So what are some key attributes of top travel books in my opinion? Well, they tell a story to be sure, but it’s more than that. They tell the soul of a journey—the initial excitement of a vessel leaving port or the joy of waking up to a brand-new place.  It also celebrates the act of exploration itself—poking around, asking questions, getting lost and into scrapes, making all the mistakes of the newcomer. But most importantly it should ignite that travel bug spark to pack your suitcase and stumble sense-first into some world experiences of your own.

Eleven years ago, I picked up a copy of Paul Theroux’s “The Great Railway Bazaar” and have been a restless wanderer ever since. During the times that I’m not traveling, one of my most treasured activities that pulls me through the periods of vexing inertia is curling up with a good book and pretending I’m right there with the narrator. I’ll transform into their best-mate on a round-the-world road-trip, a stow-away on the Trans-Siberian railroad, their (not-so handy) handy-woman restoring their Tuscan Villa or a Monastery volunteer in Nepal – the list is as endless as one’s imagination.

Over the years, great narratives have inspired me to travel far and wide and have almost always left me with an insatiable starvation for new cultures and experiences. Their innate ability to also fill the gaps in my knowledge of places that aren’t exactly on the Australian Government’s safe-travel list – like the Congo or Afghanistan – is a curiosity-quencher that I’m continuously thankful to those brave (read: crazy) author’s for.

Disclaimer: What follows is a very subjective list of my top travel books penned in the last two decades. I’m sure I’m missing a few, so feel free to fight me in the comments section below. And no, Eat Pray Love is not on this list.

My Top Travel Books (in not particular order)

top travel books Dark Star Safari - Paul Theroux

AMW xx

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Feature Image via Nomad Head