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My 10 Must-Read Favorite Travel Novels of All-Time

This isn’t to say there shouldn’t be other opinions. . .

In honor of my first novel being published, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite travel novels written by some of the best wordsmiths in travel. Make sure to let me know what your favorite travel novel is in the response section. And if you’ve read any of the books below, let me know what you thought of them!

Without further ado, here are my top ten travel novels of all-time:

10. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises is a classic from Hemingway and one of the most historic novels of The Lost Generation. It features a group of artistic expats as they experience summer in Spain during the Running of the Bulls festival.

9. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

An all-time travel classic. The Alchemist, originally written in Portuguese, is the story of a young sheepherder who eventually travels across Gibraltar to the Great Pyramids of Giza all to live out his destiny. He finds himself in many instances of trouble and learning.

8. Neither Here, Nor There by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is, perhaps, the greatest travel writer of all-time. This book focuses on his trip around Europe in the ’90s. He’s a hilarious guy with great stories. You’ll find yourself really living a Euro-trip through his words.

7. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild, the story that initially inspired me to see the world. Jon Krakauer does an unbelievable job of telling the story of Chris McCandless — a boy who left everything to live free. It’s a very vivid story with a great Holywood movie to add to it.

6. Big Sur by Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac, the grandfather of mischief and free-spirited travel. Following his success with previous novels, Big Sur focuses on his summers spent writing in a cabin along Big Sur — one of the most beautiful places in the world.

5. Hippie by Paulo Coelho

This book is only listed at #5 because I love the others more. However, Hippie could very well be my favorite book if it weren’t for those. Follow a young Paulo through the streets of Amsterdam and Istanbul during the counter-culture era of the ’70s.

4. Blue Highways: A Journey Into America by William Least-Heat Moon

Blue Highways is the story of a man who was looking for a cure to his ho-hum life. He packed his whole life in a van and hit the road — only taking the roads less traveled. It was Least-Heat Moon’s only novel, but it’s a great one.

3. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

In all of Bryson’s great writing, this one, to me, is his finest work. Journey with him as he takes on the Appalachian Trail with a high school friend in their middle-aged lives. As is always the case, Bryson is comedy at its finest in this page-turner.

2. In the Skin of a Jihadist: A Young Journalist Enters the ISIS Recruitment Network by Anna Erelle

Anna Erelle is not the author of this book. Nobody knows who wrote this book because it’s an alias. The real author can’t reveal herself. That’s what happens when you get wrapped up in writing a story that involves voluntarily joining the ISIS recruitment network. All for a magazine story! When she finds herself dating the right-hand man of ISIS’ leader, that’s when things get crazy.

1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road is the Bible to the Beat Generation and Kerouac is King. This is the book I continually turn to for inspiration — whether it’s writing or pursuing my current lifestyle on the road. Follow Sal Paradise, Dean Moriarty, and their rag-tag group of drifters around the country. It’s as open-minded as traveling gets. It was a different world in Kerouac’s age.

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