12 Books to Give you some serious Wanderlust


Neha Raheja

Neha loves exploring off the beaten path places and is an avid reader. When she isn't reading, she is probably cooking while singing, dreaming of food, or playing with her adorable 7 months daughter.

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‘Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find our treasure’ – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

This is one of my ever favourite quotes from one of my all-time reads- The Alchemist. While I was re-reading this book for the umpteenth time, I realized I should collate all my favourite travel/adventure books. When would be a better time if not now to tickle the bookworm in you? Let’s all come out of this quarantine season a reader. Reading travel or an adventure book can be as transformative as the journey itself.

If you’re looking for some inspirational reads, here is my current list of the best travel books to inspire you to travel far-off lands after the COVID is over:

  1. Wind Sand and Stars by Antoine De Saint – Exupery (1939)

Wind, Sand and Stars is a memoir by the French aristocrat aviator-writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and a winner of several literary awards. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying. It deals with themes such as friendship, death, heroism, and solidarity among colleagues, and illustrates the author’s opinions of what makes life worth living.

Originally published: February 1939
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Original language: French
Genres: Biography, Memoir
Good Reads Rating – 4.2/5


  1. Endurance – An Epic of Polar Adventure by Frank Worsley (1931)

The legendary tale of Ernest Shackleton’s grueling Antarctic expedition recounted in riveting first-person detail by the captain of HMS Endurance. Endurance tells the full story of that doomed expedition and incredible rescue, as well as relating Frank Worsley’s further adventures fighting U-boats in the Great War, sailing the equally treacherous waters of the Arctic, and making one final (and successful) assault on the South Role with Shackleton. It is a tale of unrelenting high adventure and a tribute to one of the most inspiring and courageous leaders of men in the entire history of exploration

Originally published: 1931
Author: Frank Worsley
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5


  1. The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen (1978)

The Snow Leopard is a 1978 book by Peter Matthiessen. It give a detailed account about the conditions of Himalayas from the rugged terrain to the unpredictable weather, in his two-month search for the snow leopard with naturalist George Schaller in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas. Mathiessen sees the trip as one of the personal and religious enlightenment which is very well captured in the book.

Originally published: 1978
Author: Peter Matthiessen
Publisher: Viking Press
Country: Nepal
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5


  1. The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas by Thor Heyerdahl (1948)


The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas is a 1948 book by the Norwegian writer Thor Heyerdahl. It recounts Heyerdahl’s experiences with the Kon-Tiki expedition, where he sailed across the Pacific Ocean with his five companions on a balsa tree raft for 101days over 6900km.

Originally published: 1948
Author: Thor Heyerdahl
Original title: Kon-Tiki Ekspedisjone
Country: Norway
Genres: Biography, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5


  1. The Grass Beyond the Mountains by Richmond P Hobson Jr. (1951)


The author describes how in the 1930s he and two other cowhands crossed the mountains to start a huge cattle empire in Northern British Columbia. It is a story of endurance and discovery of three cowboys, described with cowboy humor.

Originally published: 1951
Author: Richmond P. Hobson Jr.
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5


  1. Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum (1900)


Sailing Alone Around the World is a sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum in 1900 about his single-handed global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray. Slocum was the first person to sail around the world alone. The book was an immediate success and highly influential in inspiring later travelers.

Originally published: 1900
Author: Joshua Slocum
Editor: Joshua Slocum
Genres: Biography, Autobiography, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5


  1. The World Beneath Their Feet by Scott Ellsworth (2020)


A saga of survival, technological innovation, and breathtaking human physical achievement — all set against the backdrop of a world headed toward war — that became one of the most compelling international dramas of the 20th century. It talks about the mountaineering, madness and the deadly race to summit the Himalayas.

Originally published: 18 February 2020
Author: Scott Ellsworth
Genre: Biography
Goodreads Rating – 4.4/5


  1. Wild: From Lost To Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (2012)


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a 2012 memoir by American author Cheryl Strayed, describing her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery.

Originally published: 20 March 2012

Author: Cheryl Strayed
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Adaptations: Wild (2014)
Genres: Biography, Autobiography, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating: 4/5


  1. The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle (2019)


No running water, no car, no electricity or any of the things it powers: the internet, phone, washing machine, radio or light bulb. Just a wooden cabin, on a smallholding, by the edge of a stand of spruce.

In this honest and lyrical account of a remarkable life without modern technology, Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Man, explores the hard-won joys of building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, collecting water from the stream, foraging, and fishing.

Originally published: 4 April 2019
Author: Mark Boyle
Genres: Biography, Nature writing
Goodreads Rating: 4/5


  1. Running The Amazon by Joe Kane (1989)


In 1986 a party of 12 explorers attempted to travel the full length of the Amazon. Joe Kane’s original role was as a writer and observer but he ended up as one of the only two members of the original group to complete the entire journey, the first people to travel the Amazon from source to sea.

Originally published: 1989
Author: Joe Kane
Genres: Guidebook, Travel literature
Goodreads Rating – 3.9/5


  1. The Call of the Wild By Jack London (1903)


The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck.

Originally published: 1903
Author: Jack London
Goodreads Rating – 3.9/5


  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988)


This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids.

Originally published: 1988
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genres: Novel, Drama, Fantasy, Quest, Fantasy Fiction, Adventure fiction
Goodreads Rating – 3.9/5

As I finish off this list, I’ll look for some more inspirational travel books. As we are all locked inside and cannot travel, there is no restriction of travelling in your dreams to far away places.

‘Keep reading! It’s one of the most marvelous adventure one can have’ – Llyod Alexandar

About Author

Neha Raheja
Neha loves exploring off the beaten path places and is an avid reader. When she isn't reading, she is probably cooking while singing, dreaming of food, or playing with her adorable 7 months daughter.