Staying at home this holiday season? Escape to exotic locales and experience other cultures with these 10 travel books that will make you feel like you went somewhere.
1. The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner
What does it mean to be happy? How does one achieve happiness? Journalist Eric Weiner travels the world—from Switzerland to Thailand to Iceland and plenty of places in between—to answer those questions. And the answers he uncovers are surprising.
2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
In this suspenseful memoir of a woman who felt like she had lost it all, Cheryl Strayed decides to embark on a 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific coast, by herself and with no prior long-distance hiking experience. Along the way, she faces rattlesnakes, bears, brutal elements—and most importantly, herself.
3. Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
An insightful travelogue through America, this book takes readers on a road trip through small towns, breathtaking natural parks and roadway diners, all while offering a glimpse into the lives of interesting characters met along the way.
4. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
After escaping from an Australian prison, Lin flees to the bustling metropolis of Bombay, where he witnesses the beauty and horror (sometimes simultaneously) of its many worlds: the impoverished slums, opulent whorehouses, dingy heroin dens, secret mafia headquarters and chaotic marketplaces. Romance, suspense, self-discovery, adventure, betrayal—this weighty tome has it all.
5. The Beach by Alex Garland
In this travel thriller, Richard, a young English tourist, ventures to seedy Bangkok, where he is given a hand drawn map leading to a legendary island touting sundrenched beaches, scenic waterfalls and dense jungles—only when he reaches the paradise, he finds much more than a utopian civilization.