"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting..." - Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Books are awesome, they transport us to another world just as ours becomes a little too mundane for our liking. From Paulo Coelho to Marco Polo, some authors manage to blend fantasy and adventure in a way that makes you jealous of the adventures those characters take, but what if you want to join the characters and just go out an explore? Well it's your lucky day, here are our top 5 travel books to get you browsing those flight deals on your next commute.
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The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Telling the story of a poor shepherd from Southern Spain, The Alchemist follows him as he makes an impromptu journey from Spain to the Egyptian pyramids in an attempt to fulfill his destiny. Paulo Coelho’s storytelling is fantastic, and you’ll be searching for an adventure of your own in no time at all!
If the Spain part inspired you, check out our foodie guide to Spain!
Dracula – Bram Stoker
You wouldn’t expect a book about vampires to make you want to head outside, but Bram Stoker manages to do it well, combining the traditional vampire story with enough intrigue to make it addictive. In many ways, Dracula reads much like a European city tour, following the characters through London, Paris, Vienna, Istanbul and all the way into the mystical Wallachian Mountains in Romania. Careful, this book may cause some serious wanderlust…
Histories of Nations – Peter Furtado
Cutting a country’s history and ideas of citizenship into short eleven-page chapters is not easy, but Peter Furtado and the host of native writers who cover each country do it amazingly well. Each chapter identifies a different country and is a great way to dive into just what makes each culture unique.
I’m Off Then – Hape Kerkeling
Written by Germany’s answer to Bill Bryson, I’m Off Then (it has since become a film!) is the story of what happens when an overweight and unfit male just decides to walk the famed Camino de Santiago – a 1,200-year-old pilgrimage through Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Combining a story of self-discovery with amusing snippets about the hardships he faces on the way, I’m Off Then may just make you escape into nature for a little while in search of a simpler life...
Tempted to try it out for yourself? Check out our guide on the Camino de Santiago here!
The Travels of Marco Polo – Marco Polo
Marco Polo’s journey east is a tale as old as time, and the impact that it had on explorers who proceeded him was immense. Following him on his travels, The Travels of Marco Polo combines interesting anecdotes about his interactions with the Mongols with stories of made-up cities that make the historical journal read more like a fantasy thriller. Not all of the stories will be true, but the desire for adventure certainly is and will have you looking east sooner rather than later!