This is not a list with cliché travel books like "Into the Wild" or "Eat Love Pray" or "The Alchimist", this is my ultimate book wishlist I've been collecting the past months from other travelers, friends or bloggers and I'm such a nice person sharing with you :) Hope you enjoy!
"It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured."
So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.
Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.
As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power.
Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas---this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.
Across Many Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom by Yangzom Brauen
A powerful, emotional memoir and an extraordinary portrait of three generations of Tibetan women whose lives are forever changed when Chairman Mao’s Red Army crushes Tibetan independence, sending a young mother and her six-year-old daughter on a treacherous journey across the snowy Himalayas toward freedom.
Kunsang thought she would never leave Tibet. One of the country's youngest Buddhist nuns, she grew up in a remote mountain village where, as a teenager, she entered the local nunnery. Though simple, Kunsang's life gave her all she needed: a oneness with nature and a sense of the spiritual in all things. She married a monk, had two children, and lived in peace and prayer. But not for long. There was a saying in Tibet: "When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth." The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 changed everything. When soldiers arrived at her mountain monastery, destroying everything in their path, Kunsang and her family fled across the Himalayas only to spend years in Indian refugee camps. She lost both her husband and her youngest child on that journey, but the future held an extraordinary turn of events that would forever change her life--the arrival in the refugee camps of a cultured young Swiss man long fascinated with Tibet. Martin Brauen will fall instantly in love with Kunsang's young daughter, Sonam, eventually winning her heart and hand, and taking mother and daughter with him to Switzerland, where Yangzom will be born.
Many stories lie hidden until the right person arrives to tell them. In rescuing the story of her now 90-year-old inspirational grandmother and her mother, Yangzom Brauen has given us a book full of love, courage, and triumph,as well as allowing us a rare and vivid glimpse of life in rural Tibet before the arrival of the Chinese. Most importantly, though, ACROSS MANY MOUNTAINS is a testament to three strong, determined women who are linked by an unbreakable family bond.
When she was 20 years old, RK decided she didn't want to live a dreary life and so she quit her job packing goods at a warehouse, left her boyfriend and gave away her belongings. With only a blanket, some clothes and a little money, she left the world as we know it to hitchhike and vagabond around four countries in the span of almost five years.
The term "Road Dog" can mean 'to live on the road' and 'a traveling companion'. Not only did RK live on the road with basically a cooking pot, tarp, matches, and a blanket, but along the way, she picked up a Shepard/Lab puppy, named him Jambalaya and he was her traveling companion through Mexico, the Bahamas, the U.S., parts of Canada and Venezuela.
These are the incredible stories of a young woman who discovers herself & the world around her through her radical love affair with the road. She begins her journey traveling amongst the Rainbow family and helping to build kitchens, water supply, seed camp and clean up. A run in with a Mexican cartel, almost getting jumped & beaten by a Los Angeles street gang, catching a ride on a sailboat with no engine to the Bahamas, getting tossed into a Bahamian refugee camp & experiencing student riots in Venezuela are just some of the exciting experiences found in this wild memoir.
Not only is hitchhiking considered an unconventional way to travel, but it is rarer still that this journey was completed by a woman. And, by the way, Jambalaya lived to be a nice ripe age of 12 and passed away peacefully after a grand retirement in southern California.
Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Potts gives the necessary information on:
• financing your travel time
• determining your destination
• adjusting to life on the road
• working and volunteering overseas
• handling travel adversity
• re-assimilating back into ordinary life
Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit.
Through a landscape of breathtaking beauty, the author retraces the path of the once well-worn hippy trail from Turkey to Iran, Afghanistan to Pakistan, India to Nepal, meeting trail veterans and locals on his way, and reliving wide-eyed adventures as he witnesses a world of extraordinary and terrifying transformation.
"There's no denying that the stoned rovers were present at the beginning of a cataclysmic period in history, whose legacy Magic Bus describes in exquisite detail."—The New York Times Book Review
"MacLean's ardent eye for detail is lovely, as is the way he sets his more visually descriptive prose against the sturdier explanations of the names and places in his travels....His prose is guided by an informed curiosity about what the trail must have been like 40 years ago and how a Western presence there has contributed to its present state."—Boston Globe
"Most impressively, MacLean has a genuine understanding of the mystical and spiritual elements at play. His engaging traveler’s voice and descriptive gifts offer a wholly different view of the tortured region from what is currently available via the mainstream media."—Foreword Magazine
Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who does well in school and plays it safe, so the college grad surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim (and in an effort to escape impending life decisions), she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited, in. There she forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl, a born adventurer who spurs Rachel on to a yearlong odyssey that takes her to three continents, fills her life with newfound friends, and gives birth to a previously unrealized passion for adventure.
As her journey takes her to Australia and South America, Rachel discovers and embraces her love of travel and unlocks more truths about herself than she ever realized she was seeking. Along the way, the erstwhile good girl finally learns to do something she's never done before: simply live for the moment.
The young Che Guevara’s lively and highly entertaining travel diary, now a popular movie and a New York Times bestseller. This new, expanded edition features exclusive, unpublished photos taken by the 23-year-old Ernesto on his journey across a continent, and a tender preface by Aleida Guevara, offering an insightful perspective on the man and the icon.
“A journey, a number of journeys. Ernesto Guevara in search of adventure, Ernesto Guevara in search of America, Ernesto Guevara in search of Che. On this journey of journeys, solitude found solidarity, ‘I’ turned into ‘we’.” —Eduardo Galeano
“When I read these notes for the first time, I was quite young myself and I immediately identified with this man who narrated his adventures in such a spontaneous manner… To tell you the truth, the more I read, the more I was in love with the boy my father had been…” —Aleida Guevara
“Our film is about a young man, Che, falling in love with a continent and finding his place in it.” —Walter Salles, director of “The Motorcycle Diaries.”
“As his journey progresses, Guevara’s voice seems to deepen, to darken, colored by what he witnesses in his travels. He is still poetic, but now he comments on what he sees, though still poetically, with a new awareness of the social and political ramifications of what’s going on around him.”—January Magazine
*All Book Descriptions were taken from Goodreads.