COVID-19, closed borders, social distancing and self-isolation… it’s been a stressful, unprecedented time for Australians and for the world. But as armchair travellers know, travel literature is a perfect way to escape to another place and time, to free your imagination and explore the world from the comfort of your home.
So turn off the TV, snuggle up under a cosy blanket, and get ready for thrilling adventures as you release your inner bookworm and satiate your travel bug in the pages of these amazing travel books.
Eat Pray Love
One of the classics of modern travel literature! Eat Pray Love is the bestselling autobiography of American author Elizabeth Gilbert, as she chronicles her post-divorce exploration of the world, and exploration of herself. Her foodie travels in Italy (“Eat”), spiritual journey in India (“Pray”) and finding love in Indonesia (“Love”) are the stuff of daydreams, and Gilbert’s charming, funny and highly readable memoir will satiate
your travel bug!
Long Way Round
Fans of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are in for a treat with this British television series, DVD set and book documenting their 31,000km motorcycle journey from London to New York City. Travelling through twelve countries in Europe, Asia and North America, this is no five-star luxury journey: these likeable riders traverse swollen Siberian and Mongolian rivers and steppes, overcome adversity, immerse themselves in cultural experiences and much more.
Once you’re finished, there’s even more for you to enjoy with Long Way Down, a journey through eighteen countries in Europe and Asia. These adventurous motorcycling tales have become cult classics for good reason and are perfect for #stayathome binge-reading and watching. And make sure you check out Richard Hammond’s hilarious lockdown tribute to “Long Way Round” in his backyard!
The Innocents Abroad
Meet your tour guide to the past: Mark Twain! The Innocents Abroad is one of the bestselling travel books of all time, by one of the world’s most acclaimed authors. Published way back in 1869, Twain chronicles his travels through Europe and the Holy Land with a group of fellow American travellers. His famous sense of humour and gift for insight shines through, and it’s very easy to feel like you’re smack-dab in the long-lost world of Europe and Ottoman Palestine in the 1860s.
Once you’ve finished, there’s plenty more to explore: back in Twain’s day, he was better known as an author of wildly popular travel books. So, don’t let lockdown get you down – even when staying at home, you can still travel through space and time!
Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die
As the title suggests, this breathtakingly gorgeous travel book is about some of the world’s most amazing places of natural beauty and historical importance across the globe. Accompanied with stunning photos, it’s perfect for your armchair and your coffee table alike. Author-photographer Steve Davey’s travels around all but one of the world’s continents are informative and inspiring, and you’ll find plenty of locations to add to your bucket list!
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders
A world of wonder awaits, and great news: it’s our world! Atlas Obscura is a gorgeously-illustrated chronicle and celebration of over 6000 of weird places across the globe: from the dazzling glow-worm caves of NZ, to a pub in an enormous baobob tree, you’ll find natural curiosities, architectural marvels and bizarre events galore.
Brought to you by the authors of popular weird-travel website Atlas Obscura, the fascinating stories and gorgeous photos make this book so much fun. Just flip open at any page to learn something new and enjoy an obscure adventure! And if you’ve got younger family members, Atlas Obscura has a great read for them too: the NY Times bestselling Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid.
Lonely Planet’s Amazing Train Journeys
Lonely Planet has sparked the imagination of travellers and armchair travellers alike for generations, selling over 120 million books since Tony & Maureen Wheeler penned their first travel booklet in the early 70s. Amazing Train Journeys shares 60 of the world’s most incredible rail journeys, and is the culmination of Lonely Planet asking over 200 travel writers for their favourites. From traversing Australia on the Ghan to Asia on the Trans-Siberian, and epic international trips to little-known suburban gems, you’ll find plenty in these pages to pore over as you explore the world in your imagination!
The Art of Travel
This extraordinary classic of travel literature by famed British-Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton is less of a guidebook and more of a philosophical look at travel itself and the role it plays in our lives. Mixing his personal thoughts with insights from some of the world’s great minds of the past, The Art of Travel doesn’t tell you where to go – it explores why you went there in the first place, and how you can be happier and more fulfilled in your journeys.
Dreaming about your post-pandemic trip? Looking for more travel insights from ATAS? Explore Australia and the world at your fingertips with our previous articles on Australia’s Most Romantic Places, Unveiling the Island of Madagascar, and New Zealand’s Best (Short) Winter Road Trips. And don’t forget to keep an eye on the latest travel alerts.