“I don’t travel much by feet but I travel in books and pages. I might be sitting in one place but my mind travels everywhere, the entire universe.”
I am that person: a complete bookworm, I travel through books and the creative geniuses of the great authors who make you feel every emotion they feel and see exactly what they picture in their mind. But once in a while I do read something where, after finishing the last chapter… I tend to close the book and my eyes and just crave to be in that place in the pages.
So my dear wanderers… here are some of the books that gave me some serious wanderlust!!
ALICE IN WONDERLAND by LEWIS CARROLL
“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” was his response.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
I’ll start with the first book that inspired me to travel. Yes, I was that little frocked girl who wanted so much to follow a white rabbit through a rabbit hole and land into a world full of adventures!
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS by JULES VERNE
“I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man wants to see something new.”
Just imagine how good it would feel to take 80 days off your monotonous life and witness all the lives and cultures around the world. Oh! How I craved to be a partner in the travels of Mr. Philleas Fogg and his valet Passepartout!
THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT by R.R.TOLKIEN
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
Tolkien was the first one to make me cry and crave that adventurous Middle Earth and be a part of a Fellowship, going on a quest and just witnessing the world with all its wonders. If this book won’t make you want to travel, then nothing will. Tolkien will either morph you into Frodo – not being able to connect with his old life after his travels, or into Bilbo – someone who is changed by his travels forever even though he can sustain his old life or into Aragorn – you can find companions and make yourself at home wherever you are.
P.C Swati Roychoudhury
THE ALCHEMIST by PAULO COHELLO
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal.”
This book is the dream of every traveler and explorer who would do anything in the world to be Santiago, the Andalusian shepherd boy who goes on a life altering journey to find treasure. The book’s main theme is about finding one’s destiny. “When you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true” – this is the core of the novel’s philosophy and a motif that plays all throughout Coelho’s masterpiece.
THE HUNGRY TIDES by AMITAV GHOSH
“The dreamers have everyone to speak for them, but those who are patient, those who try to be strong, who try to build things – no one ever sees any poetry in that, do they?’”
Venturing very close to home, Amitav Ghosh made me crave for days to go visit the archipelago where I genuinely believed I would be a witness to the love story of Piya and Fokir. This book not only tells a heart wrenching love story but also gives you serious travel dreams to the Sunderbans, to witness the lives and cultures in the tide country!
EAT, PRAY, LOVE by ELIZABETH GILBERT
“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.”
Never run away from your problems, they say, which is true. Sometimes you have to get away to find your true identity, which is truer. The book gives you three goals and three cities and three times the wanderlust. It makes you want to eat till your stomach aches in Italy, pray till your mind is at peace in India and love with all your heart and soul in Bali.
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN by FRANCES MAYES
“My idea of heaven still is to drive the gravel farm roads of Umbria and Tuscany, very pleasantly lost.”
Similar to the theme of the book by Elizabeth Gilbert, this book, however made me not only crave traveling for identity but also break my journey in a remote place under the sun and make that place and the people there, my own.
THE OUTLANDER SERIES by DIANA GABALDON
“In that moment when time stops, it is as though you know you could undertake any venture, complete it and come back to yourself, to find the world unchanged, and everything just as you left it a moment before.”
When I said wanderlust, I did not mean time travel. Similarly, when I took up this series of novels, I didn’t think I could relate to anyone of the characters, let alone cry over them for days. But Diana Gabaldon with her gifts makes you feel with all your heart, for a 1945 post world war British nurse who time travels back to 1743 Scottish Highlands. Apart from a breathtaking and haunting story, the series just makes you want to pack your bags and ride off to Scotland to find the magic of the Highlands.
THE MISTS OF AVALON by MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY
“It depends on your own will, and your own thoughts, whither the road will take you.”
Arthurian legends are filled with adventures at each turn. The legends of the great King, his brave and chivalrous Knights and the mysterious sword in the stone. But Bradley tells her story in a very unique tone which just makes you yearn to visit the places where the Anglo-Saxon wars took place, filled with history, just hoping if you find the magic of Merlin and Morgana in your travels.
KAFKA ON THE SHORE by HARUKI MURAKAMI
“Still, you have to go there- to the edge of the world. There’s something you can’t do unless you get there.”
This book gives you serious travel aspirations as Murakami’s magical story telling recounts the journey of two individuals through the fascinating island of Japan with its rich traditions and mysterious ways.
So dear wanderers, here’s to all these books who inspired a couch potato like me to get up and get lost in the world for real, not only through the dried ink on the pages and also to those countless books I have yet to read on my couch that will make me get up and get out again!!
GUEST POST by SWATI ROYCHOWDHURY