Are you ready to get some travel inspiration by reading some of the best adventure travel books? We know sometimes it can be thought if you are stuck at home because of your study, work or a pandemic. For that reason we made a list of books which will definitely feed your wanderlust.
Let those adventurous travellers inspire you to plan your next adventure and challenge yourself to embrace your fears and put on your shoes for that multiple day hike or the mountain clim you always dreamt of.
1. The Alchemist
This books is absolute one of my favorites and because of the easy reading I finished this book in around 6 hours. If you are lost and you need to find back that one mission to follow your dreams, then this is the right choice for you.
The story is about a shepherd called Paulo from Andalusia who wants to travel in search of treasure. During his adventures through the African desert to find treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt he finds himself. The book will really teach you that no matter how many obstacles you will find on your way, you must never give up!
2. The Beach
I guess most of us have the desire of going off the beaten path and start exploring the unknown. But who tells you that you will find paradise during that path, you can also find the opposite.
After watching the movie I have to say the book is much better. The story about backpackers who are looking for paradise. The journey of Richard in Thailand is explained so in depth that you are really part of the story. You will find out that sometimes paradise can change into hell.
As you are a long term traveller or you are a newbie in the field, Rolf Potts is a legend you really need to know about.
His book is full of inspiration about all the trips he did in the last 10 years on the road. I was amazed by the walk across Israel and the way how he explained everything. So much practical tips and interesting quotes which gave me the desire to pack my backpack and just leave! Rolf will learn you about his steps of saving and planning to life on the road. I would say an ultimate guide for newbies who wants to travel long term.
This books shows you the story of a young women who is lost in life and decide to walk the 1700km solo hike called Pacific Crest Trail( West America ). The hike is tough, emotional and her body is suffering but it all makes her stronger than she was ever before. Without any experience and a backpack which is way to heavy she made a trip of 3 months by foot. As you maybe know during trips like this you have to survive all kind of weather conditions, Cheryl had to challenge the extreme heat, a lot of snow and don’t forget all the dangerous wildlife.
They also made a movie about this story, so if you don’t want to read or prefer watching a movie go ahead!
5. One year on a bike
If you like a book with a lot of photos and great stories about a bike trip than this is the right pick. The book is also a real eye catcher when you place in on your bookshelf.
Martijn Doolaard shares his trip from Amsterdam all the way to Singapore by bike. They way how he did this is amazing, the images will bring the story alive. You feel the pain and the suffer he had during his trip as an enthusiastic bike traveller this is what gives me sooo much inspiration.
6. 100 hikes of a lifetime
This book is the ultimate hiker’s bucket list! No matter what level of hiker you are the book is filled with all kind of levels, so let’s find out your next hike. The book is full of stunning National Geographic Photography, practical tips from expert hikers and don’t forget the wildlife-spotting tips.
The trail guides you will find in this book are from all around the world, so for sure you will find one which is not to far away. Keep in mind that this is a book to inspire you as you can’t find a full detailed trail guide from all the trails in here. It’s great for research and help you prepare your trip but for the real planning your need a more detailed guide. Lucky part about this, you don’t have to carry the heavy book with you during your hike.
7. Lands of lost borders: A journey on the silk road
This book is a simple adventure travel book about a trip on two wheels, the author really describes the flair and color of the scenery and really grabs you in her story. It’s not just a trip along one of the oldest and remotes roads on the world but it’s also a good reflection of her ambitions and the understanding of life.
To be honest it’s maybe not a book for everyone but I really enjoyed it and wanted to share it with you.
8. Into thin air
Jon Krakauer is a well know American mountain climber and for sure you will all know his most famous book ‘Into the Wild’.
Into Thin Air is a true story about a 3 climbers who were climbing the Mount Everest and they were caught in a storm. The way how Jon shares the 24-hour period on Everest is unique. The disaster of 1996 is where the climbers had to force hurricane-force winds, altitude effect and exposure, is written in history as the worst single-season death. The experience of Jon and the flashbacks of the disaster makes it a nice story for me. But keep in mind, that if you want to know the whole story you always need to read multiple books from expedition members around 1996.
If climbing the mount Everest is on your bucket list and you are not scared about reading how hard it will be, than this is the right pick for you!
9. Into the wild
In April 1992, the 24 year old Chris hitchhiked to Alaska to head into the wilderness with only a rifle and ten pounds of rice in his pocket. He donated all his savings to charity, abandoned his car and burned all the money in his wallet.
Four months later, his body is found by a hunter. Jon Krakauer sheds an illuminating light on the journey of Chris and he describes the trails and self-denial from Chris. Into the Wild is the hypnotic, heartbreaking tale of nature’s tremendous pull, the lurking danger and the complex, fraught bond between a son and his father.
After watching the movie for multiple times the books really impressed me.
10. A walk in the Woods
This book really makes me laugh multiple times, the way how Bill Bryson shares his story is hilarious and it really felt if you are sitting next to Bill on a campfire while he is telling you his story.
Bill started the Appalachian Trail which is with the length of 2.200 miles the longest continuous footpath of the world. Remote mountain wilderness with a lot of wildlife as bears and, moose and poisonous plants is what you can expect from a trip like this. Embracing bad weather, wrong maps, a lot of insects and a companion who wanted to go to a motel to watch movies Bill had one goal, not to die outdoors.
There is also a movie about this book story.
11. A Time of Birds: Reflections on cycling across Europe
This is an excellent book especially when you love bike touring. (Helen didn’t had a real bike touring bike tough)
Helen had no particular cycling expertise but she decide to jump on the bike with her teenage son and cycle across Europe all the way to Instanbul. She was not sure if she was running away from something or pedalling towards it. Finding herself, including problems at work and the illness of het dad. As a cyclist myself I totally understand the sort of meditation vibe when you are cycling a long term trip.
If you are a cyclist yourself the way how Helen described the riding, the hotels and the general challenges which you will face during a long tour is really good.
12. Fulltime Avonturier (Dutch only)
This is one of my favorites at the moment. Tamar had a great career and she was saving money to buy a house. But was she really happy? She decide to give up everything and left the Netherlands by bike and she kept riding the bicycle for 2 years. For four months she travelled Mongolia with her camel, horse and dog and don’t forget the amazing 600 kilometers hiking in Jordan.
All the challenges from doing this all by herself is so well written in the book and it will really grab your attention from the moment when you start reading.
Together with Miriam Lancewood, a well famous traveller from the Netherlands, Tamar crossed the highlands of New Zealand by foot. While they were doing this incredible trip Floortje Dessing went there to visit them for her television program ‘Floortje naar het einde van de wereld’.
Are you ready to learn all about Tamar her search for more freedom in life, start reading.
One of my favorites quotes from the book is “How can I make sure that I get the most out of life, without it taking everything out of me”