Advertising
Advertising

25 Books on Travel That Will Change Your Life

25 Books on Travel That Will Change Your Life

The right book can change our life forever. It’s a secret weapon that we carry with us, especially as we travel and discover not only the world we live in, but explore who we are as a human being. There are millions of books out there “in the cloud” and in the bookstores, but only a few deserve our attention and will continue to deserve our attention. We’ve handpicked 25 amazing books you must read before you travel the world or set out on a quest to explore yourself. Use these books as your guide; a handbook you can refer to anytime you feel lost or need inspiration.

Here are the 25 books you must read…

1. The Alchemist

This is by far one of the best (and the most translated) books you must read on following your dreams. The Alchemist is a story about following your dreams. The story follows a young shepherd boy from Spain to Egypt as he follows his heart, goes with the flow, learns to love, and learns the meaning of life. Whatever your dream entails, this book will fill up you with inspiration.

“If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man… Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”

41MhCmVyadL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

    2. Vagabonding

    This book is a must-read for those new to long-term travel. The author Rolf spent 10 years on the road (he even walked across Israel) and his book contains valuable insights, quotes, and a lot of practical information. From saving to planning to life on the road, this is a must for newbies.

    51da8C8qg-L

      3. The 4-hour Workweek

      Don’t be so quick to judge this book by its title. It has been a life-changing movement for millions of people around the world, who have gone out to start their own business, live a digital nomadic life, and travel the world. The author, Tim Ferriss, is a self-claimed “Human Guinea Pig,” performing life experiments on himself that will fascinate you like losing 50lbs in record time, running a business while traveling, and creating early mini-retirements for yourself.

      The_4-Hour_Workweek_(front_cover)

        4. The Promise of a Pencil

        If there’s one takeaway from this book, it’s that anyone can create extraordinary change for those who need it most. Adam Braun traveled the world, and ran into a young boy during his trip. When Adam asked him what he wanted most in the world, the boy responded “a pencil.” This is when Adam started his “for-purpose” organization called Pencils of Promise, where they have now gone out to build hundreds of schools in Nicaragua, Laos, and Thailand, and providing full-time education to tens of thousands of children in need.

        Advertising

        promise-of-a-pencil-021

          5. The Beach

          This is a novel following, Alex Garland, a British backpacker, as he searches for paradise on earth. It has helped inspire a generation of gap year students to head to the Far East and is symbolic of the all-consuming escapism that travel can provide.

          thebeachalexgarland

            6. Unlikely Destinations

            This book is a unique mix of autobiography, business history, and travel book. It traces Tony and Maureen Wheeler’s (the founders of Lonely Planet) personal story as well as the often bumpy evolution of their travel guide business into the world’s largest independent travel publishing company.

            51Ii+pIUekL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_

              7. The Looptail

              This is the extraordinary story of Bruce Poon Tip’s personal adventure, starting with his first-person account of how he honed his entrepreneurial instincts to start and develop G Adventures, the world’s most successful adventure travel company, which now operates more than 100 countries, on all seven continents, serving more than 100,000 customers every year. Along the way, Poon Tip reveals his unusual management secrets that not only keep his employees fully engaged and energized but also keeps his customers extremely happy.

              looptail-cover

                8. On the Road

                On The Road features a series of trips made by Kerouac and his Beat Generation friends across America in the years after the Second World War. Through the eyes of narrator Sal Paradise (Kerouac himself) the reader is transported from New York to Denver to San Francisco and LA. Along the way there’s jazz, poetry and drugs. A thrilling story that brings you back to the exciting moments of history.

                on_the_road.large_

                  9. The Turk Who Loved Eating Apples: And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World

                  Matt Gross, who wrote a column for a few years in the New York Times called Frugal Traveler, shares stories, scenarios and “sod off” moments he experienced as a traveler before, during and after working for “All the news that’s fit to print”.

                  Advertising

                  51InCiOoF4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

                    10. Eat, Pray, Love

                    This is a story about a woman named Liz, who thought she had everything she wanted in life: a home, a husband and a successful career. Now newly divorced and facing a turning point, she finds that she is confused about what is important to her. Daring to step out of her comfort zone, Liz embarks on a quest of self-discovery that takes her to Italy, India and Bali. Highly recommended for someone going through a transition and seeking to get out of one’s comfort zone.

                    Eat,_Pray,_Love_–_Elizabeth_Gilbert,_2007

                       11. In a Sunburned Country

                      Bill Bryson is a master of the modern travel essay. In a Sunburned Country, perhaps his funniest book, follows his journey through Australia, that hot, dry, strange, kangaroo-filled country, where he explores the cities, deserts, ocean, people, and regions with weird names (Tittybong!). Bryson’s cheery and supremely curious travel ethos will inspire you to adopt a similar attitude on your journey abroad.

                      51Fhd1OemrL

                        12. The Geography of Bliss

                        In the book, Eric Weiner travels to spots around the globe—including Iceland, Bhutan, Moldova, and Qatar—to search out how different countries define and pursue happiness.

                        51OdIbqn6xL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

                          13. The Places in Between

                          In 2002, the same time as America’s invasion of the country, Scottish author Rory Stewart traveled across north-central Afghanistan: by foot and completely alone. Named one of the top 10 books of 2006 by The New York Times, The Places in Between is moving and thoughtful, and, at times, devastating, never more than when he visits the Buddhas of Bamyan, two historical Buddha statues from the 6th century that had just been bombed by the Taliban. The book is a prime example of what it means to truly be present in a place, however uncomfortable or difficult that can be.

