Sometimes we have that itch to do something crazy, to just up and leave and go somewhere. But who can do that? We all have responsibilities, we are all tied down by something or someone. So what is the next best thing? Maybe reading some of the world’s most famous travelogues. Your friends may be happy that you are sitting at home reading instead of leaving them, but maybe these books will inspire you to get up and go see whats out there.
This book was written by Bruce Chatwin, a reporter for the British magazine The Sunday Times. He had always wanted to go to Patagonia in Argentina as a child due to some mysterious artifacts a relative brought home as a child, but had always put off the trip. One day, while he was in Paris, he was interviewing a woman who had a giant map of Patagonia on the wall. After saying he had always wanted to go there, the woman said “me too. Go for me.”
He then up and left and spent six months traveling around the enormous region, interviewing anyone and everyone he ran into. This book was written by him and details his incredible travels.
Travels with Charley
John Steinbeck wrote this epic travelogue near the end of his life. He had been writing Americana fiction and about Americans for most of his career, but by the time he was 58 he had already been living in europe for almost 20 years, and had been living in New York City for even longer. He felt New York was a bubble separated from the rest of the country, and he decided to see the US for himself.
So he took his dog, bought a camper, and went on a 10,000 mile road trip across all of the United States. This book details how he re-discovered America and how he got back in touch with the American people.
This travelogue was written in 1959 by a British officer who was responsible for researching how to get rid of locusts in the Arabian desert. The officer, named Wilfred Thesiger, travelled around Ethiopia and Sudan as well as going all around the Arabian Peninsula.
One of the most impressive parts of the book is when he becomes one of the first ever westerners to go through the empty quarter of the Arabian desert – an area with no life or water whatsoever. This book will definitely make you want to learn more about the Middle East.
The Broken Road
Set in the 1930’s before World War Two and the Cold War, this amazing travelogue details British traveller and author Patrick Leigh Fermor as he travels across Europe. However, it isn’t just the fact that he went all the way across Europe, but how he did it which is incredible.
Starting in Hook of Holland in The Netherlands, Fermor walked, on foot, all the way across Europe to what is now known as Istanbul in Turkey. He travelled through nearly every country on the continent, crossed almost all of the major rivers there, and saw and met extremely interesting people. In fact, there are people today who try to recreate his journey.