Every traveler needs a great read. A good book goes a long way on a seven hour flight to Southeast Asia, a long bus ride across South America, or on a train taking you to the next European country. Clay and I each came up with five of our favorite books – page-turners that encompass or inspire travel as you jet-set and explore new places of your own!
10.The Shadow of Kilimanjaro by Rick Ridgeway [Clay]
This book is about Rick Ridgeway’s journey as he walks from the top of Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean by way of Tsavo National Park. One of Kenya’s oldest and largest national parks, Tsavo remains one of the largest areas with a fully intact ecosystem – complete with all of the largest land animals in Africa including lions, elephants, black rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, leopards and more.
9. Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Gelman [Hayley]
I stumbled upon this book in the library of the red house I lived in while in the Columbia River Gorge. This book tells the story of a divorcee who looks to travel to heal, discover, and grow. Rita explores Mexico, the Galapagos, Borneo, and more, connecting with individuals and rediscovering her spirit through cultural exchanges.
8. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel [Clay]
This book captures the story of a little boy marooned on a lifeboat with a wild animal. Pi must overcome obstacles in order to survive, and has quite the adventure along the way.
7. The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless [Hayley]
Many of us have read or heard of the story of Chris McCandless – a young graduate who set off into the Alaskan wilderness to find himself. What many of us may not have heard of or read, however, is his sister’s account of their childhood. In an effort to defend, or perhaps simply explain her brother’s life choices, and to set some of the record from Into The Wild straight, readers get an inside look at a sad, broken home – the one that Chris was raised in.
6. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield [Clay]
This book captures the events of the Battle of Thermopylae – the famed battle for which the film 300 was based off of. It will inspire you and put into perspective any trial and tribulations you may face on your own adventure as these men brutally fought for their lives in the time of ancient Greeks.
5. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert [Hayley]
Many of you have perhaps heard of or read this novel. Discover the adventures of Elizabeth in Italy, India, and Indonesia as she attempts to discover herself and soak up culture along the way. From Italian indulgences, rigorous yogini and spiritual practices in India, and encounters of peace and love in Indonesia, this book will inspire you while you travel and motivate you to soak up all that surrounds you.
4. Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams [Clay]
This book was a great read, even more memorable because I read it during my travels in South America. Mark Adams recaptures the travels of Hiram Bingham – the man who discovered the remarkable Machu Picchu in 1911. The author then embarks on some of the treks Bingham himself embarked on – involving machetes, getting lost, and experiencing the adventure of a lifetime in the Amazon jungle.
3. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown [Hayley]
This is my most recent read, and I fell in love. (My mom sent it my way – thanks, Mom!) With having lived in the Pacific Northwest and this year being one of the summer Olympics, I was especially affected. This books leaves you loving Joe Rantz – a young man, coming from an impoverished and broken home, who accomplishes great feats and finds victory. Read about an inspiring man and the impeccable team who won the Gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
2. Barbarian Days by William Finnegan [Clay]
Also on President Obama’s summer reading list, Barbarian Days follows the author throughout his life in Hawaii, California, Indonesia, Africa and more. In search of the best waves, Will finds adventure along the way.
1.The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner [Hayley]
Funny and philosophical, Eric Weiner is in search for the happiest place on earth. As the author travels the globe making discoveries along the way, you will undoubtedly feel inspired to get out and explore these far-reaching places yourself. Full of humor, wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration, this is a book that I did not want to end, and my all time favorite travel book.
What is your favorite travel book? I want to hear! Hope these great reads keep you company on your next adventure!