Ten Inspirational Travel Books

As passionate travellers, many of our adventures have been inspired by books. Reading about travel has always motivated us to take journeys of our own. With this in mind, here are ‘Ten Inspirational Travel Books’ which we have loved reading!

Ten Lessons from the Road by Alastair Humphreys

The first of our ten inspirational travel books is ‘Ten Lessons from the Road’. Alastair is a prolific writer/adventurer and all of his books are incredibly inspirational. Having cycled 46,000 miles around the world, in this book, he shares the lessons that he learnt along the way. Furthermore, this is a small beautifully presented book brimming with quotes and photographs galore. Alastair urges readers to pursue their own dreams and aspirations whatever they may be.

Ten Lessons from the Road by Alastair Humphreys


Kite Strings of the Southern Cross by Laurie Gough

Laurie’s odyssey through Fiji, Bali, Malaysia, New Zealand and Morocco is a combination of memoir and travel narrative. Indeed, the author is a free spirit who writes philosophically and poetically about travel and adventure. We couldn’t help but be swept up into journeys and enjoyed her insightful reflections on wanderlust. Kite Strings of the Southern Cross is a beautifully written and observant account by someone who is clearly passionate and curious about the world.


The Man who Cycled the World by Mark Beaumont

Mark cycled around the planet in just eighty-one days and this book is an account of that journey. As a result, it’s a thrilling and fast-paced read. Admittedly, it isn’t how we would choose to see the world, but the focus is on the physical achievement, rather than being a travelogue. Nevertheless it’s an entertaining read with lots of anecdotes and incidents along the way. Additionally, Mark manages to find time to write insightful descriptions of people he met and places he passed through. A great read and an impressive example of physical endurance.

The Man who Cycled the World by Mark Beaumont


Hand to Mouth to India by Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb made his way from Brighton in England to India at twenty years old. Not only was he penniless, but he hitchhiked and busked his passage to the sub-continent with just a clarinet and a backpack. Tom’s stories of life on the road are colourful and compelling. Indeed, he recalls the characters he encounters along the way and also the incredible kindness he received from strangers. This is the ultimate shoestring adventure for frugal travellers!


Hand to Mouth to India by Tom Thumb

Wild – A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed

We had wanted to do the Pacific Crest Trail long before ‘Wild’ was published. In fact, this book only re-ignited our resolve to undertake the 2,650 hike one day. Cheryl hiked the PCT following the death of her mother to ‘find her way back to being the person she used to be’. It’s a personal account which will resonate with anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one. Conditions range from the intense heat of the desert to the freezing snow-covered mountains. Additionally, she encountered rattle-snakes and bears en route and even managed to lose one of her hiking boots. A compelling read.


Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

At 62, in the early sixties, John Steinbeck travelled all over the USA in his camper van along with his beloved French Poodle, Charley. The duo embarked on adventures from New England to California. Steinbeck’s observations are perceptive, honest and humorous, allowing the reader an insight into the writer’s mind. It’s an absorbing travelogue into the heart of the America of a gentler era. Furthermore, it’s a joy to read if you appreciate a combination of great writing and travel.


Lone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World by Elspeth Beard

This book is a riveting and very personal story of a young woman who rode around the world back in 1984. Spanning 3,500 miles and two and a half years, it’s an awe-inspiring account of her travels. Furthermore, the author’s astute observations on the challenges that she faced as a woman, are a fascinating insight. As a matter of fact, it’s definitely one of those books that is difficult to put down once you start it.


Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding is packed with inspiration and information. In fact, it’s a backpacker’s classic. There are motivational quotes galore from writers and travellers. Indeed, by chapter two, it’s highly likely that you’ll be digging out your backpack and perusing flights on the internet. Rolf demonstrates how it is possible to travel on surprisingly little, as well as how travel can enrichen your life. Vagabonding is perfect for those who dream about hitting the road, but are looking for that extra kick in the butt to get them started!


Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

A Season in Heaven by David Tomoroy

Before the backpackers, came the hippies. This book is an anthology of tales from the Hippie Trail to India and Nepal in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Anyone who has an interest in counter-culture and is passionate about travel will love ‘A Season in Heaven’. Set during a fascinating time in travel history, places and people are seen through the eyes of the hippies who were trailing their blaze for those who followed.


Giant Steps by Karl Bushby

The last of the ten inspirational travel books that we have chosen is Giant Steps. Karl Bushby’s aim is to be the first person to walk an unbroken trail around the world. Karl started at the tip of South America and is trekking all the way to his hometown of Sheffield in the UK. Only the first leg of the journey is covered in this book, which takes Karl as far as the Bering Straits to Russia. Giant Steps is a compelling page-turner and Karl speaks honestly and eloquently about life on the road and its many challenges.

As passionate travellers, many of our adventures have been inspired by books. Reading about travel has always motivated us to take journeys of our own. With this in mind, here are ‘Ten Inspirational Travel Books’ which we have loved reading!


Giant Steps by Karl Bushby

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  1. Thanks! I haven’t read any of these. It’s amazing what people can and choose to do.

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