Books that inspire us to travel

Man’s real home is not a house, but the Road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot.” 

Bruce Chatwin

While part of the appeal of going on holiday is to relax, unwind and curl up on a sun lounger with the latest bestselling novel, sometimes it’s worth considering the journey we take to travel before even stepping foot out of our homes. Books provide the ultimate inspiration for everything and anything but when it comes to wanderlust, the sky isn’t the limit – it’s just the view.  

Whether it be a memoir, a travelogue or a novel, reading a gripping travel book can be just as transformative as the journey itself; cultivating curiosity about new locations, striving to become a more adventurous explorer, discovering if fantasies and realities are entirely cohesive. So, if you’re seeking a Wild experience across the enlightening Pacific Crest Trail, looking to embrace your inner foodie with a journey to the culinary capitals, or simply trying to find a new adventure a little closer to home, there’s a book out there just waiting to inspire you.  

    1      Rings of Saturn by W.G Sebald  

The ultimate literary inspiration to find adventure close to home, W.G Sebald’s Rings of Saturn details his expedition of a walking tour of the English county of Suffolk, meandering down the coast and embarking on a mental journey along the way. He meets vibrant and thought provoking characters during his trip from various walks of life, providing this category defying memoir with a multi faceted perspective that inspires every kind of traveller. 

    2      Moby Dick by Herman Melville  

Often praised as one of the best books of all time, Moby Dick follows the trope of “The Great American Novel” from its iconic opening line, “Call me Ishmael” to the intricate journey taken aboard the Pequod across the Seven Seas. The journey Ishmael takes is a fascinating one, but what makes the novel truly shine is its glorious descriptions of the voyage. It’s sure to inspire any lover of the sea, boats and adventure to take to the water and not look back. 

    3      A Moveable Feast: Life Changing Food Adventures Around the World [edited] by Don George  

If travel has the ability to bring people together, combining it with food is a sure way to enhance your relationships in the most enriching way possible. A Moveable Feast is undoubtedly the book that will fuel any gourmand journey. It features a collection of short stories from chefs, food lovers and writers from around the world. Each story provides a fascinating glimpse into various cultures through food, drink and all the experiences shared as a result. Whether you want to discover the foods of a new city in England or try different local produce in the countryside, you’ll find the stories inspire you to try something totally new – even in your own country. 

    4      How to Be A Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find A New Way to Be Together by Dan Kois 

A light hearted alternative to more harrowing travel novels such as Alex Garland’s The Beach, How to Be A Family is a laugh-inducing and relatable read of one man’s attempt to spend quality time with his loved ones by leaving their normal lives behind and carving out a year to explore the likes of New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Kansas. While many of us aren’t yet ready to travel to far-flung places, this book inspires a wanderlust for small villages and undiscovered places, as well as truly demonstrating how travel has the ability to bring people closer together. 

Book-inspired wanderlust is an unmatched feeling, taking imaginations to different locations and changing the way we travel for the better. Reading a travel book will turn you into the most experienced globetrotter – all from your own home. The journey you take is up to you.