Must-read books to inspire your traveler's soul

Dec 19, 2011, 6 a.m.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." These words, spoken by St. Augustine, speak to the soul of passionate travelers and avid readers everywhere who unleash a familiar thirst for adventure and immediately begin searching for travel packages after picking up a good travel book. Whether you're one of those people with an undying passion for exploring new territory and experiencing new cultures or just someone looking for a great adventure story, you're sure to thoroughly enjoy the following must-read books for the traveler's soul.

On the Road, by Jack Kerouac

No one captures the wild and carefree nature of the traveler quite like Kerouac does in the classic novel On the Road. The book follows characters Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty as they explore the U.S. from San Francisco to New York City. They take whatever measures necessary to keep their traveling spirits alive: whether it's hitchhiking on the back of a chicken van or hot-wiring a neglected car. "But no matter, the road is life."

In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson invites the reader into his adventures in the Outback, where he travels by railway and car through the sunny landscapes of Australia. Whether he's conversing with the locals, exploring the flora and fauna, or examining the culture and primitive nature of each location, Bryson truly uncovers the heart of Australia. Such vivid imagery and fascinating scenery can provoke wanderlust in the most sedentary readers.

The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

Evoking rich imagery that a travel photography book can't compare to, The Sun Also Rises takes the reader on a frenzied journey through Paris and Spain in the 1920s. Depicting drunken days where the wine doesn't stop flowing and complete with a firsthand account of The Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, the book engulfs the reader in the terrors and excitement of Spain.

The Road to Oxiana, by Robert Byron

Written as a diary, The Road to Oxiana paints a picture of one man's journey through the Middle East in 1933, beginning in Beirut and ending in Oxiana (the modern day border between the former Soviet Union and Afghanistan). The book details the breathtaking landscapes and architectural marvels found along the way in a dream-like Joycean style. Readers experience the often frightening, often amusing world of Byron in a region where few travelers dared to tread.

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