Travel in the past year was never canceled, it simply got closer to home. While road trips have been a possibility recently, there has always been another form of escape available to us: curling up with a good book. If you consider when you first heard about the romantic canals of Venice or the quintessential cafes in Paris, we bet it was long before you actually got there. Chances are, you likely read about a place before you ever imagined visiting. Here are some of our favorite books to inspire wanderlust while you’re at home.

Travel Books to Inspire Wanderlust

No One Tells You This, Glynnis MacNicol, 2018

In this thought-provoking memoir, MacNicol chronicles turning 40 as a single woman without children in a time when society might expect these conventions from women her age. Instead of being plunged into self-pity and stereotypes, she goes on a journey, both literally and metaphorically. She cares for family members, travels to faraway destinations, and writes the whole way. Ultimately, you’ll enjoy discovering the strength of this remarkable woman as she seeks fulfillment and more importantly, freedom. This is a book every woman needs to read.

The Shooting Star, Shivya Nath, 2018

Prepare to get lost in this riveting travelogue by Indian travel blogger Shivya Nath as she gives up her corporate job to venture around the world, from Costa Rica to Africa. Nath’s inspiring tales read like journal entries, heightening the feeling of actually being in the places she describes. Impressively, much of her travel is done solo as a young woman, and we experience the ups and downs right there with her as she hauls around her backpack, encountering strangers and foreign lands.

Villa America, Liza Klaussmann, 2015

What could be more glamorous than the Jazz Age in 1920s Paris? Dive into the world of Fitzgerald and Hemingway via this fictionalized biography of two American expats, Sara and Gerald Murphy who were friends with all the greatest writers and artists of the day. This stylish and wildly entertaining book will make you want to immediately book a flight to the French Riviera as you read about their stunningly beautiful home, Villa America in the Cap d'Antibes.

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, 2014

There are outward journeys, and then there are those within the soul. This book addresses both and will no doubt move you as it so many. The story follows a young boy on a mission to find buried treasure in the desert, but it’s so much more than that. Along the way, he meets a cast of extraordinary individuals, including an Alchemist. This relationship leads him to dive into mysticism and follow signs that point him toward what he is searching for. This is a travel book that will inspire you to roam while also reminding you that it’s the journey and not the destination that really matters.

Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents, Elisabeth Eaves, 2011

Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves is a favorite travel memoir as it’s extremely relatable, funny, and filled with gorgeous adventures. The book spans 15 years of Eaves’ young life, in which she travels the globe in search of new experiences, culture, and romance. Through the ups and downs, Eaves keeps moving, eventually coming to the realization that her travels are shaping her into the person she most wanted to be. For anyone with the travel bug, this book is a must-read.

A Good Year, Peter Mayle, 2006

In the best ever example of “when one door closes, another opens,” the main character in this book loses his job in London and subsequently inherits a vineyard in Provence. He trades his rainy, gray urban life for blue skies, fields of lavender, and wine—not a bad turn of events after all. This book’s charm is in its enchanting descriptions, which will make you think of an Impressionist painting. Open up a bottle of wine and get cozy for the evening, because you’ll be able to finish this quick read in one sitting.

A Room with A View, E.M. Forster, 1908

Follow Lucy Honeychurch, a middle-class woman in Edwardian England as she leaves behind the strictures of society and takes a holiday in Florence, Italy. This beautifully written turn-of-the-century novel will sweep you away to one of the most romantic cities on Earth, richly describing the art and architecture with stunning specificity. Florence brings passion and feeling into the life of Lucy, and it will bring it to you as well as you turn the pages of this book.  
If you love our list of books to inspire wanderlust, check out these other posts on travel: The Best Views in Italy Mastering the Art of the Staycation 5 Hidden Gems of European Travel Six Movies to Feed Your Travel Bug One Year Ago Today: My Life in Spain Packing Tips for Travel Pro Tips for Flying