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5 Books You've Got To Read Before Christmas

FYI Christmas is only 12 weeks away….

A well written travel book can fill you with awe, wonder and wanderlust and also inspire you to book that flight to that unknown destination. There is nothing more inspirational than reading a book that takes your breath away whilst you loose yourself in a different country. Many of my own trips have been inspired by reading travel books such as Eat Pray Love and Wild.

There are books made for those 10-hour bus journeys and those books made for a relaxing day at the beach but whichever book you choose you can always be promised a thrilling discovery in to a world of culture, cuisine and stunning landscapes. Here are my favourite Travel Books to Read before Christmas.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Written in 1988.

This book is a tale about following your dreams and is one of the most widely read books in recent history. The story follows a young shepherd boy travelling from Spain to Egypt after he has a dream telling him he needs to get to Egypt. Along the way, he meets interesting people, learns to follow his heart, to go with the flow, and to love, and discovers the meaning of life.

In to the Wild by John Krakauer. Written in 1996

This book follows Christopher McCandless after he graduates from college, donates his savings to charity, and sets off across the United States in search of a deeper meaning to life. Throughout his journey he meets people from all walks of life and also finds a deeper insight into his own life and the life he left behind. Unfortunately, he was found dead by hikers in Alaska after eating the wrong type of berries in desperation for food. It is an inspirational story about breaking the mould and following your dreams.

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald. Written in 2004.

Holy Cow is authored by Journalist Sarah MacDonald as she writes about her experience moving to India to follow her boyfriend, despite vowing never to return after a visit a few years before. The book features amazing insights into Indian culture and its differences from the West, from family, marriage, and dating to class breakdowns. It provides real insight in to the way many travellers settle in to new lives across the world and the challenges they often face.

Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America’s Strangest Jail by Thomas McFadden and Rusty Young. Written in 2004.

This book is about life in one of the most corrupt prisons in the world. Marching Powder tells the true story of Thomas McFadden and his time in San Pedro prison in Bolivia. McFadden was an English drug trafficker who ended up in jail after an official he was bribing double-crossed him. The storyline is what makes this book worth reading as you learn about life in a prison where inmates bought their own cells, made their own drugs, bribed cops, and developed an economy filled with shops, elected officials, and neighbourhoods.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams. Written in 2011.

This book recounts Mark Adams’s tale of roughing it through Peru in search of little-visited Inca ruins and ancient cities. While most tourists stick to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Adams goes everywhere else, tracing the Incas’ flight into the Andes Mountains after the Spanish invaded their empire. He discovers a Peru that the tourist never sees and it opens your eyes to a new understanding of the Incas and also makes you want to jump on a plane headed for Peru.

What are your favourite travel books and why? Comment below.