“Not all those who wander are lost,” wrote J.R.R. Tolkein. These words resonate well with those smitten by the wanderlust. If you plan your next vacation with more fervor than your friend is planning her wedding, or if you are investing in your camera while your friend is inquiring about Mutual Funds, then it means you are still searching for that wonderful experience which will unveil the true meaning of your life.
Yes, this breed of people is rare. We seldom come across more people from our kind and, often the best companion to take on the next trip is a book. Here is a short and smart list of the best book travel companions-
1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This is a good read for anyone travelling from Europe to the Orient. It is an honest account of a true introspection, and responds well to anybody who believes in Maslow’s need hiearachy, first feel the stomach, empower the mind and sooth your heart, and in that order.
2. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
Chris McCandless fulfills the fantasy of many wishful ramblers when he gives up everything and enters the wild with almost next to nothing. Though ending in tragedy, this book is a reveler for those with a philosophical bent of mind and in search of existential answers to many materialistic questions.
3. An End to Suffering by Pankaj Mishra
A journey that begins in a small town, crosses the Himalayas into the heart of Buddhism. He chronicles his journey amidst the landmarks of Buddha’s life and elaborates on the basic of the religion. It is an interesting platter to anybody with interest in travel, philosophy and spirituality. A true feast of the hinterland.
4. Lost Horizon by James Hilton
A group of people are lost in the Himalayan heights and find refuge in an utopian Tibetan lamasery, where they find inner peace. The novel has made a cult of the fictional place Shangrila. It is said that the fiction was inspired by the reports of a botanist with the National Geographic. If you read to find the thin line between fiction and reality, this book is the right place to be.
5. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
There is a novel perspective when you read about your country from an outsider. This novel does that with it’s the vivid descriptions and colorful portrayal of routine life here. To anybody yearning for a change from the mundane, this can be a good read.
6. Another Country by Anjali Joseph
A young writer, Anjali Joseph has a knack to connect with her generation. As the 20 year old Leela travels through Paris, London and Mumbai, she discovers the many sides of her own personality. She realized what it means to be at home in your own skin. This is a must for those budding female sole travelers.
7. Mr. Iyer Goes To War by Ryan Lobo
A debut novel by an up and coming author, this book has been compared as the modern Don Quixote. Lalgudi Iyer admitted to a sacred house in Varanasi to await his own death is conceived that he has to complete Bhima’s mission and undertakes an ambitious journey down the Ganges with his trusted but mindless companion Bencho. The epic travails of the duo have meanings deeper than their actions.
This exclusive list takes you through books different from other Must Reads out there. Share your own favorite travel reads and tell us how you like our list as well.
Happy Reading on the path less travelled.