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I like traveling and I like road trips – wanderlust is one of the reasons that I came up with a travel bucket list and am on a quest to visit every county in the United States.  I also enjoy reading books and thought I would share 8 of the best travel books to inspire your own wanderlust.  Obviously there are thousands if not millions of wanderlust / road trip / travel books, and it’s nearly impossible to pick the “best” travel books so these are not necessarily in any order – and what I consider some of the best travel books may not work for you.  I picked wanderlust books that I’ve read personally as well as books that others have recommended.  I have attempted to not just rehash everyone else’s list but come up with some unique travel books as well. Consider it some wanderlust book inspiration! 🙂

Top 5 best travel books

Here are some of the best travel books I’ve read or been recommended

best-travel-books-around-the-worldAround the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth by Albert Podell – this was the book that for me inspired this list of top travel books. Not only does Podell share his story of visiting literally every country in the world, he does it in an incredibly humorous way. As I read this book, my wife kept looking over at me and wondering why I kept laughing! Briefly mentioned in the book is the story of Podell’s motor vehicle circumnavigation of the world in 1963, which is covered more in-depth in Who Needs a Road?: The Story of the Longest and Last Motor Journey Around the World

best-travel-books-wanderlust-on-the-road-kerouacNo list of the best travel books could be complete without possibly the original wanderlust book – On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Written and originally published in 1951, it was inspired by Kerouac’s adventures with his friend Neil Cassady. The two men’s cross-country trips have inspired generations of travelers to get out and see what’s out there!


wanderlust-books-tears-dark-waterMoving from non-fiction into novels, The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison is a story involving Daniel Parker and his troubled son Quentin, circumnavigating the world by sailboat. Mixed into this story is a subplot involving Ismail Adan Ibrahim, searching for his missing sister Yasmin and going against everything he was brought up to believe in by engaging in piracy off the coast of Somalia. How these 2 plots intersect and resolve makes for a truly interesting and engaging story

best-books-about-travel-happiness-of-pursuitI’ve always enjoyed Chris Guillebeau’s story, and his book titled The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life was one that really captivated me.  Guillebeau set out to visit every country by age 35, and the story(ies!) of how he managed to do it is one that is likely to inspire you to go after your dreams.  Or maybe I’m just a sucker for “checking things off lists” stories! 🙂

best-travel-books-wanderlust-other-side-heavenThe Other Side of Heaven by John Groberg details the true story of Groberg’s 3 years as a Mormon missionary in Tonga. Originally titled “In the Eye of the Storm”, it was also made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway and Christopher Gorham (which I also enjoyed).  Starting off with the 19 year old Groberg abandoned in Suva, Fiji – stuck between a boat captain insisting he leave the ship and a Fijian immigration officer that wouldn’t let him leave, this is a classic coming of age story.

And, here are a few more of the best travel books that might inspire your next road trip

14 of the best travel books meant to inspire wanderlust, road trips, amazing destinations and vacations, and lead an adventure filled life

What are your recommendations for the best travel books out there?  Leave your suggestions in the comments

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