Sometimes it takes a little bit of creative inspiration to dive into adventure! Whether it’s a movie or a painting, somebody else’s artistic expression could be all it takes to instill a sense of wanderlust in you that refuses to seize. If you want to start exploring but you’re having a hard time finding the motivation, pick up one of these books to inspire your inner-adventurer and get ready, because the traveler in you is about to be awakened!
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Take a wild ride with friends Dean and Sal in this quintessential beatnik classic written by literary iconoclast Jack Kerouac. Meet a posse of radical misfit poets based on real-life writers like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, and get a taste for the jazz- and drug-fueled backdrop of the postwar beat generation. On The Road will have you longing for a simpler time when carefree travel was held in casual regard, allowing for the mayhem and mischief of Jack Kerouac’s experiences which inspired this free-spirited novel.
Into The Wild - Jon Krakauer
Author Jon Krakauer wrote this international bestseller to chronicle the real life of Christopher McCandless, a well-educated, well-off young man who cut off communication with his family, gave away his money and possessions, and reinvented himself as Alexander Supertramp to find enlightenment in the Alaskan wilderness. Into The Wild covers topics on transcendentalism, the allure of nature, freedom, and identity. Though McCandless’ journey ultimately comes to a tragic end, his ethics and the messages of his travels still resonate deeply throughout this inspiring book. If you’re traveling solo, this is one book you won’t want to miss out on.
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
There’s a reason why The Alchemist is one of the top bestselling books of all time. Written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, this widely-translated book tells the story of Santiago, a young shepherd boy who takes a journey in search of a meaning for his prophecy. Forcing some level of introspection, reading this novel will have you questioning fate and spirituality, and it will have you daring to set your life in motion in search of fulfillment! Read this book and see what all the hype is about for yourself, you’ll be glad you did!
The Lost Continent - Bill Bryson
Chronicling the nearly 14,000 mile road trip around the United States, this book, written by traveler Bill Bryson, will make you want to hop in your car and cruise the country after just a couple of chapters! With the intention of avoiding tourist traps and exploring the heart of the country in small town treasure troves and overlooked points of interest, Bryson effectively discovers himself and grows closer to the living world around him. Covering topics on traveling pleasures and having a sense of home, this narrative is a great read before the start of any road trip adventure! For more travel literature by Bill Bryson, check out his book A Walk in the Woods.
A Walk Across America - Peter Jenkins
Published in 1979, the themes of this timeless book still ring true today for any idle soul eager to escape the monotony and rediscover themselves. Depicting the journey of author Peter Jenkins, this book tells a coming-of-age tale about a young man who set out to walk across America with his dog in search of himself. Reading this book will reawaken your spirit for exploration, your belief in humanity, and a sense of faith in yourself. If you love A Walk Across America, check out Jenkins’ other books like Looking For Alaska or The Road Unseen.
Walden - Henry David Thoreau
Also known as Life in the Woods, this literary classic stands the test of time because its messages of simple living and love for nature are still widely relatable today. Written by Henry David Thoreau and published in 1854, this book will have you quietly pondering self-reliance, solitude, and conscious living. After reading this book you’ll want to pack up a few meager belongings and seek simplicity alone in the woods. For best results, read this philosophical book beside a peaceful waterfront, preferably a charming pond of some sort.
Go Girl! - Elaine Lee
Half travelogue, half guidebook, this amazing literary collection by Elaine Lee compiles the adventurous tales of powerful black women like Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, and Gwendolyn Brooks, among many others! Live vicariously through the perspectives of 52 women as they travel to places like Bali and Trinidad, sharing personal insights and helpful advice that won’t just get you excited for an adventure, it will help to get you prepared too. A must-read for any first-time female traveler!
A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit
The writing style of author Rebecca Solnit perfectly matches the aimless yet intent travel-style that so many yearn for. A Field Guide to Getting Lost is told in a lackadaisical fashion that links seemingly unconnected topics together in a way that welcomes the reader into the author’s mind, daring them to question the value of being lost, accepting the unknown, and wandering without being burdened with a sense of self-discovery once you reach your unidentified destination. Reading this book will make you lose your fear of the unknown so you can embrace the profound ability to get lost.
Vagabonding - Rolf Potts
If you’re serious about traveling, this book bares a lot of great insights into financing your travels, adjusting to the open road, and fulfilling your self-determined destiny. This book is regarded by many as life-changing because it effectively illustrates how one extraordinary journey can truly change your life forever. The advice you read may be practical, but the feeling this book leaves you with is heartening, thought-provoking, and undoubtedly inspirational.
Go beyond your own boundaries and inspire your inner-adventurer with one of these great reads! What books have inspired you to take on the open road? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you! Happy reading!