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5 Must-Read Travel Novels To Satisfy Your Wanderlust

Updated: Apr 2

Travel journeys make us learn, experience, discover and cherish life.

As quoted in Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, The Namesake, 'You are still young, free. Do yourself a favour. Before it’s too late, without thinking too much about it first, pack a pillow and a blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day it will be too late.'

Image by MaBraS from Pixabay

But also having a pile of responsibilities to take care of in our daily lives, we can’t always go on back-to-back trips (until we turn into a nomad—that's something we will talk about another day). Hence, I've got you books that won’t succumb to any restrictions and transport you to multiple places and multiple lives at any hour you desire.

Take delight in these reads, map out travel plans, and take flight when it's time.

1. The Shooting Star: A Girl, Her Backpack and the World by Shivya Nath

Image Credits: Shivya Nath

This book reflects on the life of India’s top travel blogger and her journey from a cramped corporate cubicle to becoming a nomad. Her experiences open the door to traditions and culture you’ve probably not heard of and are an inspiration to ditch your monotonous schedules and hit the road for your good.

“The world is full of books, movies and stories about how the loss of a loved one, or a change in fortune, or a severe illness or another tragedy of such magnitude catapulted someone to reset their lives and chase long-forgotten dreams."

Shivya Nath, The Shooting Star: A Girl, Her Backpack and the World

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Image Credits: Mel Hattie

In pursuit of a treasure, a shepherd crosses seas and sands and makes sacrifices along the way to eventually reach a place of enlightenment. Through this splendid read, we embark on an adventure that teaches one of the many important lessons—it is the journey that matters!

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked, completely surprised. “It is this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”


3. Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

Image Credits: Sage Adventures

Through her witty and exciting travelogue, Rajesh, a London-based Journalist, takes the readers on 80 train journeys, including Darjeeling’s charming toy train and the Indian Maharaja-Deccan Odyssey.

P.S.: If you want to explore India and its heritage-rich places, this book is your reliable travel guide.

“To understand India you have to see it, hear it, breathe it and feel it. Living through the good, the bad and the ugly is the only way to know where you fit in and where India fits into you.”

Monisha Rajesh, Around India in 80 Trains

4. Delhi Is Not Far by Ruskin Bond

Image Credits: Chronicles From Calcutta

This book paints a lively picture of Pipalnagar and the unfulfilled dreams of its inhabitants. While it’s tempting to travel to prominent and famous parts of the world, Bond, on the contrary, encourages his readers to pack their bags and experience a light-hearted, minimalist life in a small town.

“I knew I was free; that I had always been free; held back only by my own weakness, lacking impulse and the imagination to break away from an existence that had become habitual for years.”

Ruskin Bond, Delhi Is Not Far

5. Chai, Chai by Bishwanath Ghosh

Image Credits: Ticker Eats The World

Ever heard of Itarsi, Arakkonam, or Mughalsarai? They remain the silent, passing stops we overlook on our train trips but in the hearts of it lay untold tales. Rich with anecdotes and history, this book puts the limelight on the forgotten places that build the backbone of our Indian railway routes and are worth knowing.

“Duties can be taught but not the responsibilities.”

Bishwanath Ghosh, Chai Chai

This article is featured in All About Books | By @poojadkakde

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