6 Incredible Travel Books to Delve Into

6 Incredible Travel Books to Delve Into

The masterful telling of an iconic journey will take you places, spark your imagination, and inspire grandiose plans. Celebrating the essence of exploration is, in itself, a celebration of humankind and the world. Great travel stories prompt longing gazes at suitcases and plans for peregrination by whatever means possible; a train journey, an overland expedition, a short weekend jaunt, or a long-haul flight to the exotic. Setting aside differences in style and genre, these six gripping travel books incite an incredible sense of discovery through the wayfarer’s eyes.

6. On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac’s best-selling and legendary novel On the Road is enough to tilt the scales in favor of a life exactly there: permanently on the road. Anyone with a healthy sense of wanderlust should read this iconic classic and follow Kerouac and the Beatniks on a series of road trips across the United States following WWII. Sal Paradise is the narrator of the book (Jack himself of course) who easily transports an imaginative reader from the streets of New York, into San Francisco, and onto Los Angeles with plenty of drugs, poetry, and jazz along the way. There’s an added momentum given to the book by Dean Moriarty, who has an insatiable zest for life. This hitch-hiking, high jinks extravaganza is a compelling part of travel literature and shouldn’t be missed for the richness of the characters and inspiration of the experiences they seek.

5. The Beach, Alex Garland

Your window to London and Thailand, the Beach is a cagey page-turner following an unconventional and undercover island-dwelling expat community taking up residence in Southeast Asia. The story unfolds as it maneuvers through a medium mimicking off-the-cuff culture of pseudo-enlightened backpackers fixated on sunbathing and reality-altering drugs but also honoring the true essence of exploration. The expats discover an ostensibly idyllic island paradise within a national park in Thailand where the protagonist quickly discovers self-discipline and utopia is easier to cultivate than it is to sustain when external restraints are absent. Not many writers so perfectly describe the enchanting beauty of a sunrise or adrenaline rush of diving from a cliff as Garland, who paints his prose expertly. The book is entirely seductive, with its portrayal of ideal travel cautiously balancing the innocent hypocrisies of the Western expatriate crowd delving into the East’s exotic backdrop.

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