10 Books That…You Should Read When Travelling

Each week, #DebutGirl and online writer Rebecca Sweeney, will be telling us about the books that have had a huge impact on her life, changed the way she thinks and encouraged her to make her debut in her chosen field.

This week, she shares ten books that should be read when travelling and recommends saving space in your suitcase or backpack for at least one…

The Beach – Alex Garland

In a nutshell, Garland tells the story of one travellers search for paradise. Set in Thailand, protagonist Richard found more than he ever expected when he ended up on an idyllic and isolated beach, with its small, international community of backpackers. A must read for anybody travelling in that direction.

The Alchemist – Paul O Coelho

Hailed as a modern classic, this book tells the tale of a man travelling to Egypt after following a dream that he believed to be a prophecy. What makes this book so beautiful is the subtle idea throughout that your dreams, no matter how big or small, are worth chasing to the edges of the earth.

thumbnail_eat-pray-loveEat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

I am always astounded when meeting any woman that has not read this book because of its numerous universal themes. Ultimately, this is a book of self-discovery. It is perfect for travelers since it re-iterates how travelling helps one to find themselves- sounds cliché but is actually utter perfection.

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

This great novel will keep you company wherever and however you choose to travel. One of the greatest books of recent years (and an excellent film, too) Pi’s unexpected travelling adventure with Bengal the tiger is wonderful and sets the stage for one of the most glorious novels of our time.

Peter Pan – JM Barrie

A tale of excitement, wonder and adventure – what better story to carry in your backpack? A very easy read, it is great for picking up and putting down as your travel itinerary allows. Also a great read for the slightly older traveler, reminding you why ‘growing up’ can always wait a little longer.

Paris Was Ours – Penelope Rowlands

This is a great choice for those choosing to travel Europe who will most-likely end up spending a bit of time in the greatest city in the world (in my opinion, at least.) This book combines over 30 different stories of people telling their own Parisian journeys. A great choice for Paris lovers everywhere.

On The Road – Jack Kerouac

Tells the story of Kerouac himself through the character Sol Paradise as he makes his way around the US. A great read for those travelling America but ultimately a great read for those free-spirited folk who want to experience different parts of the world with complete authenticity.

A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseinithumbnail_a-thousand-splendid-suns

One of the most inspiring and beautiful books ever written, it will make you laugh and cry in complete unison. An interesting, and quite upsetting, insight into a woman’s life in countries like Afghanistan and the difference between these places and westernized countries.

The Last Road to Innocence – Somaly Mam

Somaly Mam was a child slave, sold by her Grandfather, who escaped from that world in her early 20s. However, she was unable to forget her past and the difficult world that she left behind and used her experiences to become a spokeswoman for child-trafficking charities. An amazing memoir full of hope, telling of one woman’s extraordinary journey to want better for the women and children in her country. A great and exposing read, particularly if travelling to South East Asia.

Water for Elephants – Sarah Gruen

Not your typical traveling read, hence why I left it to last, but definitely deserving of a place on this list. Genuinely a fantastic read for anybody, at any time, but especially great for travelers because of Jacob’s love for adventure and his recklessness when attempting to find it – the idea of leaving school in the dead of night and joining the circus is a brilliant concept. A remarkable novel.

Words: Rebecca Sweeney
Tweet Rebecca @RSweeneyx

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