“I want to take a year off and travel the world.” You might have pondered this to yourself plenty of times. Maybe you had finally saved enough money too, and you were just about ready to set forth into the world. Unfortunately, with covid travel restrictions and the world of travel coming to a halt, your plans have now gone haphazard.
Instead of looking at travel pictures on social media, or moping about how the pandemic got in the way of your plans, there is an alternative for you to enter the beautiful world of wanderers.
A picture might be worth a thousand words, but the image your mind creates after reading a thousand words is a much-needed stimulation for your brain right now.
So we’ve compiled the best travel books that will take you on a beautiful virtual journey across the United States, without leaving the house:
1. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great that I thought I was in a dream.”
Allow yourself to dream of your travels with Jack Kerouac in his most well-known, and marvelous journey through the United States.
This book encapsulates Kerouac’s travels with his friend through North America, wandering around the country to acquire self-knowledge through experiences, delighting the explorers in all of us. Let this inspiring work make you fall in love with America and its people all over again.
2. Blue Highways: A Journey into America – William Least Heat-Moon
“If a man can keep alert and imaginative, an error is a possibility, a chance at something new; to him, wandering and wondering are part of the same process, and he is most mistaken, most in error, whenever he quits exploring.”
You may not have the chance to wander right now, but there’s no limit when it comes to wondering. Explore the wonders of the little towns of America with William Heat’s search for meaning in places that take up the tiny bits of space on the map of the USA, along with the extraordinary people he encounters through his adventures.
3. Travels With Charley: In Search of America – John Steinbeck
“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”
While you stay indoors to stay away from the germ, you don’t need to be sad about the postponement of your travels. Go on a remarkable virtual journey with Steinback and his sweet little poodle – Charley, as he sets out to rediscover the USA at the age of 58.
4. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail – Bill Bryson
“Life takes on a neat simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light again you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It’s quite wonderful, really.”
Seeing the beauty in the timelessness that surrounds life in quarantine is our best option!
Take a virtual hike with Bill Bryson while he covers the Appalachian trail, getting lost in the wonder of the silent forests, sparkling lakes and majestic mountains. Learn about the history and ecology of the Appalachian trail, the people and the BEARS he meets along the way!
5. Desert Solitaire – Edward Abbey
“So I lived alone.
The first thing I did was take off my pants. Naturally.”
We can all relate to this!
Edward Abbey wrote this monumental book while working as a ranger at the Arches National Park in Utah. Allow this book to take you on a prose-filled journey of reflection on the human condition and its relationship to wilderness.
6. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel – Rolf Potts
“For all the amazing experiences that await you in distant lands, the “meaningful” part of travel always starts at home, with a personal investment in the wonders to come.”
It’s the best time to start that meaningful part of your journey, at home! Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding will teach you how to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Leave behind the excuses and timelines you give yourself. From financing your travel time with a steady job to fitting back into ordinary life, this book will prepare you for all your future adventures. Along with excellent travel advice, it will also help you develop an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit.