In these strange and unsettling times, most of us are trapped in our homes, trying to follow government advice to self-isolate and practice social distancing. So while we may have to accept that Coronavirus has taken away our ability to travel for a little while, it certainly doesn’t have to quell our wanderlust. In fact, if you’re anything like us, weeks of being confined to the same four walls will only make you more desperate to seek out sunnier new adventures.
Until then, keep that infectious traveller’s spirit alive by getting your nose stuck into one of these brilliant travel books. Get ready to take a colourful, cultural journey from your self-isolation sofa…
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
Based loosely on the authors own life, Shantaram
follows the story of Lin, an escaped Australian convict who seeks out a new life in India
. A huge novel full of dramatic plot twists, dangerous characters and heart-breaking betrayals, this is also a love letter to Indian culture. It’s clear that Gregory David Roberts adores Bombay (Mumbai), where much of the novel is set, and his colourful narrative paints a rich picture that will leave you desperate to plan your own (much less dark) Indian adventure.
Travels With Charley: In Search of America - John Steinbeck
Though better known for his works of fiction, Steinbeck’s 1962 travelogue is one of his readers’ most loved books. Pick this up and you’ll join Steinbeck and his loyal companion Charley (an adorable chocolate poodle) on an epic road trip from Long Island, New York, virtually around the perimeter of the USA
. As they travel in their campervan, nicknamed Rocinante, Steinbeck writes eloquently not only about the beautiful landscapes and towns they pass, but also about the American society he uncovers en route.
Tracks - Robyn Davidson
Calling all solo female travellers - if you’re looking for a novel to inspire your next trip, this is it. The memoir of Robyn Davidson’s mammoth 1,700 mile journey across Australia’s
barren desert is full of grit, determination and some seriously stunning landscapes. Accompanied only by four camels and a dog, Davidson survives her adventure in some of the world’s harshest conditions and is rewarded with some of its most beautiful, arresting scenery as well as several fascinating encounters with the local Aboriginal people.
Out Of Africa - Karen Blixen
This classic novel may have been written some 80 years ago, but that doesn’t make Karen Blixen’s portrayal of her beloved Kenya
any less transporting. Based on the true story of Blixen’s time spent living and working on a plantation in Kenya’s Ngong Hills, the novel has since been made into a film starring Meryl Streep – which is also worth a self-isolation watch, FYI. For safari lovers, this book is the next best thing, with vivid portrayals of spotting game in the Masai Mara and lessons learned from working with the locals.
In Patagonia - Bruce Chatwin
Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia
introduces the reader to a region that remains one of our planet’s least explored and most visually stunning. As Chatwin spends four months hiking across the epic and often completely deserted landscapes in this part of South America, he brings the region to life with stories about historic lodges, mythical creatures and strange happenings. Follow Chatwin through the pages and we promise you’ll be ready to dig out your walking boots for an adventure as soon as you can.
Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
Heralded as one of the best travel memoirs in recent years, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love
is as much about self-discovery as it is travel, and we love it. Split into three easily digestible sections, the book follows Gilbert’s search for self in Italy
(where she celebrates her passionate love of food), India
(where she learns to practice Buddhism in an ashram), and Indonesia
(where she tries to balance enjoying life’s pleasures, while also remaining devoted to her beliefs). Full of beautiful observations and moving moments, we’ll bet that you’ll be left certain your problems could all be solved with a round the world trip.
A Year In Provence - Peter Mayle
Many of us dream of giving up city life and moving abroad for a simpler life in the sun, and that’s exactly what Peter Mayle and his wife did when they bought an old farmhouse in France’s
picturesque Lubéron Valley. Full of funny stories, delicious dinners and lots of hard work, this is a light-hearted story that paints an enchanting picture of life in rural France. If you’re not persuaded to make a permanent move yourself, you’ll certainly be convinced to make this your next holiday destination.
If your self-isolation reading has you feeling inspired to plan a holiday, get in touch with one of our experts by calling 020 3613 5515 or making an enquiry online.