Sometimes a plane ticket and 6 months exploring the world for yourself just isn’t an option.
“The Nyungar people, and indeed the entire Aboriginal population, grew to realise what the arrival of the European settlers meant for them: it was the destruction of their traditional society and the dispossession of their lands”Doris Pilkington
Based on a true story, this book follows three girls who were members of the ‘Stolen Generation’ – a generation of mixed-race children in Australia who were taken away from their families. Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence follows Molly (the author’s mother), Daisy, and Gracie, who are taken to a government settlement. They escape in 1931 and trek over 990 miles home by following the rabbit-proof fence, a fence which crossed Western Australia. Their story is truly remarkable and inspiring.
“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream”Jack Kerouac
Perhaps the most famous travel novel, this semi-autobiographical classic follows Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty’s travels across America in the 1940s. The reader joins them on their hedonistic journey, as they hurtle through San Francisco, Virginia, and New York. This book inspired a generation of literature.
I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.Cheryl Strayed
Now a popular film starring Reese Witherspoon, Wild is an autobiographical account of Cheryl’s thousand mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. After a string of unfortunate events, including the death or her mother and the breakdown of her marriage, Cheryl decides to take herself on a solo adventure through California, Oregon and Washington. Wild explores the ways in which travel helps to heal us.
Being an immigrant is not for sissiesHelen Russell
Study after study and article after article have extolled the virtues of Danish living. In fact, Danes are believed to be the happiest people on earth, so when Helen Russell is forced to move to rural Jutland, she aims to uncover the secrets of their apparent joy. The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, heart-warming look at the culture of Denmark, and provides the reader with a number of ways to inject some Danish living into their own lives.
I decided that travel was flight and pursuit in equal partsPaul Theroux
Now a modern classic, in The Great Railway Bazaar, Theroux recalls his adventures through Asia. From the Orient Express to the Golden Arrow, he recounts the train journeys that transport him from country to country, with witty observations and graceful prose throughout. Be warned, however, that Theroux isn’t the most cheerful of writers – his style tends towards the sardonic.
And let me tell you something. That first morning, when you are in your country of choice, away from all of the conventions of atypical, everyday lifestyle, looking around at your totally new surroundings, hearing strange languages, smelling strange, new smells, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll feel like the luckiest person in the world.Rolf Potts
More of a self-help guide than a story, Vagabonding teaches its reader how to take time off from his or her normal life to explore and experience the world around them. Rolf Potts, a veteran traveler himself, provides a plan of action and plenty of advice for those who are looking for something more. He encourages the reader to adopt a new outlook on life – one that prioritises discovery, growth, and imagination.
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.Ernest Hemingway
If you like; classics, Paris, writing, then you’ll probably enjoy A Moveable Feast, which chronicles Hemingway’s own years living in the city. Follow him as a young writer as he immerses himself in the cafe culture and hangs out with big names such as Gertrude Stein, Zelda and F. Scott. Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. It’s a very brilliant read, particularly considering it was written at the end of Hemingway’s life, when he was in far from tip-top shape.
The air filled with whispers while I could think of only one thing: I was sat inches away from a corpse.Lauren Juliff
This light-hearted read follows Lauren as she travels the world with serious anxiety and a broken heart, in the hopes of healing herself. Instead, she runs into a number of mishaps, from swallowing a cockroach to being caught in a tsunami. This girl seriously has the worst luck but it makes for an entertaining read! Be warned that this is also a love story, so if you’re not into that then you’re probably best steering clear.
I felt it was for this I had come: to wake at dawn on a hillside and look out on a world for which I had no words, to start at the beginning, speechless and without plan, in a place that still had no memories for me.Laurie Lee
In 1934, at the age of 19, Laurie Lee left his Cotswold home to walk to London. Here he played the violin on street corners for money, before catching a boat to Spain where he lived for a number of years. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning captures his memories of this period. Lee’s writing is beautifully poetic, making this book an absolute joy to read. In fact, picking a quote to feature in this post proved difficult, as they were all so lovely.
Scorched in that hinterland between the coasts, drifting in that ruin, great strips of me fell away and were lost to places and moments where people survive on nothing but miserable nostalgia, refined sugar and a confused sense of lossJulian Sayarer
After moving to New York to work on a documentary project, only to find that it’s been cancelled, Julian Sayarer decides to hitchhike to San Francisco. Along the way he meets a number of people from all walks of life. This books focuses quite heavily on the political state of America, so that’s something to bear in mind before you pick it up!
When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience.Elizabeth Gilbert
The travel book everyone and their mum has heard of, Eat, Pray, Love became a major cultural phenomenon after the film, starring Julia Roberts, was released in 2010. When faced with a midlife crisis, Gilbert decides to quit her jobs, sell her belongings and travel for a year. She visits Italy, India, and Bali, recounting her experiences of self-discovery along the way. A book for anyone who feels lost or has considered packing up and going on an adventure.