relives her parents’ life and struggles.
Wanderland is an essential read for those who really love to travel as it marries what’s human and wild while giving you a good insight on your one true place in the world.
Give this 3.79 Good Reads favorite a read and learn how you can make your own travels more meaningful.
Discover the Mississippi River in This Tender Land: By William Kent Krueger
The historic Mississippi River already gave us one too many stories about how magical it is but this instant New York Times bestseller your girlfriends can’t pass on!
Though set during the Great Depression, This Tender Land still captures the beauty of the entire stretch from the banks of Minnesota to its vast south as four young orphans go on a quest to find a place of freedom they can call their own, but instead find their true selves in the end.
Along the way they meet interesting characters– farmers, drifters and other lost souls, who in one way or another taught them about how to deal with life during the difficult times.
It’s a modern classic that’s entertaining and fun for how it paints a perfect picture of the Old Man River and helps us appreciate its inviting mystery just enough that we’d want to someday give it a true visit.
This award-winning travel book gets a high score of 4.39 on the Good Reads meter and is hailed by critics as the new Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Do you have your own favorite that can inspire other readers to travel? Do share them with us and your thoughts on the comment section 🙂