As passionate travellers, many of our adventures have been inspired by books. Reading about travel and adventure has always motivated us to head out into the world and take journeys of our own. Here we present ten more inspirational travel and adventure books for your perusal!
Moods of Future Joys by Alastair Humphreys
In all honesty, it’s tough to choose a book from Alastair’s wide repertoire of adventure books, however this was the first that he wrote. It’s a compelling read which re-counts the first part of his 4-year bike trip around the planet. He sets off on his adventure from his village in North Yorkshire and finishes this leg in Cape Town after 9/11 changes the course of his journey. The great thing about Alastair is his honesty and modesty. Furthermore, despite his achievements, he never portrays himself as a great adventurer, just an average guy who embarks on a great adventure.
The Hawaiian Archipelago by Isabella Bird
During a time when women explorers were rare, Isabella Bird was unique. Despite suffering from ill health for much of her life, she undertook adventures throughout the world. This book is an account of the time she spent in Hawaii. Bird’s descriptions of the islands are detailed, evocative and humorous. Furthermore, although the book was written during the Victorian era, her horse-riding adventures and volcano treks are as engaging today as ever.
The Last Englishman by Keith Foskett
Many books have been written about the Pacific Crest Trail, but this one is our favourite.‘ Fozzie’ not only describes the epic trail which stretches from the Mexican border all the way to Canada, but also writes about the many fellow hikers that he encounters on the way. Indeed, this is the book which first inspired us to hike the PCT trail one day. It’s a great read which tells of both the joys and the struggles of the hike and it’s not an easy one to put down once started!
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
We couldn’t write a list of our favourite travel books without including this beat-generation classic. Anyone with wanderlust in their heart won’t fail to be captivated by Kerouac’s rambling poetic prose. Indeed, On the Road has enough romantic travel-inspired passages in it to stir wanderlust in the most reluctant of travellers. Although, it was written back in the fifties, this book is as inspiring today as it was when it was first published.
World Stompers: A Global Travel Manifesto by Brad Olsen
World Stompers is a fun, quirky guide for anyone planning a round-the-world adventure. It’s aimed primarily at young travellers who are seeking cool places to party and destinations that are easy on the purse strings. It’s accompanied by basic, but captivating artwork. Although, it’s by no means an in-depth guide, it’s colourful, funky, inspirational and perfect to dip in and out of. We enjoyed it in our early backpacking days and still have a copy of it in our box of travel books.
To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia and a Quest for a life with no Regret by Jedidiah Jenkins
A travel memoir for the times, Jedidiah leaves the rat race behind and embarks on a bicycle journey from Oregon all the way to Patagonia. During his odyssey he reflects on reconciling his religious upbringing with his sexuality. It’s a gripping account of his journey and mission to live his best life. To Shake the Sleeping Self will no doubt inspire the next generation to defy convention and embark on their own unique journeys of self-discovery.
Travels with my Daughter by Niema Ash
A single mother in the sixties, Niema Ash struggled in reconciling motherhood with her passion for travel. The author brought up her daughter in Montreal, while socialising with the likes of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Their travels took them to Marrakech at the height of the hippie scene and the book provides an insight into what it was like to travel in more innocent times. This absorbing memoir is evocative of a fascinating era in travel and is a boho celebration of motherhood, travel and relationships.
The Moonlight Chronicles: A Wandering Artist’s Journal by Dan Price
Dan is a wandering hobo artist. For many years, his drawings and reflections have been recorded in a series of zines called The Moonlight Chronicles. This compact little book is a selection from those zines. Dan’s philosophy is simplicity and a connection to nature. Whether he is surfing in Hawaii or hiking in Oregon, his aim is to live in the moment. He observes and draws things which go unnoticed by most of us who often are too busy to stop and look. The Moonlight Chronicles inspires us to see the world differently.
Tortillas to Totems: A Motorcycle Journey through Mexico, USA and Canada
In all honesty, all of Sam’s books are incredibly entertaining and therefore, it is difficult to choose between them, but this one is definitely up there as far as our favourite adventure books go. Tortillas to Totems covers Mexico, USA and Canada and is a rollicking ride. Sam is the perfect travel companion. He has an easy-going manner and his observations are spot-on, whether describing the people he meets or the landscapes he passes through. Sam’s other books have covered Asia, South America and Africa and we have thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild is the last of our ‘Ten More Travel and Adventure Books’ and there aren’t many travellers who won’t be aware of Chris McCandless. Now an iconic figure due to the book and movie of the same name, Chris left his home and family and gave away his savings to live a life of freedom and adventure on the open road. Sadly, he died whilst living in an abandoned bus in the wilds of Alaska. Anyone, who has ever thought about turning their back on a conventional life will find something to appreciate in this book. It’s full of inspiring quotes by Chris and the writers that he admired and tells the story of a true free spirit.