If your New Years’ resolutions were to travel more and read two books a month and you’re not working your way through novel number seventeen with a passport full of stamps, it’s time to catch up. Snag one of these wanderlust-inspiring reads and you’ll be booking a flight before you need a bookmark. You might even be able to use the book to get out of those baggage fees so take a note from Rory Gilmore and leave traveling light to Kerouac.
Here are 8 books to inspire your next adventure:
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Pamplona Spain
Yeah we know, you read the CliffsNotes for this in high school. But Hemmingway’s defense of the “lost generation” will ring true for anyone whose coworkers treat them as a millennial poster child and if you don’t have the stomach to actually watch a bullfight, you should at least read about one.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia
Although the setting’s city remains unnamed, descriptions suggest it is probably Cartagena. Which is all the excuse we need to visit this colorful destination on the rise.
A Moveable Feast By Ernest Hemingway, Paris
If you’ve ever, even momentarily, thought about becoming a writer then you’ve also thought about drinking your way through cafes in Paris with Hemingway.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Egypt
Finding one’s destiny is the obvious theme of this allegorical novel. Yours may not be in Egypt like main character Santiago, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to see the pyramids while you look for it.
The White Album by Joan Didion, California
California belongs to the queen of cool Joan Didion, and this collection of essays from her experience in the 60s and 70s features casual references to Black Panther Party meetings, a Doors recording session and prison interviews with a Charles Manson follower.
Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow, Africa
The insatiable inner voice crying out I want, I want, I want rings just as true today as it did when Bellow penned this novel in 1959. The novel isn’t exactly a modern, progressive-thinking portrayal of the continent, but Henderson’s comic adventures and lion encounters will make you long for a safari experience of your own.
Jitterbug perfume by Tom Robbins, New Orleans
A heroine of this darkly humorous and unexpected Robbins read is known to insinuate “that there were only two places on earth one could be: New Orleans and somewhere ridiculous.” We think you get bonus points if you’re somewhere ridiculous and in New Orleans or at least eating a ridiculous amount of beignets.
Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
It would be un-American to leave the patron saint of aimless adventure and free-spirited travel off this list. Kerouac has inspired everyone from Bob Dylan to Hunter S. Thompson and his descriptions of California paradise Big Sur are sure to spur an impromptu road trip or intoxicated flight purchase.