Seeing the world from your own armchair…
As travel can be inspiring, educational and enjoyable, so too can travel literature. For varying reasons, the titles below have all influenced either my desire to travel to a specific destination, or nurtured through times when travel has not been possible.
The Travel Book
Lonely Planet are world renowned for the travel publications, primarily guidebooks. Their side works include many phrase and coffee table books, and this large hardcover book covers most of the worlds countries (as well as a few that aren’t).
It is really just a tantalizing taste, but with its beautiful photos as well, it has pointed me in many ‘right’ directions for future trips (click on the book thumbnail to read my review).
Lost in Transmission
This account of Jonathon Harley’s life as the ABC’s South Asian news correspondent (based out of India) is both amusing and terrifying.
It destroys any pre conceived romantic ideas about the life of a journalist and his account of being the only western journalist in Kabul at the time of 9/11 is page turning reading.
Pole to Pole with Michael Palin
From the master of the travel series himself (both written and on television), whilst not his first, this remains my favourite.
This journey from the North Pole to the South Pole (as the title suggests) unwittingly coincided with some incredible moments in global history, taking him through the former Soviet Union, only weeks before its collapse (click on the book thumbnail to read my review).
Once While Travelling: The Lonely Planet Story
This part biographical book, explains the fortunate timing and zest for travel that resulted in Tony & Maureen Wheeler founding Lonely Planet and taking the world to many weird and wonderful places.
Perhaps I’m a touch sentimental as it was here in Australia they took this leap of faith, however I use their guidebooks to this day and to me, they just seem to get it right (click on the book thumbnail to read my review).
From Here to There
In 2008, radio broadcaster Jon Faine and his son Jack, set out to travel overland from Melbourne to London.
This wonderful tale, told from both the fathers and sons perspective takes in some real “off the beaten track” places (not much travel literature reaches the ‘Stans) and rekindles the days of the old overland trail of the 60’s and 70’s.
Fieldings Hot Spots: Travel in Harms Way
This was a 21st birthday present (so my copy is now both very weathered and very old) and was one of the first travel books I can recall reading.
Taking us to many of the worlds darkest and most dangerous places, the reader experiences seemingly lawless Chechnya, time in the then Taliban ruled Afghanistan and scary days in many deadly African locations.
Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica
It’s rare you find a travel book on Antarctica, so I jumped at the chance to pick up this read (I do also have an old Lonely Planet Antarctica I picked up second hand a year or so ago).
This tells the story of Antarctica from one of the few non scientists to spend time there in the mid 90’s, English travel author, Sara Wheeler (click on the book thumbnail to read my review).
Try Afternoons in Ithaka & I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago 🙂