Travel books are the best baits that lure you to pack your bags and go to some place outside your comfort zone. But while youre still strapped to your office desk or uncertain as to where your wandering feet will take you next, here are the top 20 best travel books of all time. A word of advice though: the visual imageries created while reading these books will stir a different kind of wanderlust within you.
Top 1: On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Proceed with caution, you may never be able to settle in one place again, the warning says. On The Road accounts the series of trips made by Kerouac and his Beat Generation friends across America in the years after the Second World War- in the eyes of narrator Sal Paradise. The only people in life for me are the mad ones… the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles.
Top 2: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Laurie Lee
As I Walked Out One Midsummer is a lyrical, charming and poetic story of Lees voyages in his youth (1930s) across London and Spain, with nothing more than his sense of wonder and his violin.
Top 3: Naples ’44, Norman Lewis
Norman Lewis year-long diary of his personal account as intelligence officer during the Naples war of 1944 has painted a portrait of a war-torn Italy and its interesting mix of population.
Top 4: Coasting, Jonathan Raban
This book portrays a metaphor of the authors life- depicted through the account of hi 4000-mile journey across Britain, riding in a ketch and with only a compass in hand.
Top 5: Travels with Charley: In Search of America, John Steinbeck
Charley is a French Poodle whom the author has taken with him to tour the USA- across scenic landscapes and the most interesting people. Steinbecks depiction of how USA was half a century ago will evoke memories and realization how this nation has vastly changed.
Top 6: Notes From a Small Island, Bill Bryson
Bill Brysons insight of the modern British society, as one can read on this book, was a result of his farewell journey around the whole of Britain. This book is downright amusing, with the authors accounts filled with cheeky humor and compelling wistfulness.
Top 7: Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
First published in 1938, Homage to Catalonia tells of Orwells stories and the role he played during the Spanish Civil War.
Top 8: The Beach, Alex Garland
Made popular by its well-known movie adaptation, The Beach tells of a British backpackers journey to reach a paradise on earth. For most young generation travelers, The Beach has provided a great depiction of how traveling can offer a different kind of escapism.
Top 9: The Great Railway Bazaar, Paul Theroux
Considered as Therouxs finest written book, this book has become a quintessential guide for any traveler who wants to embark on a four-month journey from Europe to Asia and the Middle East on a train.
Top 10: The Road to Oxiana, Robert Byron
Oftentimes called as the Ulysses of travel writing, the Road to Oxiana is a diary-like account of the authors travel from the the Middle East to Oxiana. His is a charming, humorous depiction of a journey with so much rich culture, interesting people, and unforgettable events in between.
If your appetite for adventure and reading isnt still satisfied, check out this list of the next 10 best travel books of all time:
Top 11- Venice
Top 12: In Patagonia
Top 13: The Sun Also Rises
Top 14: The God of Small Things
Top 15: A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
Top 16: Arabian Sands
Top 17: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Top 18: Our Man in Havana
Top 19: The Journals of Captain Cook
Top 20: Among the Russians