The Best Travel Books That Will Make You Want to Hit the Road in 2019

Best Travel Books

Who doesn’t love traveling?

It gives us a sense of freedom that we simply cannot find at home. We adventurous souls are always hungry for it, and we seek every way possible to escape our realities.

We can’t always do that, though. Sometimes we have to stick with the mundane. But the good thing is — we only need to survive until our next big traveling adventure. At least we can help make that wait easier.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best travel books that you’ll adore if you’re a traveler . The list involves travel novels in general, as well as travel books for women, and comic books for children.

Best Travel Novels

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

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No list of travel must-reads can exist without The Alchemist. This book is an all-time classic and for a good reason. The story is fairly simple — it features Santiago, a shepherd who just wants to follow his dreams. He embarks on a long journey starting from Egypt. During his travels, Santiago meets several interesting people, and with every one of them, he learns a valuable lesson about life.

Essentially, The Alchemist is a story about chasing your dreams, following your heart, and not looking back. It’s an inevitable travel book that can inspire even the worst of cynics out there. “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say” is one of many beautiful quotes that will make you fall in love with the book and all that it represents.

Havana: A Subtropical Delirium, Mark Kurlansky

Since it’s fairly new, this novel is still not quite a classic, like The Alchemist. But it certainly has the potential to become one in a couple of years. In this book, Kurlansky lets us follow him on his adventures through Havana. He shares his impressions of the city, his thoughts, recipes, and overall knowledge of the Cuban culture.

The chapters read like a series of colorful picture postcards, each one a touchstone of Havana’s history and Cuban culture, Publishers Weekly says.

But much like reading about the Niagara Falls isn’t the same as seeing them, reading a summary of this book isn’t enough to experience it. You have to submerge yourself into the writer’s world in order to get the picture.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician, and this travelogue of hers is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. She travels through America, Spain, and Japan, and learns about each culture’s death rituals. Do you know that in a ritual called Hashi-watashi, the Japanese use their chopsticks to pick up their loved one’s bones during cremation? It seems a bit strange, we’ll agree with that. But corpses and caskets are not all that this book is about. She also describes the countries’ traditions and all of that in a very lighthearted and appreciative manner. She wants us to know that every culture is unique and that “One culture’s taboos are another’s sacred practices,” as the New York Times said it.

This fascinating book is definitely a must-read for travel enthusiasts. It will give you a whole new perspective about cultures, as well as life and death.

Best Travel Books for Women

A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit

Buckle up because this book is a rocky road. It’s a story, or more accurately — a series of stories of a woman who goes on a journey to find herself. She’s painfully lost, but she keeps walking nonetheless. In her essays, Solnit lets you in on all her thoughts and secrets, and throws in a couple of childhood stories and love affairs, too.

Every woman can relate to this book, even if she’s not a traveler. But travelers will appreciate the feminine aspect of it. So, what are you waiting for? “Go on,” she says. “Start walking. Get lost. Who knows what you’ll find.”

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe, Tsh Oxenreider

This is the story of how a family spent an ordinary nine months in an extraordinary way: circumnavigating the earth to see, firsthand, the places they’ve always wanted to explore,” Oxenreider herself says about her own book.

From England to New Zealand, this family explored a great number of cultures and traditions. In this book, Oxenreider described all of it — every beautiful or troubling moment.

Every woman knows that it’s hard to follow your heart and travel as you please when you have kids. But Oxenreider shows us that it’s much easier if you have the will.

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, Kapka Kassabova

Kassabova was born in Bulgaria, and her childhood memories from there have haunted her all her life. That’s why she decided to go back and explore the war-strewn area where she grew up — the border that divides Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece. On her journey, she describes the cold and dread-filled streets and reminisces of her childhood.

This memoir is not only beautifully written but also a perfect combination of traveling, history, and politics.

Best Travel Comic Books for Young Travelers

Adventures of Tintin,  Hergé

This classic comic book has already entertained generations and generations of young travelers. In fact, the first comic was published way back in 1929!

Tintin is an aspiring journalist who embarks on various adventures (from Chicago, Belgium, Paris, Morocco, Nepal and even to the moon!) with his loyal dog and best friend, Snowy. The two of them come across more than a few obstacles, but they always seem to overcome them.

This comic has simple, but interesting drawings that depict the story perfectly. However, the story is never simple. Every comic involves some kind of a historical or political backstory that makes it educational.

Asterix,  Albert UderzoRené GoscinnyJean-Yves Ferri

Initially, this comic was modeled after a typical American comic and adapted for the French audience. However, the whole world ended up loving it.

Asterix takes place in Gaul, in the year 50 B.C. The Roman Empire has invaded the whole Gaul, but one village, Gaulois, is a strong opposer to their authority. One of the villagers is Asterix, a barbarian and a warrior. With the help from his much larger pal, Obelix, and his dog, Idefix, Asterix goes on a new adventure every day. The comic is full of historical figures and events, which are all presented in a lighthearted and humorous way.

The Adventures of Blake & Mortimer,  Edgar P. Jacobs

Two guys solving crimes — it is a familiar concept. However, The Adventures of Blake and Mortimer feel completely different. As J.K Lindroos said:

It is a bit like a more polite version of an Indiana Jones adventure.

This comic is essentially a detective story, but it also delves into science fiction and a bit of history. It’s serious, yet lighthearted. Those who appreciate the subtlety of British humor will especially like Blake and Mortimer. But don’t worry — it will entertain you even if you don’t.

Following the quests of Blake, an MI5 agent, and Mortimer, a British scientist, is a doozy. They’re very different people, but they always find a way to work together. Even though their main antagonist is Colonel Olrik, a Hungarian criminal, the most exciting elements of the story are their unusual travels.

Price last updated on 2019-05-22. Links & images are from Amazon Product Advertising API. Our editors independently research, test and recommend the best products and services. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article at no additional cost to you.

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