Behind every great adventure are the stories that inspire them. These are some of my favourite books to inspire travel. When I read them I’m ready to start packing!
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
by Paul Coelho
Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book – a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life’s path and, above all, follow your dreams.
Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is more to life than his humble home and his flock. One day he finds the courage to follow his dreams into distant lands, each step galvanised by the knowledge that he is following the right path: his own. The people he meets along the way, the things he sees and the wisdom he learns are life-changing.
With Paulo Coelho’s visionary blend of spirituality, magical realism and folklore, The Alchemist is a story with the power to inspire nations and change people’s lives.
Clear Waters Rising: A mountain walk across Europe
by Nicholas Crane
Alone – though he was just married – and on foot, Nicholas Crane embarked on an extraordinary adventure: a seventeen-month journey along the chain of mountains which stretches across Europe from Cape Finisterre to Istanbul. His aim was to explore Europe’s last mountain wilderness and to meet the people who live on the periphery of the modern world.
by Rolf Potts
Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Potts gives the necessary information on:
• financing your travel time
• determining your destination
• adjusting to life on the road
• working and volunteering overseas
• handling travel adversity
• re-assimilating back into ordinary life
Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit.
Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert
It’s 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She’s in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they’re trying for a baby – and she doesn’t want any of it. A divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her.
Long Way Down
by Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman
After their fantastic trip round the world in 2004, fellow actors and bike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn’t shake the travel bug. And after an inspirational UNICEF visit to Africa, they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth.
And so they set off on their 15,000-mile journey with two new BMWs loaded up for the trip. Joining up with producer/directors Russ Malkin and David Alexanian and the Long Way Round team, their route took them from John O’Groats at the northernmost tip of Scotland to Cape Agulhas on the southernmost tip of South Africa.
Riding through spectacular scenery, often in extreme temperatures, Ewan and Charley faced their hardest challenges yet. With their trademark humour and honesty they tell their story – the drama, the dangers and the sheer exhilaration of riding together again, through a continent filled with magic and wonder.