Inspiration comes in so many forms these days. For starters, there’s YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. But for us, nothing quite has the same effect on us as a really great book. As such, we’ve created a list of our favorite books that inspire us to travel. How many of these have you read?

Need a little travel inspiration?

We’ve broken down some of our favorite books into categories to help you decide on the perfect book for you.

If you love the water:

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
This book was given to me by my mom’s best friend, Debbie Harmon, on a recent visit to her home in Santa Fe. Over dinner the discussion turned to books and she walked right over to her shelf and chose this one for me. I’ve been reading it slowly, savoring it, really, in the way one does with great books. As you might guess, it’s focus is on surfing.

Erin McGrady holding a book at the beach

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

Dove by Robin Lee Graham
I first read this book when I was 22 and living on Andros Island. Boats were fairly new to me at this point in my life and I was spellbound at the thought of someone going on a solo adventure at sea on a 24 foot sailboat.

If you dream of road trips and van life:

Van Life: Your Home on the Road by Foster Huntington
If you love pictures of vans and get starry eyed at the thought of living the van life, put this book on your reading list. It’s photo-heavy and the images are so cool … vans parked in all kinds of places, peeks at the inside of unique rigs … you know the deal.

woman reading in a car

Reading on the road!

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
This is a story about a cross-country road trip that Kerouac took with Neal Cassidy. I read this in my early twenties and it continues to inspire us to hit the road and seek out our own adventures, just like it has countless others who have read it.

Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks
Do you love road trips? Do you love whiskey? If either (or both) of these are true for you, then this is the book for you. Follow Banks on a tour of Scotland as he goes from distillery to distillery and see if you’re not searching the internet for a plane ticket to see and taste for yourself.

Hiking Marin

This book, Hiking Marin, isn’t on the list but it was cool to flip through.

If you love nature and hiking:

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
My grandfather recommended this book to me because it had to do with a shared love of ours: the Appalachian Trail. He read it first and told me to give it a try. It sat on the shelf for years before I read it but he was right.

If you want a book that pulls at your heart:

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilbert leave behind a marriage and a career in search of something else. Her life-changing journey takes readers through three countries and in doing so, explores themes such as pleasure (Italy), devotion (India) and Bali (balance).

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
For years after reading this book, I would buy extra copies to have them on hand and would give them out to friends who I thought might appreciate it. It had that big of an impact on me. It’s one of the rare books I’ve read more than once. It’s not your typical travel book, but it’s on the list because it impacted the course of my life and led to decisions that placed value on following dreams.

Did any of these books inspire you to travel?

If so, which one? Have you read any other books that inspired you to get out on the road? We’d love to hear about them, please leave your comments below!



One Comment on “Books That Inspire Us to Travel

  1. Pingback: Top National Parks to Visit in 2018 • Authentic Asheville

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