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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).
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                                                  Sean Kim

                                                  Sean is the founder and CEO of Pulsing. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                                                  Last Updated on June 19, 2019

                                                  8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months

                                                  8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months

                                                  Everyone has the ability to learn a life-changing skill not just this year, but in the next 6 months.

                                                  By life-changing, I mean something that can have a positive impact in your life moving forward, even if it’s something you can’t envision today. Certain skills we can immediately reap the benefits of, while others will be life-changing when we least expect it.

                                                  In this article, we’ll share 8 life-changing skills you can learn in 6 months, where you can learn them, and how you can get started today.

                                                  1. Speed reading

                                                  Bill Gates has been known to state that if he had one superpower, it would be the ability to read faster. What Bill and the rest of the mega-successful understand is that knowledge is power. The ability to process information faster from books, articles, and reports is what will help us learn faster, and therefore improve each aspect of our life faster as well.

                                                  Where you can start learning: Speed reading courses are becoming more popular, as more people realize how important it is with the limited time we have. You can check out free courses like Read Speeder or you can start learning how to use Spritzlet, which allows you to speed read articles online with a browser extension.

                                                  2. Public speaking

                                                  Research shows that people fear public speaking more than death itself. There’s something terrifying about being in front of dozens or hundreds of people, and exposing yourself completely. It’s when you’re most vulnerable, but learning how to public speak is a life-changer.

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                                                  Warren Buffett has given advice to recent graduates that the number one skill you can have to succeed is public speaking skills. Everything from communication, confidence, and sales is developed when you develop your public speaking skills.

                                                  Where you can start learning: Luckily, there are great communities out there like Toastmasters that organize local meetups all around the world. You’ll find amazing public speakers that are looking to get to the next level to beginners that are just getting started. Check out Toastmasters’ website here.

                                                  3. Spanish

                                                  As the third most spoken language in the world, the ability to speak Spanish will allow you to reach over 500M people around the world. No matter where you live, knowing how to speak Spanish is becoming increasingly more important, with the Hispanic population and economy spreading quickly worldwide. If you’re living in the US, this is even more important, with over 30% of the population being Hispanic.

                                                  Spanish is also on this list, because it’s one of the easiest languages to learn. Sure, Mandarin is an important language to learn, but it’s an incredibly difficult one to learn. If we were to measure the level of importance and the time to learn for all the languages available, Spanish would make it to the top of the list.

                                                  One of the biggest reasons why people never reach fluency in any foreign language is: using the wrong method, and lack of time.

                                                  It turns out that humans retain only 5% of what we learn from lectures, 20% of what we learn from apps (visual cues), and 90% of what we learn from immediate immersion. Yet, how do 90% of learn a new foreign language? Language schools (lectures), books, Duolingo (apps), etc that don’t provide the real-life immersion required for our brains to learn faster.

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                                                  Where to get started: If you want the most effective way to learn a language, learning from real-life interactions is the best way to do it. There are great websites like Rype, which offers Spanish coaching for busy people, solving the issue of lack of time and bringing real-life immersion to your screen. With Rype, you can book as many lessons as you want, at any time of the day, any day of the week, allowing you to fit it into your schedule, no matter how busy you are.

                                                  4. Accounting

                                                  If you’re looking to get into business, accounting is one of the core fundamentals you’ll need to succeed. While you don’t need to be an expert, you definitely should understand the basics.

                                                  This skill can also be used to manage your personal finances, to meet your financial goals, and having more control over your life.

                                                  Where to get started learning: If you didn’t learn accounting in school, no worries. You can either teach yourself using books, or check out free accounting courses online.

                                                  5. Microsoft Excel

                                                  Most people reading this probably have a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. While this is a good start, there are so many powerful functionalities that are hidden, which could make your life a lot easier.

                                                  Excel is also a great asset to have whenever you’re looking for a job, as many corporations rely on Excel to organize and manage multiple parts of the business.

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                                                  Where to get started learning: With the popularity of Excel, you can find tons of free resources and videos online to learn. Check out Excel Exposure, Lynda, and Excel with Business.

                                                  6. Blogging/Vlogging

                                                  Blogging is a powerful tool if you want to spread your ideas, build your brand, or grow your business. Since it was introduced, blogging has taken on a life of its own, and today there are ~2M blog posts being written on a daily basis.

                                                  Where to get started learning: Anyone can start blogging today. All you need is a content-management system like WordPress, which is completely free. Personally, I think the best way to start learning how to blog is to just start writing. There are techniques you can learn on how to promote your blog, but the best way to grow your blog is to write great content.

                                                  7. Weight training

                                                  Yes, weight training is a skill. It’s not as advanced as learning how to code, nor will it take as long as learning a new language, if you just want to learn the basics.

                                                  We’re not promising that you’ll get a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you will see much faster results for whatever goal you have, just by understanding how to workout properly. And of course, when you’re dealing with an activity that involves physical strain, you’ll always want to caution yourself.

                                                  Where to get started learning: There are amazing body builders that are sharing all of their secrets for free on Youtube. You can check out Bodybuilding.com’s Youtube channel to get started.

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                                                  8. Photo and video editing

                                                  In the digital world that we live in, from Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook, there is no avoiding photos and videos. In fact, social media has increasingly gone away from text sharing and almost everything to photo and video editing.

                                                  Where to get started learning: For photo editing, you can use Photoshop. For video editing, you can use iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Keep in mind, there are dozens of editing software tools for video and photo editing, but what’s more important are your editing skills, not the tool itself.

                                                  Check out education websites like CreativeLIVE or Skillshare, where you can learn from experts themselves on how to best use design and software tools.

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