Get Inspired: Travel Through Reading

Do you know what I love most about books? The way they can open your eyes to people and places you never knew existed. People often compare reading with travelling. You can travel to so many different destinations between the covers of a good book.

If you dream of seeing the world but for whatever reason can’t make it happen right now, then I advise you to read. Read, and let your mind do the site seeing.

Any book will do, provided it is set in a place on earth and on a topic you are interested in. But if you dream of travelling to a specific country or continent, then I advise you to narrow down your reading efforts. Always wanted to go to France? Read books set in France. Not only will it open your eyes to what life is like there, it will also help you prepare for your trip one day.


I can’t list books for every specific country, but here are three of my favourite travel stories. They make for perfect summer holiday reading and may just teach you something new about the world.



Ever wondered what it would be like to volunteer in an orphanage in Nepal? Little Princes by Conor Grennan is a story of a man who leaves his life in America behind to work tirelessly to help young Nepalese kids in need. It will open your eyes to a whole new part of our precious world and may even inspire you to volunteer somewhere one day. I recently finished this book and think it’s the best I’ve read all year – check out my review.



One of the most famous travel memoirs of recent times, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a great light summer read.


Going through a bad divorce, Elizabeth (Liz) decides to embark on a year long travel adventure to mend some wounds and spend time alone. She splits the year across three countries – Italy, India and Bali. During her time abroad she learns what she believes to be the secret of happiness, and visits some pretty amazing places too!



Not your traditional travel story by any stretch of the imagination, I wanted to include this book in here as it shows how even fictional novels can teach you a lot about a time and place.


As you’ve probably seen the movie, you’ll know Water For Elephants is set on a travelling circus in America. I bet not many of you know too much what it was like to work on one of these circuses in the 1930s? Times might have changed, but this book will still open your eyes to a new world.


Do you have any favourite travel books? Please share below.



Jess O'Connor

A self-described ‘creative bookworm with an overactive imagination’, Jess is a freelance writer based in Auckland. She loves reading, writing, travelling, cooking and lazy days at the beach.