“There is no friend as loyal as a book” – Ernest Hemingway

Ever since we all  have started practising #SocialDistancing due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, meeting friends and spending time with them seems far-fetched. The most we can do while being stuck at home during the period of Coronavirus lockdown is ring them up or talk over a video call. But even then, we’re missing out on so much fun and even worse, so many exciting trips we could have taken together. Well, we can sulk or we can use these unfavourable times to make a new friend by picking up a book… a travel book, indeed! Reading a book will ensure that we always have a companion and better yet, take our imagination to unimaginable distances. It’s like entering into a completely different universe, without having to leave the comfort of our homes.

Here’s our list of 5 handpicked travel books that you must read to fuel your wanderlust:

1. ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho

This book narrates the enthralling story of a young shepherd boy who travels from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure. And while following his dreams, he learns the meaning of love and life.

  • Favourite quote: “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.”

2. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Eliza Gilbert

A woman named Liz thought that she had everything she wanted until her life takes a turn. She gets out of her comfort zone and takes a trip to Italy, India and Bali on a quest of self-discovery.

  • Favourite quote: “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.”

3. ‘Vagabonding’ by Rolf Potts

Rich in travel philosophy and a lot of practical information – from saving to planning, this book is an uncommon motivational guide for solo travellers who are new to long-term world travel.

  • Favourite quote: “The value of your travels does not hinge on how many stamps you have in your passport when you get home – and the slow nuanced experience of a single country is always better than the hurried, superficial experience of forty countries.”

4. ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland

The story of a British backpacker setting out to find paradise on earth, this book is a reminder of the fact that fantasies don’t live up to expectations and beauty can be found in little things.

  • Favourite quote: “Tourists went on holidays while travellers did something else. They travelled.”

5. ‘In a Sunburned Country’ by Bill Bryson

One of the many amazing travelogues by Bill, this book chronicles his journey through the tiny little towns, coastal cities and unfrequented forests spread from the east to west in Australia.

  • Favourite quote: “Perhaps it’s my natural pessimism, but it seems that an awfully large part of travel these days is to see things while you still can.”

While these are our top 5, there are plenty of other travel books that can inspire us to see the world. Some such books that our readers have liked and suggested you to read are listed below:

  • ‘The Art of Travel’ by Alain de Botton
  • ‘Love with a Chance of Drowning’ by Torre DeRoche
  • ‘Into the Wild’ by John Krakauer
  • ‘Without Reservations’ by Alice Steinbach
  • ‘Unlikely Destinations’ by Tony & Maureen Wheeler
  • ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac
  • ‘The Geography of Bliss’ by Eric Weiner
  • ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ by Che Guevara
  • ‘Lost on Planet China’ by Maarten Troost
  • ‘Blue Highways’ by William Least Heat-Moon

If there’s a book that has left a lasting impact on the travel bug in you, do share it with us.

Read more: Top Things to do at Home during Coronavirus