Travelling allows me to also indulge in my second favourite passion, reading.
I managed to read over 200 books on my trusty Kindle Fire. when I was travelling for ten months in 2017! Fiction, non-fiction, business, self-development – you name it I’ll read it.
Whether it’s a mountain climb, walk, cycle or swim reading other Adventurers stories continue to be a source of inspiration to me.
I’ve decided to round up some of my favourite reads of the last few years. Now is the time of year many of us have some time off work and are able to relax. A perfect time to pick up a new book to inspire your adventures for this year!
Essential Books for Adventure Lovers
I first heard about this book through Sarah William’s fantastic facebook group for Tough Girl Challenges. Katherine is a fellow member and sent it through for me to have a read.
This guide is huge, over 160 pages full of advice, worksheets and exciting ideas. As well as providing real-life examples of getting your ideas off the ground, Katherine’s guide helps you focus on working on the tools you need for your next adventure.
What I loved about this book the most is that Katherine looks at both small and large adventure ideas. There is an in-depth discussion about costs, planning and logistics. Perfect for anyone that may feel overwhelmed at the thought of planning their own trip.
I found this to be packed full of useful information for either a budding adventurer or someone looking for a new challenge. A big thumbs up from me! Buy Now for £4.99.
When I was going through my debt free journey a few years ago, I would visit the local library once a week to renew my book collection. I picked up a copy of The Road Headed West: A Cycling Adventure Through North America and was hooked. Despite his epic travels, Leon is a very relatable travel writer, and I couldn’t wait to start reading his latest instalment.
The Land Beyond is a story of Leon’s 1,000-mile walk through the West Bank, Jordan and southern Sinai. He continues to create adventure books which combine perfectly describing the physical act of travel while also allowing the reader to really imagine the mental and emotional experiences you encounter as a solo traveller through a new culture.
This book has made me yearn to go on my own solo adventure next year as well as providing me a much better idea of the region, politics and people living there. Buy it now £9.24.
Other books by Leon MacCarron:
The Road Headed West: A Cycling Adventure Through North America
A life-changing book for many travel and adventure lovers, I can’t believe I hadn’t read this before.
A book about taking time off from ‘normal life’ to explore the world on your own terms. This book is packed full of information on how you can finance your travel time and adjust to life on the road.
There were so many sentences that resonated with me while reading this book. Potts emphasises the importance of creativity and discovery, which I think he sums up so well in here:
“Vagabonding is an attitude—a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word. Vagabonding is not a lifestyle, nor is it a trend. It’s just an uncommon way of looking at life—a value adjustment from which action naturally follows. And, as much as anything, vagabonding is about time—our only real commodity—and how we choose to use it.” Buy it now £8.70
This book is adventurous in the truest sense of the word. Adventure can refer to any idea that is potentially fraught with physical, financial or psychological risk, such as a business venture, or other major life undertakings.
Tim Ferris, is the Author of the groundbreaking ‘Four Hour Work Week’, a book which opened the possibility to many people to create a business and live that allowed long-term and sustainable travel.
In this book, Tim interviews over two hundred people who share their tools and tactics of how they live their life.
In these in-depth interviews, he asked questions such as: What do these people do in the first sixty minutes of each morning? What do their workout routines look like, and why? Which books have they gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices in their field? What supplements do they take on a daily basis?
In Tim’s own words, he created the book as “my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.” Buy it now £11.80
Other books by Tim Ferriss:
The Four Hour Work Week
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the best in the World.
I first read this book when I was a teenager, found on one of my Mum’s many shelves of books. These acted as a travelling library for me. She was always buying new ones from charity shops, replacing books with new.
I devoured this book the first time around, captivated by the story of a race from Los Angeles to New York. But after returning it to the shelf, it must have ended up in the charity shop pile, as the book disappeared, along with my memory of its name.
It follows the story of several of the runners, as well as the organisers and cities along the way. While you fall in love with each character, it becomes harder and harder decided not only who you want to win, but who you think will.
I was thrilled to see this available in Kindle Unlimited, having forgotten most of the story twenty years later, I was able to enjoy this book just as much as I had as a thirteen-year-old. Buy it now £8.53
Keith Foskett is an English Hiker who will make you want to drop everything and walk the world.
He is a veteran of El Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Pacific Crest, Appalachian Trail, all of which he has written compelling books all of which I highly recommend.
In this collection of short stories, he shares his stories of trails from the South Downs in England to Mexico. While I haven’t been on any long walks personally, I especially enjoy reading about his philosophy behind his walking and the personal satisfaction he gets from it.
Unsurprisingly I have planned two short hiking trips for 2018 mainly due to the enjoyment I received from reading Keith’s work. Buy it now £XXX
Other books by Keith Foskett:
Balancing On Blue: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on the Appalachian Trail
The Journey in Between: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on El Camino de Santiago
The Last Englishman: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail
7. The Pants Of Perspective: One Woman’s 3,000-kilometre running adventure through the wilds of New Zealand
This book is a personal account of Anna’s 148-day solo run through New Zealand. Running up to 52 kilometres in a day, she sleeps wild most nights and tells the story of the people she met along the way.
My favourite aspect of this book was Anna’s ability to show the sometimes negative aspects of adventure, with warmth and humour.
It read like a best friend telling you the story of their latest crazy adventure, no holds barred honesty with clear passion about the experience that she had had.
Anna points out that she was never a ‘serious runner’ yet still completes one of the toughest, solo runs imaginable. For anyone needing the motivation to commit to a physical challenge, this is a great read. Buy now £9.99.
Alastair Humphreys was one of the first ‘Adventurers’ that I started to follow. He is often known as the founder of the ‘microadventure’ encouraging people to create small adventures in their lives during the ‘5-9’.
This account of his cycling trip around the world, which he did for around £7,000, is both amazing and heartbreaking.
A lot of the book is based on the insecurities, the worries and the feeling of self-doubt when embarking on a trip.
But this is what makes it all the more likeable – it’s a real, sometimes uncomfortable account of the reality of life on the road.
Alastair works very much on a day to day basis, working around visa possibilities and with the smallest of budgets. It’s a reminder that perhaps you don’t need to plan down to the finest detail when organising your next trip – but to just get on your bike and do it. Buy it now £7.99
Other books by Alastair Humphreys:
Thunder and Sunshine: Around the World by bike Part Two: Riding Home from Patagonia
Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes
There are other Rivers
Like Flanagan’sRun, this is another fiction book that made the list. I am incredibly interested in colonial history, and this story of William Thornhill and his family from London is fascinating.
After a terrible mistake, William and his entire family are transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life.
He arrives in Sydney and eventually ‘take’ a hundred acres of land for himself – but is shocked to find Aboriginal people already living on the river.
It explores the history of how Australia was developed, and how the indigenous people were dealt with. At times an uncomfortable read, the insight into the difficulties both sides had adapting to this new reality is fascinating. Buy it now £7.82
10. How to Afford your next Adventure by Hannah Cox
Can you believe it – I’m writing two books!
I’ve travelled to 46 countries and completed overland adventure from the UK to Bhutan, which took me through Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India and Bhutan.
I often get asked ‘How can you afford it’. So I have created two practical guides showing you the tips and tricks I used to go from £20,000 in debt to go on a self-funded expedition around the world!
This book goes on sale worldwide via my website and Amazon June 2020.
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What have been your favourite travel and adventure reads? Let me know in the comments below.
Also published on Medium.