In our last instalment of this piece, we suggested five books from eminent travel writers including Chatwin, Bryson and Theroux. But there are so many great travel books written by great writers that we were spoilt for choice while putting together the previous list. That’s why, we decided to recommend a few more, which make for mandatory reading for any traveller.
Here are five books that will keep your hopes about travel alive in the post-pandemic world.
The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner
As a war correspondent, Weiner had to report from some of the world’s worst war-torn places that were shrouded by clouds of grief and despair. After spending almost a decade reporting conflict in the Middle East, Weiner decided to travel around the world in search of its happiest places.
This book narrates his experiences of finding the happiest countries of the world. From meditating in Bangalore to enjoying a striptease night in Bangkok, the book manages to take its readers through various experiences, with a dose of humour. Weiner has done his best in trying to explain how people across the world relate to circumstances and fate, and what really makes them happy.
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, Rolf Potts
This book talks about the art of long-term world travel and how a single trip can change one’s life forever. It also educates its readers on financing their travel, how to decide on destinations, adjusting oneself to live far from home and how to find opportunities to volunteer and work in other countries while travelling. Calling this book a must-read will be an understatement.
The Beach, Alex Garland
Remember that movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio in which he travels to Thailand in search of an isolated beach? Yeah, that movie is based on its namesake book by Alex Garland. Published in 1996, the novel marked Garland’s debut in the world of travel literature.
The book revolves around the life of a young British backpacker named Richard who tries to find a secret beach that is known only to a few travellers. The protagonist is joined by a French couple on his adventure and the book beautifully narrates their experience of discovering and living on the mysterious island. Absolutely unputdownable.
A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle
The writer in this book moves to a 200-year-old farmhouse in Luberon, a totally remote country. With him are his wife and their two dogs. The book tells us a great deal about the earthy pleasures of Occitan life. You can expect a one-of-its-kind narration of two Brits living in a rural setup in France and their experiences of discovering the characteristics of a Provencal life. Mayle is extremely witty with his words and takes his readers on a sheer joyride as they turn the pages of this gem of a travel book.
World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, Anthony Bourdain
Penned by one of the most respectable writers of all times, this book is more of a travel guide which takes you through some of Bourdain’s most beloved places in the world. It also lists important information like guidebooks usually do, the where to stay and eat kinda stuff.
It also features insightful essays written by Bourdain’s friends, family members and colleagues. The best? Every chapter in the book has a witty illustration done by popular cartoonist Tony Millionaire.