In The Time Of Covid-19, Here Are 5 Must-Read Travel Books
From watching travel shows on Netflix to following travel accounts on Instagram, why not also pick up one of these travel books to help scratch your travel itch, and offer some inspiration for that next trip?
1/5 On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
This semi-autobiographical novel is a timeless American classic. On the Road follows a struggling writer, Sal Paradise, based on author Jack Kerouac himself, as he leaves New York City and goes on a cross-country hitchhiking and train-hopping escapade across rural America. Along the way, he makes friends, particularly Dean Moriarty, who serves as inspiration for his travels.
Set against the backdrop of jazz and poetry, the themes of escape and desire to see the world are recurrent throughout the novel. The novel is written in a narrative diary style split into five parts that will make you feel like you're on the road with Sal.
2/5 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988)
Originally written in Portuguese, The Alchemist became an international bestseller and has since been translated in various languages. Written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, the story revolves around Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy. After a recurring dream that he believes to be prophetic, he sets forth to locate a treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt. But instead of finding the treasure, the boy goes on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.
The book has touched the hearts of many due to its theme of following your dreams. Perhaps through Santiago's journey, you too can become inspired and embark on your own exploration––in the comfort of your home, for now.
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3/5 Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
Eat, Pray, Love is a memoir chronicling author Elizabeth Gilbert's trip around the world following her divorce. The book also spun into a popular movie adaptation starring Julia Roberts.
The title of the book refers to each part of her journey. She spent four months in Italy, munching on the most delicious food and simply enjoying life. Then, she travelled around India for three months, seeking spirituality. Finally, she ended the year in Bali, Indonesia, where she fell in love with a Brazilian businessman. The novel will appeal to those looking for an escape especially after going through hard times.
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4/5 The Beach by Alex Garland (1996)
Set in Thailand, The Beach is a 1996 novel by Alex Garland which tells the story of Richard, a British backpacker exploring the country after receiving a mysterious map from an older traveller. Hoping to find an untouched paradise, Richard instead discovers a secret community of travellers. But what he thought was an idyllic escape is just on the surface––there are more hidden secrets looming in the island.
Garland wrote the book while he was living in the Philippines, and the country's beaches inspired the novel. Garland also took reference from Lord of the Flies, so if you know how that book ends, you can perhaps guess what to expect.
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5/5 Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (1996)
The 2007 Oscar-nominated movie Into The Wild is based on Jon Krakauer's novel of the same name. While the movie was critically acclaimed, the book is also an international bestseller. It tells the story of Chris McCandless, who spent two years around remote locations in the United States. He travelled alone in the wilderness, from South Dakota all the way to Alaska until he met his demise.
McCandless' journey can be seen as either inspiring or haunting. His desire for the most extreme of adventures, of leaving things behind, and to simply travel may speak to some of us. But it may also teach us lessons.