Reading is a great way to expand your horizons and explore the world, from anywhere in the world! Books act as windows to places you have never seen before (or have) and to see the world from someone else’s perspective.
Reading travel books also helps you to learn about social customs, history and all the little things that make up a culture. All useful information especially when placed into context – which is often easy to misunderstand.
I learnt to read from the passenger seat of my mum’s car. We lived out in regional Melbourne at the time, and it would take about 40 minutes to drive to my grandparent’s house. In that time mum would teach me how to read (looking back it wasn’t the safest way to teach a kid!) There were no kids around where we lived so I had to learn to entertain myself, and books became my friends.
Everything from fantasy, science fiction, history, action and even romance were all on my reading list… I loved reading because it was an escape, another world where I could picture myself as whoever I wanted to be.
Why you should consider reading travel books
Travel books can do the same thing. I’m not referring to the Lonely Planet travel guides full of facts and figures. I’m talking about travel books written by normal people who decided to share their experiences with others.
You could argue about why it is worth reading about travel when we could just do it, or go onto Instagram and follow a heap of travel photos…. But the reality is, most of us will only get to see a tiny fraction of the world, and photos only show an image at one particular point in time with no context.
Books however, especially when well written, allow us to really explore and delve into a place and experience it through the authors eyes.
So, what do we want from a good travel book? Well, like any book that depends on you!
Some travel books read like fiction, a snapshot of certain experiences (food, romance, finding peace), whereas others a more a mix of fiction and fact (such as a historical novel using real events and people as a basis).
What makes these stories worth reading though, it that they give away details about places and cultures that you won’t find in a travel guide or by visiting a place for a week. These are experiences that give us a window into another world that may be similar, but completely foreign to our own.
Each story also resonates differently with each person. I’ve read books that I personally thought were amazing but had terrible reviews, and others with rave reviews but I personally struggled to read. It depends on what you are expecting from the story and whether it resonates with you.
The Benefits of Reading Travel Books
Which leads me back to here, and to why I wrote this post. I managed to grab a box of books I had stored away in my parents garage before this Stage 4 lock down happened in Melbourne (they live well outside the 5km limit from me), and thankfully I grabbed the one with some of my travel books.
I found myself sitting on the carpet in my living room, surrounded by these books and I thought it would be a great idea to share some of them with you. As I re-read my books, and read some new ones, I will share my thoughts about them here so you can add to your reading list, or if you have read them, please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.