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7 Travel Books to Fuel Your Wanderlust

Whether you’re a passionate reader who never goes anywhere without a well-thumbed paperback or you’re someone who keeps adding to their must-read list but never gets around to opening the first page – there has never been a better time to get lost in a great book.

With many of us self-isolating at the moment, and with plenty of spare time, it’s the perfect opportunity to get reading. Unsurprisingly, the team here at Scenic loves a good travel book – transporting us to amazing places from the comfort of our own home. So, at a time when most people’s wanderlust could use a little fuelling, we’ve picked out our 7 favourite travel books.

Walden - Henry David Thoreau

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau

An early and classic entry into the popular American novel trope, escaping the perceived drudgery of normal life and going back to nature. Henry David Thoreau sought to return to a simpler way of life, building himself a cabin home for the next two years in order to secure space to think and truly understand society. For those of you who yearn to explore the wilds or the world through a literary journey, Walden is for you.

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts


“The choice you make between hating and forgiving can become the story of your life.” – Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram is a semi-autobiographical work which follows its author’s adventures through the most enigmatic of nations, India. Australian convict Roberts escapes prison and stows away to Mumbai under a fake name. For the next decade, he experiences everything this intoxicating city has to offer, from living in the slums to featuring in Bollywood films.

For those of you enticed by the majesty and mysticism of India, Scenic can take you there in complete luxury. Please contact us for more details.

Down Under - Bill Bryson


“You are totally at the mercy of nature in this country, mate. It's just a fact of life.” ― Bill Bryson

Striking scenery, unique wildlife and hilarious locals who speak the Queen’s English; there’s something incredibly alluring about Australia. Of all far-flung destinations, Australia is one that so often grabs the attention of us Brits. This makes Bill Bryson’s adventure through the Outback and into civilised Australia a must-read as he encounters everything that makes Australia so brilliant. As funny as it is intriguing, this is a travel guide that’s impossible to put down.

Keen to follow Bryson’s footsteps down under please contact us for more details.

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

An absolute classic of the travel genre, The Alchemist follows the time-tested trail of a poor boy travelling far for treasures untold. A young Andalusian shepherd, Santiago, follows a prophetic dream to Egypt to seek his riches. On his way through arid Arabic landscapes, he finds love, loses himself and discovers the true value of the treasure he has been seeking.

Follow your path to treasured memories with our Egypt in Depth tour.

The Journals of Captain Cook - James R Cook and Philip Edwards

“Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.” ― Captain James Cook

For those with an interest in exploration, maritime navigation and mapping the great unknowns, the Journals of Captain Cook are essential reading. Captain Cook narrates three of his most ambitious journeys as he mapped the Antarctic Circle to the Arctic Sea, chartered Australia and New Zealand, and navigated the wilds of the Pacific Ocean. A true step back to a time when there was a little more mystery in the world.

A Year in Provence - Peter Mayle


“The French, it seems to me, strike a happy balance between intimacy and reserve. Some of this must be helped by the language, which lends itself to graceful expression even when dealing with fairly basic subjects. No wonder French was the language of diplomacy for all those years.” – Peter Mayle

The food, the scenery, the scents and the backdrops of Provence have inspired writers, painters and travellers for hundreds of years. But, perhaps the finest contemporary chronicle of this enticing part of France comes courtesy of Peter Mayle, who details his first year living in this charming corner of the world with refreshing honesty and humour.

Experience the beauty of Provence for yourself on one of our Rhône river cruises.

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

“We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.” ― Arthur Golden

Tinged with beautiful melancholy, Memoirs of a Geisha tells the heart-wrenching tale of a Geisha’s life, set against a truly charming backdrop. The Hanamachi district of Kyoto plays host to much of this novel, where young Chiyo is sold to a Geisha house by her impoverished father and is forced into a life of silent servitude.

Despite the sadness of the story, the evocative setting of 1940s Kyoto truly stirs the imagination, and is guaranteed to fuel a passion to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.

If you’d like to explore the ancient and the new of Kyoto please contact us for more details.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our shortlist of seven books to fuel your wanderlust. Please visit our homepage for more travel inspiration.