Favorite Travel Reads

By: Elyssa

As a traveler I not only enjoy a good book while on the train, but I also love a good travel fiction while I'm kicked back at home on my favorite chair.

Here are a few favorites!


Lost on Planet China by Marteen Troost - I found myself borrowing this book while I was in China from another expat. Reading while living there probably gave me a different perspective. However, this book had me laughing and shaking my head as I agreed with what he went through during his China travels. I've been to China twice and spent 7-8 months there total. It is such an unusual place and Troost describes it so well, so if you are curious about this vast country I highly recommend this book. It reads fast as it makes you laugh out loud, constantly!


Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts - I wanted this book for ages. I told myself it would be best to wait until I purchased it on one of my eReader devices because it is so massive. Coming in at over 900 pages I broke down and bought my copy in Pattaya, Thailand. With so many pages I was able to open the book day after day in various locations from hammock swings on the beach to dusty hostel cafes. This book travels through India (as I in Thailand) with such wistful description. Never have I desired to visit the slums of India (until now) but I felt like I was there. The sounds, the people, the taste of the naan bread, and how I wanted to sit at a rickety table and drink chai! A favorite that I will now carry from country to country!

I'm also currently near the end of finishing Just One Year by Gayle Forman. Right now Willem is in India! Bollywood, crazy traffic, and food! (He is also in Paris, Mexico, &  Holland within this novel.)

Central America:

Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard - My favorite favorite favorite Young Adult travel novel. I loved Bria's transformation from tourist to vagabond traveler. Suitcase with check off list items, to a thrifed backpack with only necessities. The male character had me swooning left and right. Plus, I was researching travel costs and destinations in Belize and Guatemala before I was even finished with the novel. Highly addictive and may cause you to head for the unknown.


Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - Paris... I have never been but I fell deep into this YA time travel novel between modern day Paris, France and the Paris of the French Revolution. From page one I was immersed in a beautiful world. One day I will take my copy of Revolution to Paris and spend a day lounging around cafes, museums, and courtyards to reRead this book. (Bucket List trip!)

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, Die for Me by Amy Plum, Just One Day by Gayle Forman are also books set in Paris that I love.


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - One of the most heart-wrenching stories I have read. A beautifully written story that will have you reaching for the Kleenex box more than once. A book I really would love to read again but I know the tears will be coming. War terrorizes many countries, in this novel you can experience a loving home being torn apart. As well as watching them move on into a whole new world, America.

A bit of Everywhere:

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - A fun YA novel that has you racing throughout Europe. I loved it. Flipping through page after page just to know where the story would lead to next as each envelope had our character racing from country to country. From New York City to London to the beaches of Greece and many more places.

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum - One of my favorite books to reread and one of my favorite movies to watch. You know I picture Matt Damon all through this book! Yum. France, Switzerland, New York City and Matt Damon dancing in my literary dreams!

Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale - An action packed novel that has you jet-setting to several places as Frank Abagnale runs from a detective set on catching him for fraud. Abagnale is a notorious criminal who cashed in millions of dollars, flew as a co pilot for Pan-Am, pretended to be a doctor and more. It was fun to follow him through his escapades of being a con man. Abagnale is featured in the Crime & Punishment Museum in DC located in the Penn Quarter, unbelievable to go from book to movie to museum!

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Make sure to check out Elyssa's blog here. Part 2 of this series, her most-want-to-read Travel Reads, will be one her blog sometime soon :)


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We're Sarah and Kaitlyn, roommates from Milwaukee who started this blog to promote creativity and life.
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