INSPIRING TRAVEL BOOKS

Looking for something new to read? Browse our favorite travel-themed titles for a healthy dose of wanderlust.



“The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton


This philosophical examination of why and how we travel goes around the world and throughout history to describe, in poetic detail, the pleasure of anticipating a journey, the magnetic allure of the exotic and the value of observation.

Aside from love, few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going traveling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs, and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel, few people seem to talk about why we should go and how we can become more fulfilled by doing so.





“Tracks” by Robyn Davidson


A frank and funny account of a courageous young woman’s journey through the Australian desert, where she learns a lot about herself and her companions: a dog and four camels.

So begins Robyn Davidson's perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea, with only four camels and a dog for company. Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.





“Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure” by Sarah Macdonald


A woman who vowed never to return to India returns to India. The resulting story is one of discovery and adventure in this land of beauty and chaos.

After backpacking her way around India, Sarah Macdonald decides she hates the country with a passion. When a beggar at the airport reads her palm and insists she will one day return, and for love, she screams "Never!" and gives the country, and him, the finger.

But 11 years later, the prophecy comes true. When the love of Sarah's life is posted to India, she quits her dream job as a national radio presenter to follow him to the most polluted city on earth, New Delhi. It seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love and it almost kills her, literally.

Often hilarious, sometimes hair-raising, and always entertaining, Holy Cow is a rollercoaster ride through a land of chaos and contradiction, from spiritual retreats and crumbling nirvanas to war zones and New Delhi nightclubs, that only a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life, and her sanity, can survive.





“Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness” by Edward Abbey


A real-life account of a famed writer spending a season working as a ranger at Arches National Park, where he attempts to experience nature in its purest form.

When Desert Solitaire was first published in 1968, it became the focus of a nationwide cult. Rude and sensitive. Thought-provoking and mystical. Angry and loving. Both Abbey and this book are all of these and more. Here, the legendary author of The Monkey Wrench Gang, Abbey's Road and many other critically acclaimed books vividly captures the essence of his life during three seasons as a park ranger in southeastern Utah. This is a rare view of a quest to experience nature in its purest form -- the silence, the struggle, the overwhelming beauty. But this is also the gripping, anguished cry of a man of character who challenges the growing exploitation of the wilderness by oil and mining interests, as well as by the tourist industry.

Abbey's observations and challenges remain as relevant now as the day he wrote them. Today, Desert Solitaire asks if any of our incalculable natural treasures can be saved before the bulldozers strike again.





“Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time” by Mark Adams


Laugh-out-loud account of an adventure travel expert (who has never been on an actual adventure) attempting to recreate the original expedition to Machu Picchu.

Writer for the New York Times and GQ, Mark Adams is also the acclaimed author of Mr. America. In this fascinating travelogue, Adams follows in the controversial footsteps of Hiram Bingham III, who’s been both lionized and vilified for his discovery of the famed Lost City in 1911 - but which reputation is justified?

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