Here are five of the most inspiring travel books you should read

Here are five of the most inspiring travel books.

1 The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America and Neither Here nor ThereBy Bill BrysonThis volume from one of the country’s most popular writers contains humorous accounts of two journeys, one taken across America, the other a trek across Europe.The Lost Continent is an account of one man’s rediscovery of America and his search for the perfect small town.Instead he finds a continent that is doubly lost: lost to itself because it is blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; and lost to him because he has become a foreigner in his own country.In Neither Here Nor There, the author journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the European continent, to Istanbul. In doing so he retraces his steps as a student 20 years before, visiting countries including Norway, France and Italy.Available in all forms on line

2 Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into BhutanBy Jamie ZeppaJamie Zeppa made a life-altering decision at the age of 24 when she left an academic career to join a two-year teaching programme for young Canadians in Bhutan. Bhutan is a notoriously difficult country to visit as a tourist, and the opportunity to live there was one Jamie could not ignore. The first months were nightmarish and Jamie existed on a meagre diet of crackers and boiled water for fear of catching tapeworm or worse. Jamie finally discovered that she was surrounded by friends in a beautiful location.Available in all forms online

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3 The AlchemistBy Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist” is one of the most-read books in recent history, and with good reason. It tells the mythical story of a young shepherd boy, Santiago, who follows his heart from Spain to Egypt. He sets off on a quest to find treasures, but throughout the journey learns more about himself.Available in all forms online

4 Wild: A Journey from Lost to FoundBy Cheryl StrayedAged 26, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America - from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington state - and to do it alone.She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise - a promise of piecing together a life that lay in ruins at her feet.Reese Witherspoon bought the rights and starred in Wild - the film version of the bookBook and film Available in all forms online

5 Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who CookBy Anthony BourdainThere’s a special place in every traveller’s heart for the late Anthony Bourdain.But between his award-winning TV shows and best-selling books, it’s hard to choose which part of his storytelling is most influential.Acerbic, witty and entertaining - his books keep his spirit alive.Available in all forms online