My Ever-Growing List of Inspiring Travel Books
I am consistently looking for good travel books. The problem is that so many are quite dirty or dwell on tourist-ing, not traveling to make a difference.
So here is my short list (that I will add to regularly) of books in my library that give me the desire to see the world, make a difference, and live a life of learning.
In essence, these books are simply the ones that make me want to flee the country (in a good way)...
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I remember the first time I read this book. I loved Conor's candor about his less-than-inspiring reasons for traveling to Nepal. He was, as many first-time travelers, seeking for approval from those around him and saw his chance to care for children abroad as a way to garner awe from his friends back home. The journey from tourist to traveler is clear in this book which helps me reassess my reasons for hopping around the world.
I first read this book in preparation for Semester at Sea. A Small Place was required reading before we set sail and it was the glasses through which I viewed my entire voyage. This book doesn't exactly inspire me to travel, instead it makes me analyze whether I am a responsible traveler or another tourist that perpetuates cycles that Jamaica Kincaid refers to as modern slavery. A must-read for any traveler trying to make the world better, not worse.
This book was my first true travel book. I had always wanted to see the world. I would spend hours reading through the history books in our family library and dream about seeing Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, and more. Yes, these brothers are tourists, hopping around the globe in only 2 weeks and it perpetuates the idea of traveling for pleasure. And yet, if nothing else, it was one of the first books that sparked my excitement for travel - and so I still love reading it often. :)
Another book that just scratches my travel itch. :) I remember reading the Great Illustrated Classic's edition as a child, over and over, and imagining what it would be like to travel entirely around the world. Little did I know I would get to circumnavigate the globe a decade later with the Semester at Sea study abroad program! There is just nothing like the early travel books that contain a lot of guesswork and tales of cannibals. :) Along these same lines, I also love Captain's Courageous - along with it's awesome moral to the story.
Although this is not really a travel book, I Am Malala inspires me to support education around the world (like The Deaf Dream), fight for worthy causes, understand cultures different than my own, and seek to know God's will for me. Other books along these same lines that are not travel books and yet are intertwined with my desires to make a difference in the world are:
As books come to mind, I will add to this list. I've spent a lifetime reading travel books but can't seem to remember them when I'm writing a post. :)
Happy travels, everyone!
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