When we can’t leave home but our minds yearn to get out and explore, books are the ultimate escape. Fulfill your wanderlust and let these books do the traveling for you:
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Place in the World by Eric Weiner – Draws on the author’s experiences as a foreign correspondent to evaluate more than three dozen countries for their happiness potential, in a survey that includes profiles of such locales as the American shores, glacial Iceland, and the Bhutan jungles.
Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer – Offers a tour of the world’s most unique and amazing places, highlighting natural wonders, weird and magical structures, and mind-boggling events from around the globe, from New Zealand to Turkmenistan to Virginia.
AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller – An account of the author’s 2003 thru-hike along the entire 2,172 miles from Georgia to Maine. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about safety and proper gear, with a view into a professional hiker’s preparations and tenacity.
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett – Three friends at a crossroads in their twenties quit their high pressure New York media jobs, leave their friends and everything familiar behind, and embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world.
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain – The host of the Travel Channel series “No Reservations” provides a behind-the-scenes account of his global culinary adventures, from New Jersey to New Zealand, offering commentary on food in every corner of the globe.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams – Traces the author’s recreation of Hiram Bingham III’s discovery of an ancient Andes Mountains cloud city, describing the author’s struggles with rudimentary survival tools and his experiences at the sides of local guides.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo – Profiles everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi, Mumbai as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother, and a young scrap metal thief, illuminating how their efforts to build better lives are challenged by religious, caste, and economic tensions.
No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love & Wandering by Clara Bensen – A romantic travelogue chronicling the author’s risky travel experiment at the side of a new companion recounts how after meeting an energetic university professor on a dating website, the pair embarked on a three-week, eight-country tour without hotel reservations, plans or luggage.