9 Must Read Travel Book of 2019

Jan 15, 2019

The year is almost over, which means for some of you, your travels are coming to an end. Yet, for others, it means your next big adventure is just around the corner!

Before I hit the road 4 years ago, I never read. Ever. In fact, the thought scared me. I didn’t have the time or patience to sit down on reading for a few hours – to me, that seemed a waste of time – an impossible achievement. However, it soon dawns on you how much time you really have when you travel. The world is your oyster and time…well – it’s all yours.

Nothing beats a good book while on the road. Whats even better, people love passing on books once they have finished with them so you will never run out of new exciting content to stick yourself into.  

Below I have put together a list of books I feel are perfect for those hitting the open road in 2018!

1) The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

This book is perfect for those chasing their dreams. Quite simply this book is about following your heart and never giving up despite what obstacles you may face. Whats more,  this is one of the most-read books in recent history. The story follows a young shepherd boy from Spain into Egypt as he follows his heart, falls in love and discovers the meaning of life. This book has been noted by many celebrities, including Will Smith, as their favourite books of all time – it’s easy to see why.

I’ve read this book multiple times and without fail it always inspires me to keep reaching for my dreams and hitting my goals. I can’t recommend this book enough. It could possibly change your life 

2) Vagabonding, by Rolf Potts

Written by the man, the myth, the legend. Quite simply the godfather of vagabonding, Rolf Potts, this book is a must-read for those new to long-term travel.

Not only did Rolf spent over 10 years on the road, which includes walking across Israel, his book contains valuable insights and heaps of practical information such as:

– financing your travel time 

– determining your destination 

– adjusting to life on the road

– working and volunteering overseas 

– handling travel adversity  

– re-assimilating back into ordinary life


This book is nothing short of inspirational and one that is a must read if you plan on long-term travel goals. 

3) Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer 

This book will leave you itching for more. 

In summary, into the wild is about a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless, who hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. After giving $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoning his car and possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and staring a new life for himself, it was all of four months before moose hunters found his decomposed body. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

4) World Walk, By Steven Newman

Journalist,  Steven Newman,  aged 28,  packed his bag to start a 4-year long journey around the world… BY FOOT. The incredible story reveals his journey as he walks across 22 countries in 5 continents. IMPRESSIVE IMPRESSIVE, IMPRESSIVE! 

Reading this will leave you feeling pretty average, but it is one hell of a motivational nut cruncher. 

He shares heartfelt stories of the people he meets along the way, as well as wild adventures including arrests, wars, blizzards, wild animal attacks, wildfires, and more.

5) Marching Powder, By Rusty Youn

Marching Powder is the true story of a British drug dealer’s five years inside one of the most dangerous prisons in the world. This Bolivian prison, homed drug dealers families in luxury apartments, while others lived in mud roles and manufactured cocaine to be sold on the streets.

Backpacking around the world is incredibly fun, but at times you do sometimes find yourself in ridiculous situations that no one back home would even dream to believe. This is one of those crazy stories — but strangely it is one that excites you even more to travel. Don’t ask how…just read. 

6) How To Travel The World On $50 A Day, By Matt Kepnes

Coming from a fellow travel blogger and business owner, I’ve got to give Nomadic Matt credit for his New York Times bestselling book How To Travel The World On $50 A Day. Not only does Matt write great blog articles, he knows exactly what he’s talking about in this book.

This book is perfect for those who are wanting to travel long term on a small budget giving you tips and tricks to help you through even the toughest of times. 


7) In Patagonia, by Bruce Chatwin

An exhilarating look at a place that even today is largely untouched and considered an exotic mystery. Bruce Chatwin’s records of his journey through Patagonia is mind-blowing and hugely educational. His gift for storytelling is evident here, revealing memories of trekking through bandit lands, meeting forgotten legends and finding himself amongst mother nature at its very finest. 

8) The Beach, by Alex Garland

Besides The Alchemist, this is probably my favourite travel book – but maybe that is because i have been to the island where the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was set. In his book, Alex Garland tries to capture the feeling backpackers get when either searching for themselves or for a forgotten, untouched tropical paradise, as well as the emotions shown when doing so. However, Garland cleverly twists the story on its head, showing you how in search of the perfect life, can soon leave you wishing you never had. 

9) Travel As Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity

“When you travel to a foreign land, exploring new countries, do you experience this new life as your old self? Or do you become a new version of you?”

THIS IS A MUST READ! Written by someone who has pursued world travel for his entire life, this story snakes through living in a van on the streets of San Diego, to growing chocolate with indigenous tribes in Central America, to teaching in the Middle East and volunteering in Africa.

Gregory V. Diehl fully immersing himself in travel and by the age of 28, he had lived and worked in over 45 countries across the globe. 

I needn’t say anymore…

I really hope this helped inspire you. 

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