Our society has two ways of travelling: the first and most real is the one that allows us to discover new corners of the world first hand. The second one is the imaginary one, which takes us to places in our minds thanks in large part to literature. Immerse yourself in a book is undoubtedly travelling and being transported to a place and time different from ours. Who has not been lost through the pages of a good novel forgetting at once about everything and everyone?
Books allow us to life experiences that would be almost impossible to experience otherwise. Something similar to what happens when we travel for real. Two different ways of ‘escaping’ and evade oneself. Fortunately for us, they are not incompatible, quite the opposite. There is no trip worth telling that is not accompanied by good reading. It is when we move and allow ourselves to break from our daily routine when we most often read. That is why this time from unuk we bring you a post that links these two ways of travelling that we humans use. The timing is key for the upcoming Saint George and the World Book Day 😉 We will present to you seven perfect books to buy for and avid traveller … or to read them if it is you, the one reading this article, the great traveller. Ready to embark on this adventure?
In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson (Broadway Books)
Every self-respecting traveller should have read, at least, a book by this American who turns into fun anecdotes the most strange situations and dangers around the world. ‘In the Antipodes’ is undoubtedly the most entertaining book ever written about Australia. Bryson recounts his first contact with the Australian continent and relates with a great sense of humor and irony both the goodness and the dangers of a land he enamored. If Australia is on your wish list, this book cannot be missing in your library.
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, Rolf Potts (Villard Books)
Essential handbook for those who are looking for more than just a holiday trip. In this book, which has become a true traveler’s manual, you will find basic tips and experiences from the author to embark on the adventure of travelling without a return ticket. From how to organize to how to make money during the adventure, everything is explained in a book that is highly dangerous for dreamy minds and nomadic souls.
The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road, Paul Theroux (Mariner Books)
Great travel writer, this American wanted to celebrate his 50 years as a writer and traveler with a book that brings together both passages of some of his books and from other globetrotters he has enjoyed reading such as Henry James, Mark Twain or Nabokov … Here we leave you with one of the tips that launches Theroux to its readers: “Leave your house. Go alone. Travel light. Carry a map. Go overland. Walk across the border. Write a journal. Read a novel with no relation to where you are. Avoid using the mobile. Make some friends. ”
Tuareg, Alberto Vázquez Figueroa (Roundfire Books)
Probably one of the best travel writers from Spain, Alberto Vazquez Figueroa takes you to the Sahara itself with a novel that makes you fall in love with the that land. ‘Tuareg’ is an epic tell and an ode to one of the most unique peoples on the planet and a declaration of love for a landscape that has provoked authentic love stories among travellers from around the world.
No digas que fue un sueño, Terenci Moix (Planeta)
The love story between Cleopatra and Marco Antonio takes us back to ancient Egypt; the Egypt of the Pharaohs that Terenci Moix knew so well. His obsession with this ancient empire allows us to revive, almost like travelling back in time ourselves, all the intrigues, the romances and the lifestyle of one of the most enigmatic and hypnotic places that exist and have existed on the planet. If Egypt is not on your wish list, it will be after the reading of this novel. Unfortunately this tittle is only found in Spanish language, for now.
Burmese Days, George Orwell (Harper)
The great authors of the past shared that thirst for adventure that, surely, has made that today they are considered classics and essential literature. This is the case of George Orwell, who, like many others, travelled the world serving the British Empire or as a merchant. From his life experiences came some of the best travel books ever written like ‘The Days of Burma’. A novel that despite being written in 1934 serves to understand present-day Myanmar. A country in full opening and very interesting to visit before mass tourism discover its charms.
Traveler of the Century, Andrés Neuman (Farrar)
This literary experiment proposes a trip to the European past, specifically to the nineteenth century through the history of Hans, a nomad who settles by chance in a small German town where he will meet people from all social strata of the time and with whom he will review for the readers of the twenty-first century the most important social, economic, political and even romantic aspects of a century that marked the future of the Old Continent. Here the journey does not take place over territory, but over time. An ambitious book that represents indeed a very different way of travelling.
And in fact, that’s what it’s all about: to travel, always, even if it’s just with the mind or in spirit. Any literary suggestions for us? What are your favorite travel books?
P.S: If you are more of the film kind, don’t miss this other article in our blog about travel films: aquí.