8 Books That Will Give You Undeniable Wanderlust
Written by Sarah January
Do you ever just want to get away? I know I do, more often that I want to admit. Like many in the millennial generation, I don’t have the time (or money) to jet off to some wonderful destination whenever the mood strikes my fancy. So until the day comes when I can do that, I decided to find my own little ways to escape the daily grind. My favorite way is to grab a book and let it transport me to anywhere in the world at anytime. It is because of this that books involving travel and adventures are some of my favorites and they inspire me to get out there and see the world beyond where I live everyday. Below is a list of eight books that will give you an undeniable sense of wanderlust!
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Originally published in 1988 and in Portuguese, The Alchemist tells the story of a young shepherd boy and his journey through Egypt in his pursuit of treasure. The main character, Santiago, has a recurring dream that he believes can lead him to ultimate fortune. On the advice of a Romani fortune teller, he begins his journey to the pyramids of Egypt and on the way meets some people that will change his life. Santiago meets many people on his journey into Africa, including an Englishman who becomes his traveling companion and a beautiful Arabian girl who he eventually falls in love with. The most influential person he meets, is, of course, The Alchemist. It is upon meeting him that Santiago learns how to realize his true self. Earlier in the story, Santiago is taught the concept of his “Personal Legend”, which is what he has always wanted to accomplish in his life. This young boy's journey of self-discovery starts in the hills of Spain and takes you to the pyramids of Egypt, which will definitely make you want to travel.
This book hit the shelves in 2006 and instantly became a hit, sitting at the top of the New York Times best sellers list for 187 weeks. In her memoir, Elizabeth documents her journey from divorce to finding inner peace. Following her divorce, she sets off on a trip around the world to find herself. She travels to Italy where she spends the first four months getting lost in the food, wine, and entertainment the country has to offer.(Eat) From Italy, she then travels to India where she spends the next three months getting deeply in touch with the spiritual side of her life.(Pray) The last leg of her journey takes her to Indonesia and that is where she finds a new love in her life. (Love) Gilbert’s book became so successful that it got picked up and made into a major motion picture starring Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime if you ask me.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
This is very likely a title that you have heard a lot over the last few years. Book One of the Outlander series outlines the story of our heroine, Claire Randall, the time traveling nurse who is married to two different men, two hundred years apart. When she accidentally stumbles through the magical Stones of Craigh Na Dun, Claire suddenly finds herself in the middle of 18th century Scotland in the midst of the Jacobite uprisings. Her husband Frank is back in the 20th century and has no idea where his wife has gone. Claire is initially desperate to find a way back to him. Too bad that fate has other plans for Claire, and it comes in the form of James “ Jamie” Fraser. With vivid depictions of the Scottish Highlands, along with an amazingly well-produced tv show, and lots of handsome Scottish men to boot, this book may make you want to hop on the next flight into Edinburgh.
Rolf Potts is an experienced world traveler who has graciously decided to share his wealth of knowledge with the rest of us. His book has become the unofficial how-to travel guide for the adventurous spirits who desire to travel overseas. This 224 page book covers everything from financing your trip, to picking your dream destination, and even covers adjusting back into your normal routine once you come home. Planning a trip overseas, and especially one for an extended amount of time, is no easy feat. Vagabonding also teaches you all the tips and tricks you need to know in order to be successful when traveling across the world, especially for long periods. Potts is all about experiencing the world in our own unique way and he gives you all the tools to do so.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
New York Times best selling author Tim Ferris presents a mind altering concept of working as little as four hours per week, while being able to travel the world and living the life that you want. Sounds great right? The burning question is HOW? Tim shares many of his secrets with his readers including: how to cut your workload in half within forty-eight hours, how to utilize virtual assistants overseas, and how people travel the world without giving up their jobs. This book discusses how we wait until the end of our lives to enjoy retirement which the author thinks is outdated. There is no real good reason to wait! I love the idea of creating and living the life you want now from anywhere in the world and this book gives you the plan how to make that happen.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman
Any of the “good girls” out there they think will relate to this memoire by Rachel Freidman? After following the rules her whole life, she buys a ticket to fly across the world to Ireland, a land to which she’s never been and knows no one. It is in Ireland that she meets another young woman who hails from Australia, and is adventurous and outgoing where Rachel is more restrained and reserved. Upon meeting her new venturesome companion, Rachel then expands her trip into a year long journey that includes South America and Australia. On her unexpected expedition, Rachel discovers not only her love of travel, but also that there is more to her than just the “good girl” she always thought she was. Being the “good girl” myself for much of my life, I didn’t start to break out of my shell until I took my first trip by myself. The premise of this book is one that makes me want to do it all over again.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
After losing everything important, Cheryl Strayed makes a crazy life-altering decision. Despite having no experience whatsoever, she decides to take off and hike over a thousand miles along the Pacific Crest Trail, oh and she is going to do it alone. Following the experience of losing her mom to cancer, turning to drugs and sex to numb the pain, her marriage falling apart and enduring an abortion, she just has to get away in an attempt to redeem herself. On this 1100-mile hike, her spirit is both tested and strengthened, and ultimately renewed, with the help of many who support her along the way. Fun facts: this book was also made into a major motion picture in 2014, starring Reese Witherspoon, and a New York Times #1 Best Seller. Deep down I think we all have a desire to escape the demons in our lives at some point, and nature is often a place we turn to in order to achieve that. The little parts I have seen of the Pacific Northwest are absolutely stunning, so a book like this will make you want to get out there and really explore it for yourself.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Young Anna has everything lined up perfectly for her senior year, from her job to her crush on an amazing guy. Too bad for her that fate has other plans, which includes her going to boarding school in Paris instead. Of course while she is there she meets Etienne, the most perfect boy on the planet. Turns out he’s taken at the time and Anna also has that potential budding relationship back home, but what is a girl to do? Can Anna and Etienne resist the romantic pull of the City of Love? Or are they destined to fall in love despite the circumstances? Either way, this light and entertaining read will ignite your romantic side and may make you want to take off for Paris yourself.
This list of books takes us all across the world, covering just about every continent and giving us vivid images of incredible adventures in each one. These individual tales of self discovery, adventure, love, and redemption take place in wonderful locations around the world, thus inspiring us all to want to get out there and explore. I know all of these books have been added to my to-be-read list, and remind me everyday of my goals to travel this beautiful world in which we live.
sarah Nicole january
Sarah is a California girl who has a slight obsession with all things historical in nature or travel related. In addition to her love of history and culture, she has a passion for health and fitness and is also a hardcore bibliophile with an ever growing book collection. Since finishing her Master’s Degree in 2015, she has become a teacher who is growing her career as a writer. When she isn’t teaching or honing her writing skills, you can find her with her nose in a new book, binge watching Supernatural, or planning her next getaway to the beach. If you want to talk about writing, books, history, travel, Disney movies, puppies...or anything in between, feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and IG. ❤