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Top 10 Travel Reads

We may not be able to get away right now, but here are a few of our favourite adventure travel novels that are guaranteed to whisk your imagination off to a faraway land. Transport yourself into a foreign world and get inspired for exciting travels ahead with these top ten reads.
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Papillon, by Henri Charrière - South America

This well-loved book tells the tale of a real-life prison break in French Guiana. An autobiographical adventure, this animated memoir depicts Henri (Papillon) Charriere's escape and retreat through Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and onto Colombia. This incredible portrayal of his journey through the jungle, across the Caribbean and living with an indigenous tribe in Colombia will have you on tenterhooks and dreaming of your own South American getaway.

Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia, by Chris Stewart - Spain

This charming book recounts the life of Genesis' ex-drummer, Chris Stewart, in Spain's Sierra Nevada. After acquiring a rundown mountain farm in Andalucia, Chris and his wife are surrounded by nothing but olive and almond groves. With the help of peasant farmers, shepherds, eccentric locals and expats, they gradually carve a new life in this rustic landscape. This really is an incredible portrayal of the Andalucia region and is a must-read for anyone looking to visit the area.

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer - Alaska

This true story by Jon Krakauer follows the adventures of Chris McCandless as he hitchhikes north, across the US, towards the wilderness of Alaska. Dive into a world of vast canyons, raging rivers and snow-covered mountains where this solo adventurer sought to escape his privileged upbringing and find his true self. Living hand to mouth in bitterly cold temperatures and surrounded by hungry bears, his isolation eventually leads to his demise. However, this vivid tale paints a candid picture of the joys and downfalls of a nomadic lifestyle and will ignite the imagination of any fearless explorer.

Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts - India

Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Mumbai's sprawling slums in this can't-put-it-down page-turner novel. Set in the early 80s, follow the story of a prisoner, Lindsay, who escapes from Australia to forge a new life in India. From setting up a free health care clinic and working with the mafia to falling in love and acting in Bollywood, Lindsay's adventure is a fast-moving whirlwind that will take you on a vivid journey through the chaotic city life of Mumbai.

The Island That Dared: Journeys into Cuba, by Dervla Murphy - Cuba

Dervla Murphy is renowned for her plethora of authentic adventure travel books, but 'The Island That Dared' is one of our favourites. This compelling tale recounts her journey to Cuba; the first with her daughter and grandchildren, and then as an elderly lady trying to explore on foot and alone. Be transported into the heart of Cuba and join Dervla as she goes beyond the beaten track to uncover the true nature of everyday life in post-revolution Cuba.

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London - Canada

Delve into an adventure through the frosty hinterlands of Canada. Published in 1903, the story follows the life of a dog called Buck, who is torn away from domestic bliss to become a sledge dog in Yukon. Buck is frequently tested and forced to fight for his survival before eventually turning feral and retiring to the 'call of the wild'. Descriptions of this unforgiving wilderness are captivating and the author's time in Yukon is evident with every turn of the page.

My Family and Other Animals, by Gerald Durrell - Greece

This autobiographical account of the naturalist Gerald Durrell's childhood in Corfu from 1935 - 1939, gives us a joyful and amusing insight into his whimsical life on this beautiful Greek island, in a time long before any tourism arrived. Join his adventures as he uncovers a plethora of fascinating wildlife and spellbinding landscapes while navigating relationships with eccentric family members. If you're planning a family holiday to the Greek islands, this is one not to be missed.

The Motorcycle Diaries, by Ernesto "Che" Guevara - South America

Join Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado as they set off on a nine-month motorcycle expedition across Latin America from Buenos Aires in Argentina, through Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama to Miami. Crossing the Andes, the Atacama Desert and Amazon River Basin, this coming-of-age story is not only a wild voyage of discovery but also a profound insight into the cultures and lifestyles of the local people they meet.

The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard - Antarctica

"Genuinely one of THE best adventure books I've ever read." Carmel Hendry, Explore Product Manager for the Americas

Transport yourself into a world of bitterly cold winds, brutal weather systems and unforgiving landscapes as you join Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to the Antarctic in 1910–1913. A memoir, written by fellow adventurer Apsley Cherry-Garrard, this gripping first-hand account goes into great detail about the team's challenges and is virtually impossible to put down. We especially enjoyed the scene when four of the team set out to collect King-Emperor Penguin eggs while the rest waited out the winter - the suspense is overwhelming.

The Beach, by Alex Garland - Thailand

This popular classic follows the journey of Richard who traces the trail of a hand-sketched map in search of a secret island where he hopes to find a utopian paradise set in the aquamarine seas of Thailand. A fast, fun-filled adventure ensues as Richard, and his fellow backpackers set out to uncover the breathtaking Edenic shores. However, the desolate golden sand beaches soon become less than perfect as inter-social differences threaten to destroy the estranged group, and their heavenly kingdom begins to crumble.

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