                           
                          places-in-between

                            14. Into the Wild

                            Into the Wild addresses the issues of how to be accepted into society, and how finding oneself sometimes conflicts with being an active member in society. If you feel that you don’t fit into the confines of how society defines normal, then this book will show you how to embrace yourself.

                            51jGs2yyXgL

                              15. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

                              Mark Twain shares what life is like in the Mississippi region, addressing the painful contradictions of racism and segregation. This is without a doubt something that you’ll experience throughout your travels and a powerful narrative to absorb before you departure.

                              Advertising

                              huckleberry-finn

                                16. In Patagonia

                                The 1977 classic travel book follows English author Bruce Chatwin’s journey from Lima, Peru to Patagonia, where he spent six months. The book, divided into 97 sections, defies the standard structure of travel narratives by almost entirely rejecting linearity, which makes it the perfect read for all self-identified wanderers who refuse to follow straight paths.

                                79909

                                   17. The Sun Also Rises

                                  This book can be read as a morality tale about a protagonist who searches for integrity in an immoral world. As we travel, it’s without a doubt we will face injustice and struggle that is unfair, and this book will help you gain a unique perspective about the world we live in.

                                  18. Inca-Kola: A Traveller’s Tale of Peru

                                  This is a hilarious book for anyone to read before they travel to South America (especially Peru). It follows the author Matthew Parris’s trip around Peru and shares the great adventures he experienced with a side of humor. If you enjoy a giggle and interested in learning more about Peru, this is a must!

                                  51Q4IMn5XkL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_

                                    19. The Motorcycle Diaries

                                    Leaving Argentina for a lark on a sputtering motorbike, the young Marxist revolutionary returns as a man with a mission. He becomes, in his daughter’s words: “increasingly sensitive to the complex indigenous world of Latin America”.

                                    41FG6R9JJGL

                                      20. ‘A Year in the World’ by Frances Mayes

                                      This is a narrative story of a woman who departs from her home in Tuscany to see Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, Turkey and North Africa. She shares her personal anecdotes, commentary on art, architecture, history, landscape, and social and culinary traditions, making you feel as if you’re there with her.

                                      Advertising

                                      year in the world

                                        21.’The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost’

                                        Ever wish you took a year off after college to see the world? Backpack vicariously with Friedman’s coming-of-age travel memoir about the year she spent plane- and train-hopping across three continents.

                                        515gt6sN1NL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

                                          22. Life is a Trip

                                          This book can be summarized by the author herself, “It occurred to me that any traveler can travel like a journalist—looking for cues and clues, diving into new cultures, and coming home with great stories and new ways of responding to life.”

                                          book_cover01

                                            23. How to Travel the World for $50 USD a Day

                                            Do you want to travel more but think it’s expensive? Would you like to find a way to make travel more affordable? Matt Kepnes, the founder of NomadicMatt.com, shares his tricks of the trade on how to hack travel and plan the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank.

                                            How-to-travel-the-world-50-dollars

                                              24. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

                                              “In 1986, my classmate Claire Van Houten and I decided to backpack around the world for a year,” writes Gilman in this page-turning memoir about two young women and the crisis the faced while traveling in China. “We had no idea, of course, of how complicated the world could be, or of our place in it, or of just how much trouble we were in for.”

                                              51h3+7ZX5WL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

                                                25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

                                                What is the answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything? If you find yourself pondering these philosophical questions, then you’ll relate greatly to the protagonist of this book.

                                                11

                                                  If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love reading How to Read Over 60+ Books a Year and Complete Guide to Doubling Your Reading Speed (Without Losing Comprehension).
                                                  Get Our Free Course on How to Speak a New Language in 90 Days

                                                  More by this author

                                                  Sean Kim

                                                  Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

                                                  7 Best Language Learning Apps and Websites What’s the Easiest Language to Learn for English Speakers? 7 Hardest Languages to Learn For English Speakers 7 Best Languages to Learn to Stay Competitive 10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day

                                                  Trending in Entrepreneur

                                                  1 8 Characteristics of Entrepreneurship That Will Lead to Success 2 How to Start an Online Business That Will Grow and Succeed 3 15 Best Entrepreneurs Books to Start Reading Now to Be Successful 4 How to Start a Small Business with Little to No Money 5 The Lifehack Show: Staying On Top of Your Game as an Entrepreneur with Frank Fiume

                                                  Read Next

                                                  Advertising
                                                  Advertising
                                                  Advertising

                                                  Last Updated on April 9, 2020

                                                  5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

                                                  5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

                                                  It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

                                                  The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

                                                  With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

                                                  5 Types of Leadership Styles

                                                  I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

                                                  The Democratic Style

                                                  The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

                                                  The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

                                                    The Autocratic Style

                                                    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

                                                    Advertising

                                                    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

                                                    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

                                                      The Transformational Style

                                                      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

                                                      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

                                                      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

                                                        The Transactional Style

                                                        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

                                                        Advertising

                                                        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

                                                        The Laissez-Faire Style

                                                        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

                                                        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

                                                        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

                                                        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

                                                        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

                                                        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

                                                        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

                                                        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

                                                        Advertising

                                                        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

                                                        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

                                                        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

                                                        1. Context Matters

                                                        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

                                                        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

                                                        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

                                                        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

                                                        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

                                                        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

                                                        Advertising

                                                        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

                                                        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

                                                        The Way Forward

                                                        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

                                                        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

                                                        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

                                                        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

                                                        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

                                                        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

                                                        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

                                                        More Leadership Tips

                                                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                        Read Next