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Since I’ve been back from my semester abroad, I’ve been missing traveling. I loved exploring new places and I cannot wait until I get once again the opportunity to do so. But life goes on, and opportunities to travel are not as frequent as I’d like them to be. So I have to find another way to satisfy my wanderlust.
One great way to travel without having to spend too much money is through books. Books will take you anywhere, whether it is in the past, in the present or in the future, to worlds that we know of and some that are completely new to us, and all of that from the very comfort of our own homes for a fraction of the price an airplane ticket would cost you. I mean, how awesome is that?
With that in mind, I thought I would share with you 10 books that will spark your wanderlust, no doubt! If you can’t plan your next “real” vacation, you might want to check these books out instead. 😉
Just One Day duology by Gayle Forman
If you remember correctly, you might remember that I mentioned this book in my favorite books of 2015 post. Just One by Gayle Forman is a duology (or a trilogy if you count the novella that wraps this series up!) that is centered around traveling, but it’s also about so much more than that. It’s about finding who you really are and figuring out what you want from life. The series will leave you wondering and wandering, and I definitely recommend it to all travel lovers! Just One Day, the first book, is set in Paris, France (aka the top destination on my travel bucket list!), and it’s honestly one of my all-time favorite reads. The second book will take you all over the world and by the end of it, you’ll have added at least 10 new locations to your travel bucket list. The author richly describes the locations the characters find themselves in, so you can’t help but feel like you’re right there with them. I feel like it’s such an underrated series and it deserves SO MUCH MORE love!
Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
If New Adult is more your jam, Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren will satisfy both your wanderlust and sexy cravings. 😉 If you’re looking for something light, fun, fast and hot to read, look no further! The storyline is cliché, but it works. A girl meets a guy in Vegas, they have the best alcohol-filled night of their life and barely remember anything the next morning. But this book takes an unexpected turn of events. Because next thing you know… they’re both in Paris (yup, another Paris book!). Every description is so vivid, it’ll make you feel like you’re actually there with the characters. I’m normally not impressed with NA books, but I honestly was! I was surprised to find that this book was greatly written. I loved the style and how natural it felt. You’ll also fall head over heels for the characters (the main male character is SO swoon-worthy!). You can read my complete review of this book on Goodreads. Honestly, this book made me want to read more New Adult novels!
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
I think I’ve mentioned many times in the past how much I have loved this book (It’s on my list of favorite books of 2016, if I’m not mistaken). Morgan Matson is the queen of cute, summery books, so if you like YA romance novels, I’m 100% sure you’ll love this one (it’s my favorite of hers!). From the very beginning, you think you know what is going to happen: Amy’s mother developed a route for Amy and Roger to follow, and they have to be at destination in four days. She made hotel reservations for them and each stop has been already decided. But then, Matson throws things off: they decide to take a detour. Even if the road trip and traveling are what seemed to be the more important part, there isn’t much sightseeing and visiting. The most important is what happens on the road. They both change and learn things about themselves through this adventure. The book also has photographs, lists, and doodles that helped to create a certain vibe. You can actually imagine yourself there, with them. If you want to take a road trip to the USA, you’ll love this book!
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat Pray Love is one of my all-time favorite books. Picking this book up is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re a wanderer at heart, looking for adventures or simply need to find your purpose in life, this book is perfect for you. It’s the kind of book I think every woman should read at least once in their life. The story, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s real life, is about discovering who you are through travel. After a divorce and a depression, Elizabeth realizes that she needs to find her purpose, so she decides that she’s going to travel to three places to reconnect with herself: Italy, India, and Bali. As we travel along Elizabeth, we realize that happiness is not always about wanting what you should, and that, sometimes, following your heart is the best decision you could ever make.
One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank
Once again, we find ourselves in Paris! Sophie and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father who is about to remarry after he life home a year ago without any explanation. They’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter, and the latter has agreed to show them around the city. If, like me, you are dreaming of visiting the City of Lights, you’ll love this book. The setting is simply perfect. The author described everything with an acute precision, and you can almost imagine yourself there with the characters. I’ve never been to Paris, but I feel like I’ve actually toured the city with Sophie and her friends! The author managed to turn a predictable story into something a little unexpected. If you love Paris and enjoy YA contemporaries, then, this book is perfect for you!
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss, as you might be able to guess by the title and cover, takes place in Paris (I’m sensing a theme here… haha). If you’re looking for a nice, cute YA read, this one is perfect. Yes, it’s predictable sometimes and very cliché, but it won’t stop you from loving it. It’s a very romantic read that is perfect for Valentine’s Day (click here for more V-day book recs!). Long walks along the Seine, little cafés and pâtisseries, wishes in Point Zéro, french kisses in Grand Bassin and the Notre-Dame… you have the recipe for a perfect book!
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Yes, another Stephanie Perkins novel! This one is actually the third book in the Anna and the French kiss trilogy (but you don’t have to have read the other two to understand what is going on!). Once again, this one is set in Paris, in the same school where Anna and Étienne (the main characters of Anna and the French Kiss) met. But what’s fun about this one is that it also includes some bucket list-worthy destinations like Barcelona and New York City! And while the characters from the two other books are not the focus of this final opus, the grand finale will have you in for a nice surprise. 😉 Fun fact: I actually won a giveaway the author was running on Twitter two years ago and now own a signed copy of this book!
Robert Langdon Series by Dan Brown
I know opinions on the Robert Langdon series, which includes The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Lost Symbol and Inferno diverge. But I personally really enjoyed these books! Each of them takes place in a different location – Paris, Italy, and Washington D.C., and while none of them are really about travel, the locations cannot help but make you feel like you are discovering cities and countries. Mystery-thriller fans and history nerds will love to get lost in these pages. Professor Robert Langdon is a lovely man with a sharp mind, and you’ll just love following him around as he tries to solve mysteries that are hundreds of years old. This series contains so many plot twists and turns that you might get confused a couple of times, but trust me when I say that it all makes sense in the end!
I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
I actually talked briefly about this book in my most recent life update. I bought this book before I left for my semester abroad to England and only got around to reading it when I came back. This book will give you such a bad case of wanderlust! Each chapter is divided into the cities Sydney, the main character, visits, and all the cities are so vividly described, you’ll like you’re there too! The story is also super realistic, it’s something that could happen to anyone, and the characters are really relatable! This book will make you want to hop on the next flight to Europe so you can explore!
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Surely by now you have heard of the great masterpiece that is Cheryl Strayed’s memoir (or the movie version with Reese Witherspoon). This book is a little different from the rest on this list. It’s not about traveling to pretty cities, eating pastries in cute coffee shops and visiting museums. It’s about finding your own strength and your purpose. At 26, after she thought she had lost everything, Cheryl Strayed makes the most impulsive decision of her life: with no experience or training, she would she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone. Wild tells the story of Cheryl’s journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
What are your favorite “wanderlust” reads? What is the top place on your travel bucket list in 2018?I hope these books will provide you with the little getaway you need! They definitely inspire me and makes me want to travel more, so I hope they do the same thing for you! If you have any other “wanderlust” reads, please let me know in the comments below! I’m always looking for new ones to add to my TBR. 😉