We admit, we carry way too many books with us while we travel. Even though we got rid of most of our things and boxed up everything else before leaving our home to travel indefinitely, we still kept some of our absolute favorites with us, stowed away in our backpacks. The following is a list of books that inspire us to travel and find deeper meaning in life through our journeys. Some, like The Prophet, we keep with us in paperback form and reference like a Bible for the spiritual nomad. For you, though, we recommend keeping your backpack light and bringing them with you on your Kindle…
HINT: click on the image of the book to purchase it!
by Richard Bach
Can we imagine what our world would be like if we understood what “reality” is? What is it? The Native Americans say that our dreams are the real world, and we play out our dreams in our physical, 3D bodies. This book puts those lessons into white-man lingo and invites us to really examine what exactly we are doing with our lives.
by James Redfield
Everything is energy! Wow, what a concept eh? Not only does the main character travel to find Truths, but the Truths are, well, truth! We learn so much about energetic exchanges every single day, through various cultures. So far, every country we encounter perpetuates some of our lower vibrational exchanges. Imagine the day we all figure it out collectively and stop oppressing and harming each other.
by Kahlil Gibran
A beautiful passage was read at our wedding ceremony in Sedona, AZ, and has set a profound tone for our journeys right from the start. We first started reading this on our initial drive to just check Sedona out together, and if you’ve read any of this book you will know why it’s a must for life, traveling or otherwise.
by Don Miguel Ruiz
Helpful when traveling and meeting so many other journeyers, native peoples, and life in general. Take nothing personally, be responsible for our words, etc. Simplistic and yet so hard to master these basic teachings. Through traveling, we are working through them even when we don’t necessarily mean to.
by Carlos Castaneda
Extremely popular and critically acclaimed introspective books, until some miffed colleagues decided to attack the author’s credibility. If he’s a liar, he’s a damn brilliant one. The insights and teachings of these two books, among his full collection, keep the mind and spirit challenged to always look deeper.
by Wind Walker
Yes, Wind’s book is a must on this list. A memoir, not unlike a few other of our favorites listed here, about going through Hell in order to find Paradise (Dante’s Divine Comedy, anyone?). Sure to be a cult classic in a few years for the seeker and traveler alike. Check it out, you might find your Truths along the way.
by Paolo Coelho
A brave young shepherd boy from Spain dreams of treasure and sets out to find it. Along the way he finds an old man who has lost the will to pursue his dream, and another who is so buried in his studies that he misses what is right in front of him. All the while, the shepherd boy learns the language that his heart speaks, and never really loses his way. This story somehow touches you deeper when you read it as a traveler and can draw parallels to your own life journeys.
by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
Okay so this is literally a travel book, but it is on this list because it offers a very wholistic approach to travel, including ways to give back to the communities that you visit, as well as how to support local women and girls and indigenous tribes.
by Thich Nhat Hanh
We started reading this book during our stay on Mindful Farm, and it is a beautiful and simple introduction to learning and practicing meditation. Keep it with you on the road to help you slow down and find some peace amid the crazy.
by Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain has the market on traveling publicly for basically self-serving purposes, and he pretty much says so in his tell-all memoirs. He’s gruff and punchy but with a huge heart and barely hidden humility. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but offers a less-than-ideological look at traveling and other basic life struggles.
by Jon Krakauer
How far do you want to go in your pursuit of liberation from the material world? You can’t go anywhere without this book or it’s movie being brought up. Great read, view, and soundtrack…lots to ponder with this one.
by Elizabeth Gilbert
We all know it, most of us have seen or read it. Can traveling really take us deeper? Did it work for Elizabeth? To be honest, I read this book before I started traveling and didnt like it… but now I get it.
An argument could (and has been) made that this is the oldest book in the world. It is also thought to be the ancient Greek’s equivalent of the Christian Bible. We’ve all learned about the various characters and gods/goddesses contained within. These ancient works hit to the core of seeking a way out of a hard-earned egoic life.
by Hermann Hesse
Another young journeyer, Siddhartha begins his life pilgrimage during the times of Buddha. He becomes a poor renunciate, then a married rich man, and in the end chooses a simple life full of the lessons he learned along the way.
by Louise L. Hay
Wind’s take on this book is that, while not a traveler’s book per se, it is all about the inner journey to self-help – something that completes the mind-body-spirit circuit of why we are traveling. No headache, stomach ache, or chest pain comes without looking inside for the origin. And our goals for traveling are to find fulfillment on the holistic levels. This book fills in many blanks.
Do you have any personal favorites? What books would you add to this list?