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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.”

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    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.

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      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.

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        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.

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          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.

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            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.

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              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.

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                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.

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                  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”.

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                    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.

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                       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.

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                        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.

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                          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.

                           
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                            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.

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                              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.

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                                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.

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                                   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!

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                                    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”.

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                                      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.

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                                        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.

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                                          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.”

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                                            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.

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                                              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.”

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                                                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.

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                                                  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

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                                                  Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                                                  10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

                                                  10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

                                                  When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

                                                  However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

                                                  You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

                                                  A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

                                                  Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

                                                  1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

                                                  It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

                                                  Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

                                                  Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

                                                  A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

                                                  If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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                                                  2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

                                                  Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

                                                  Let me explain:

                                                  A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

                                                  A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

                                                  3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

                                                  Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

                                                  Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

                                                  Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

                                                  Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

                                                  4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

                                                  Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

                                                  A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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                                                  What’s the bottom line?

                                                  Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

                                                  5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

                                                  Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

                                                  Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

                                                  You might be wondering how you can get started:

                                                  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
                                                  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
                                                  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

                                                  6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

                                                  If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

                                                  Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

                                                  Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

                                                  Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

                                                  In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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                                                  Learn how to delegate in my other article:

                                                  How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                                                  7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

                                                  Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

                                                  Here’s the deal:

                                                  Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

                                                  The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

                                                  8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

                                                  A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

                                                  Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

                                                  For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

                                                  9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

                                                  Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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                                                  Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

                                                  As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

                                                  10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

                                                  Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

                                                  Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

                                                  Here’s what I mean by process over people:

                                                  Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

                                                  Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

                                                  This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

                                                  Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

                                                  Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

                                                  For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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