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Must-Read Novels and Biographies That Inspire Travel

Must Reads

Adventure stories are both entertaining and motivating. The empathy we form helps us internalize each character’s ambitions and self-discoveries. Thus, a travel tale can inspire us to push the boundaries and seek new experiences. So here a few reads sure to encourage your own adventures!

The Alchemist | Paulo Coelho

A young shepherd from Spain follows his heart to Egypt, where he discovers much about himself, the world and love. This mystical quest for worldly treasure concludes profoundly, leaving readers wiser for having experienced it.

On the Road | Jack Kerouac

This classic beat-generation story shadows Sal, a New Yorker who sets west to meet new people, experiment with drugs and alcohol and live nomadically along the highways and railroads. This meandering story documents true events, people and places Sal encountered.

Into the Wild | Jon Krakauer

Christopher Johnson McCandless abandoned all his belongings in 1992 to hitchhike to Alaska. From there, he wandered into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley, where he lived out the remainder of his days. The story leading to his unfortunate and untimely death is both haunting and inspirational.

The Beach | Alex Garland

While travelling Southeast Asia, Richard meets another traveller who tragically commits suicide and leaves behind a map to “the beach.” The beach is a thing of legend—an alleged real-life Eden. As Richard journeys to there, he comes to realize the place may not be idyllic as he first thought.

The End of the Alphabet | CS Richardson

Ambrose Zephyr learns of his terminal illness on his fiftieth birthday. With only months to live, he embarks on a trip that passes through countries for each letter of the alphabet—from Amsterdam to Zanzibar.

Hector and the Search for Happiness | Francois Lelord

Hector, a young psychiatrist, sets out to understand the meaning of happiness. He interacts with locals around the world, recording his observations on what brings people joy, misery, confusion and neutrality. The list he writes provokes much thought and a few chuckles.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail | Cheryl Strayed

Following her mother’s dead and the dispersion of her family, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. This is a true story of self-exploration, overcoming and, ultimately, healing.