Suffering from summertime wanderlust? Are you in need of a little “staycation?” Here are five books that will take you across the world. You will explore new countries, mountain ranges, and discover a little piece of yourself in each one. Each of these reads, whether fiction or nonfiction, will leave you inspired.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
At age twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed embarks on the over 1,000 mile hike across the Pacific Northwest Trail after her mother’s tragic death. Devasted, lost, and reeling from her divorce and loss of her mother, Strayed embarks on a beautiful and heartbreaking journey of self-discovery. Strayed’s writing is full of gorgeous introspection. She states as she ascends a mountain, “I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.” This book will truly break your heart, and then put it back together again.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
For anyone looking for a young adult journey through the romantic city of Paris, Perkins has got you covered with the exciting first installment of her travel-themed trilogy. At age sixteen, Anna is sent to boarding school in Paris, much to her chagrin. Through a series of twists and turns, Anna discovers the true meaning of friendship, love, and adventure. Not only is Perkins geographically accurate throughout the novel, she compels emotion from the reader by portraying an accurate picture of the human condition during a period of change.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
How much can one day change you as a person? Protagonist Allyson discovers that the answer is an incredible amount. After a summer of cautiously traveling Europe, Allyson spends an exciting day with a Dutch nomad named Willem. After he disappears the next morning, Allyson is devastated, and certainly not the person she was before she met him. After months of soul-searching, Allyson returns to Europe in search of Willem. Along the way, she finds herself.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Perhaps the king of travel writing, Bill Bryson decides at middle-age to embark on a hilarious yet tumultuous journey through the Appalachian Trail. Bryson introduces us to fascinating history and ecology, while remarking on the unique characters he meets along the way. In his true fashion, Bryson introduces readers to a new world with entertaining wit and honesty.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Perhaps the most well-known and sought after inspirational travel book, Elizabeth Gilbert’s poignancy and honest reflections of her many adventures will leave you craving more. Her talent for descriptive detail has inspired millions of readers to pursue a life of creativity and adventure. After a bitter divorce and a series of heartbreaks, Gilbert embarks around the world, from Italy to India in order to find herself spiritually. Gilbert’s thought provoking insight and humor will inspire both laughter and tears.