Your first big backpacking trip will be unlike anything else you do in your life, travel or otherwise. While you’re on the road, you’ll learn non-stop, about… an almost endless array of things — do’s, don’ts, shoulds, shouldn’ts, hacks, and the humanity of everyone you encounter. Growth and personal evolution are inevitable byproducts of vagabonding. We’re not saying you have to travel in order to improve as a human. But amidst the parties and the hot springs and the tree houses… a little progress on the personal front isn’t a bad perk, right?
Even if you’re not into all the woo-woo personal growth stuff, it’s nice to read some books before and during your trip to add context to the act of travel. Like life on the road, books (novels in specific) are proven to increase empathy. Besides, when you backpack you have a lot of downtime — this is your chance to catch up on a few classics.
To help guide you, we’ve made a list of essential books to read before, during, and after your first big, horizon-expanding trip.