Books that Inspire Travel

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Sometimes, the best retreat is to unplug from the rest of the world, nestle into a cozy chair and dive into a great book. The best travel books are those that offer an escape from your everyday life with accounts of experiences that are so brilliant that they make you want to pack your bags and book a chartered jet. Whether you seek a great book for an upcoming flight or simply want to take your imagination to a distant land, the following are sure to enthuse.

Wanderlust-Inspiring Books to Read on a Private Jet

The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage  |  by Paulo Coelho

As standards in any travel lover’s library, Paulo Coelho touches on a personal and spiritual discovery, driving at the essence of traveling. The Alchemist follows a Santiago, a shepherd, as he travels from Spain to Egypt, learning what it means to live, love and listen to your heart. Coehlo offers tidbits of wisdom throughout the book, such as: “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.”

The Pilgrimage is a collection of Coelho’s experiences as he traveled across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, where pilgrims have journeyed since the Middle Ages. Serving as an adventure story and guide to self-discovery, the book details the author’s encounters with mysterious guides, fiendish opponents, and the simplicities of life. The Pilgrimage paved the way for phenomenal The Alchemist, and expresses Coelho’s philosophies and searches for the nature of truth.

On the Road  |  by Jack Kerouac

“The only people in life for me are the mad ones… the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles.” A timeless travel novel, On the Road, follows Sal Paradise as he makes his way from New York to California. Train rides, hitchhiking, making new friends, partying and experimenting feed Sal’s thirst for life and desire to see the world. The further west Sal travels, the stronger and more confident he grows.

Coasting  |  by Jonathan Raban

“For years, I coasted from job to job, place to place, person to person. At the first hint of adverse weather, I hauled up my anchor and moved on with the tide.” In Coasting, Jonathan Raban recounts his 4,000-mile adventure around Britain on a 32-foot ketch using a compass as his only navigational guide.

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman  by Alice Steinbach

“I had fallen into the habit of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me.” In Without Reservations, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Steinbach writes about her experiences in some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world as she searches for the elements that define her life. The beautiful travelogue offers unexpected delights that enrich the soul and senses and will remind you of your own trips aboard.

Travels with Charley: In Search of America  |  by John Steinbeck

Hear the dialects of the real America. Smell the grass and see the colors of the country. In 1960, John Steinbeck and his extroverted French poodle Charley hit the road to rediscover America’s identity. Join them as they travel across 40 states and eat with truckers, come upon bears in Yellowstone, drive along country road and interstates, encounter the unexpected kindness of strangers, meet old friends, and reflect on how much America has changed.

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