The word “wanderlust” has been tossed around a lot lately in travel lore and the word itself, without even knowing what it means, evokes a sense of travel, the way it musically rolls off the tongue. The dictionary definition of wanderlust is, “a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.” Do you have the wanderlust bug?
If you happen to be both an avid traveler and a bookworm, like myself, then consider picking one of these books up for your next read. Summer is just around the corner, and what better way to enjoy a day on the beach than with a good book? Even if you’re only at your local beach this summer and not some exotic locale, with one of these books in your beach bag, you’ll feel as though you’ve been around the world.
1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
If the best thing about travel, for you, is the diversity of food and cultures around the world, then this is the book for you. Author Elizabeth Gilbert recounts her travels as a young woman through Italy, India, and Indonesia, in search of her true self. Despite the outward appearance of a successful life, Gilbert realized that in order to understand her place in the world, she first had to experience it beyond her sheltered corner of the universe. Let this book take you on a journey and maybe you will learn something about yourself as well.
2. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
Can happiness be found? Or must we create our own happiness? It’s a question that has haunted mankind from inception. The grumpy and misanthropic author sets out on a journey from America to Iceland to India in the pursuit of happiness and an attempt to answer those questions for himself. With a sarcastic sense of humor, Weiner provides some interesting food for thought.
3. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Feeling a little lost? Like you just want to break away from everything that’s tying you down and start anew? Then you’ll be able to relate to author Cheryl Strayed as she narrates her experience, at the age of 22, of losing her mother, and her crumbling marriage as a result. Four years later, feeling that she had nothing left to lose, Strayed set off on a journey of strength and healing as she impulsively hiked over a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail on her own.
4. Paris in Love: a Memoir by Eloisa James
What if you could just quit your day job and take off to wherever you wanted to go in the world, no strings attached? For most, this lifestyle is only a fantasy, but for author Eloisa James, it was reality. The author tells of her year in Paris, when she took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor and sold her home in America to live in the beautiful city of love.
5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The only work of fiction on the list, this classic novel tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to travel the world in search of treasure. What he finds, instead of material riches, is something far greater: the importance of following our hearts and our dreams to arrive at a deeper understanding of life.
6. The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner
If, again, you’re feeling a little lost like you’re just going through the motions of your life, it may be time to put it all behind you and explore everything you’ve been missing in the world. If you can’t do that, then you can start by picking up this book. The three authors and friends tell how they quit their high-pressure media jobs in New York City to backpack through four continents of the world.