10 Great Travel Stories
Great books for lovers of travel literature
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to drop everything and take a long vacation every year. With a well written book in hand an armchair traveller's imagination can take them to all the corners of the globe.
Travel literature can increase our understanding of ourselves and others through the writer's experiences and present stories of people and places that may have otherwise remained unknown to us.
I have compiled a list of my favourite travel writing that will make any reader feel like they are exploring new places - all from the comfort of their favourite chair. I would love to know your favourite travel book so please add it below.
"Tourists don't know where they've been, travellers don't know where they're going."
- Paul Theroux
Are travel stories for you?
Do you like to read travel stories?
Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris - by: Graham Robb
Is it a history book? A work of fiction? A travel story? I think it's a mix of all 3. I love how the author tells the history of the city through the lives of some of it's famous and infamous citizens. I read this on return from my trip to Paris last year and it helped improve my understanding of things I had seen. I wish I had discovered it before I went. This is not a light fluffy read but well worth your effort.
5 Ways to Carry a Goat: A Blogger's World Tour - by: Ben Groundwater
Another book I really enjoyed this year. Ben blogs for our local newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald. He decided to travel around the world relying on the kindness of his readers to provide accommodation and tour guide services. His only rule was that he would go to places he would not normally choose to go when they were offered.
In his 14 weeks on the road he visited 14 countries including; South Korea, Bangladesh, Thailand, Ethiopia and the Czech Republic. I particularly liked his time with the family in Thailand. If you want to know the five ways you can carry a goat don't miss his story on Ethiopia!
Vroom with a View: In Search of Italy's Dolce Vita on a '61 Vespa - by: Peter Moore
I loved this book. It inspired me to go beyond the beaten track on my 3-week trip to Italy last year. When I did make it to some of the places described here I really felt like I had been there before. Excellent writing from this consistently good author.
Amazon Price: $5.75 (as of 07/24/2012)
The Best American Travel Writing 2012
This book is a perfect gift for a traveller who is not sure where they are going next. With stories from places such as Cameroon, Korea, Japan and Senegal the writers share their experiences and feelings of the places they have encountered.
Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam - by: Walter Mason
This book caught my eye because Vietnam is on my travel list this year. Get an insight into the Vietnam of today. The author explores the attitudes of the Vietnamese people to various aspects of life from relationships and religion to food and drink. This book only intensified my determination to visit the country.
This book only intensified my determination to visit Vietnam. A good look at life in the country today.
Rock and Hard Places: Travels to Backstages, Frontlines and Assorted Sideshows - by: Andrew Mueller
"The best foreign correspondent of his generation." -P.J. O'Rourke In this book Andrew Mueller describes his time on the road with bands including U2 and Radiohead and in places from Bosnia to the French Alps.
The book is a collection of his writings, mostly from the 1990s but it's a great insight into that decade.
Some travel anthologies you might enjoy - These are great for quick reads.
This is probably my favourite anthology of women's travel writing. The 12 women showcased in this book take you on their journeys with them. I admire their bravery to travel alone to exotic destinations.
This is a big collection with 33 stories from quality writers including Jack Kerouac, Anthony Trollope, Evelyn Waugh and Alice Adams. The stories spam several decades and writing styles
Resources for travel writing fans - These lists and award winners help you find more great reading.
- Worldhum - The best travel stories on the internet.
"Superb writing and stylish layout make visiting the site like cracking open a high-quality travel magazine." - The Wall Street Journal. They are spot on.. this is my favourite travel site. I highly recommend you check it out.
- JourneyWoman Travel Stories
From this great website for women travellers comes a travel stories section
Join the professionals and learn how to write and sell travel stories of your own.
- Solas Awards Winners
The finalist and winners here provide a great reading list.
- Thomas Cook Travel Book Awards
From 1980 to 2005 this award was given annually for the best in travel writing.
Dolman Best Travel Book Award - Dolman Best Travel Book Award These books were all nominated for this prestigious British travel writing award
The winner - The Dead Yard : Tales of Modern Jamaica by Ian Thomson is currently not available.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by those you have. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.
Explore. Dream. Discover.