Read While You Travel  

One of my favorite things about traveling is that I suddenly have time to read. When I’m hitching, camping or backpacking around the world I often manage to read two or even three books a week. Over the last year, I have put together a list of the best travel books to read when backpacking! Many of these travel books are the best read when you’re actually in the country they are set in; for example, reading Shantaram in India is a really fantastic experience and you will get a lot more out of the book. Having the best books to inspire travel on your journey is like the cherry on top of a perfect adventure sundae.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I like this book when I’m on the road because it acts as a reminder that traveling causes you to grow as a person. Whether it is the food, the cultural experience or the people you meet, traveling affects everyone, as seen in Eat, Pray, and Love. this book I too want to go on a vacation all by myself. Every one especially every woman should read it once. I haven’t been to France yet, but when I go, I’ll be sure to take this book with me.

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

A book about following your dreams, this is one of the most-read books in recent history. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way, he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself. The book is filled with wonderful and inspirational quotes. My favorite: “If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man… Life will be a party for you, a grand festival because life is the moment we’re living right now.” I’ve read this book multiple times and it always cheers me up and inspires me to keep reaching for my dreams. I can’t recommend this book enough. It will move you.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

If you’re heading over to India, take this book along with you. Shantaram will cause you to fall deeper in love with India than you thought possible. Written in beautiful prose, the love story of Lin and Karla will go down as one of the greatest love stories seen in literature. If you’re heading over to India for meditative purposes, pass on bringing this book, as it centers on thug-life. Otherwise, take this along with you as you explore India.

Seven Ages of Paris, by Alistair Horne

This book highlights the main influential periods of Parisian history, taking you from the early middle ages to the 20th century. It’s very dense and contains a lot of facts. I found myself re-reading parts just to make sure I absorbed everything. And, while this book jumps a little between periods, it gives you a fantastic and clear overview of how Paris became Paris and how it was built up over the centuries. It gave me a new appreciation for the city and just how the city went from royal backwater to the magnificent place it is today.


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