Every trip needs a good book for company. And some great trips need a book to commemorate them. Here are five of our favorite travel narratives for you to cozy up with on your next long-haul flight!
1. In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson
A renowned travel writer, Bryson has written about his experiences in small-town America, on the Appalachian Trail and, our personal favorite, the terrifying, yet friendly, Australian outback. With his signature wit and and candid (maybe sometimes too candid) storytelling, Bryson will make you simultaneously yearn for the open adventure of the bush and question whether you’d make it out in one piece! (Don’t worry–you probably will)
2. Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Now a major motion picture, Wild is a personal story of a young woman who makes the brave (or maybe slightly stupid) decision to drop everything and hike, with no real training, the Pacific Crest Trail. Finding herself on a rough road in life, Strayed packs up and heads out to discover herself. We can’t claim to be impressed with every decision she makes along the way, but we can be impressed by a strong, independent woman who has the tenacity to set her sights on a goal and the wherewithal to follow through.
3. The Lost Girls, Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner
Nearing their late twenties, Jennifer, Holly and Amanda find themselves facing choices in their lives they aren’t sure they want. Desperate to discover if they were missing out on life, they quit their day jobs, gave up their NYC apartments and set out on a year-long journey to discover the world, themselves and each other. Read with caution, as their tales may have you packing a suitcase of your own and setting out for parts unknown.
4. Queen of the Road, Doreen Orion
Doreen and her husband Tim are approaching midlife when Tim recommends taking a year-long break from their career, buying an RV and traveling the country. Not one for the outdoors, Doreen is a bit skeptical, to say the least. Unhappy with their RV options they end up completely overhauling a bus to get the motorhome of their dreams and then set out on some pretty spectacular, and surprisingly honest, adventures.
5. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
An oldie but a goodie, this 1950s novel follows two friends, Sal and Dean, as they traipse back and forth across America. Set in a time after World War II, but before the Civil Rights movement, this fictionalized account of Kerouac’s own travels is chock full of Americana and tells the story of the Beat Generation. It has also been given the Hollywood treatment but, as is usually the case, the book is better!