Please sign in to post.

Books that influenced your travel addiction

I'm currently reading The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles. It's about a young French woman who works at the American Library in Paris during WW2. She's a book lover and it's this conversation she has that influenced my post;

"We all have a book that changed us forever." I said. "One that let
us know that we're not alone. What's yours?"

"All Quiet on the Western Front." he said.

That's one of two that popped into my head before I read the character's answer. The other is A Tale of Two Cities. Both were assigned reading in high school, but I've read both numerous times as an adult as well. I'm not sure if I thought about it at the time, but 40 years after high school and now addicted to traveI, I think back on those classics set far away from home and wonder if it was the beginning of a spark to my travel bug.

I'm curious what books you may have read at an early age that you think back on now as an influencer to your travel addiction?

Posted by
49 posts

I very clearly remember reading ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL when I was about 12, and dreaming about going to Yorkshire one day.

When I was grown and we took our very first family trip to Europe, Yorkshire was our first stop. :)

Posted by
5679 posts

As a child way back before the wheel, I read Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels, about his travels to all kinds of exotic places around the world. It made me want to go to most of them, though life has gotten in the way of that. I came across the book a few years ago and gave it to the children of family friends, who reportedly loved it too.

Posted by
1927 posts

My mother recommended Halliburton’s The Royal Road to Romance ( his journey around the world in the 1920’s ). She had to assure me ( at the age of 13 ) that it wasn’t about romantic love ! I read it and all his other books. In my 40’s I came across books by Harry Franck who was Halliburton’s inspiration. I picked up his first book - A Vagabond Journey around the World - for a couple of dollars at the big Phoenix VNSA book sale. I ended up spending a few hundred to get a copy of all the rest of his books. Vagabond was the story of his trip around the world around 1900. One of the most fascinating books I have ever read.

Posted by
22549 posts

I also read Halliburton, plus a lot of fiction and non-fiction set in Europe. Plus guidebooks (this was at least 15 years before "Europe Through the Back Door"). I don't remember any specific books as having been most influential. We also subscribed to National Geographic, and its photos certainly had an impact.

Posted by
7126 posts

Agatha Christie novels.

EDIT: and my parents National Geographic magazines. Probably why I still subscribe.

Posted by
2498 posts

Happy Isles of Oceania-Paul Theroux
And I have truly done a lot of the Pacific! Fiji, Indonesia, Philippines, Hawaii, New Zealand.

Posted by
6648 posts

When I first read Anne of Green Gables (in grade school) I dreamed of visiting Prince Edward Island. One of my first trips as an adult traveling by myself was to the Canadian Maritimes (Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick) back in the 80's.

Over the years I have read tons of guidebooks, fiction set in far away places, travel magazines (my first magazine subscriptions were to Budget Travel and Travel & Leisure) and anything else that fed my desire to learn about other places.

I longed for international travel but did not have the good fortune to afford that kind of travel until I was in my 50's. I've been traveling as much as possible ever since.

Posted by
12241 posts

Ernest Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast."

At the beginning of the book he writes: "If you were fortunate enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go, for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Also, any history book on Europe. I wanted to visit the places I read about.

Posted by
2861 posts

Cheating with this answer because it was a movie, but Disney's version of Peter Pan had me always wanting my to see Big Ben in London. Sadly, Ben and the tower were covered up on my only trip there (so far), but the scene where Peter, Wendy and her brothers land on the clock arms always stayed with me as a motivation to see London.

Posted by
1881 posts

Not a book but a very fond memory: On my childhood bedroom wall were two maps, the US and the World. Every night before my mom tucked us in, my brother and I would close our eyes and point to a spot on either map that we would dream about. I can't tell you how may times I pointed to an ocean but loved it when I pointed to somewhere in Europe.

Posted by
3377 posts

Do Bugs Bunny cartoons count? I wasn't much of a reader as a kid/teen.

Posted by
6648 posts

Do Bugs Bunny cartoons count? I wasn't much of a reader as a kid/teen.

And just where did Bugs influence you to travel? By the way, nobody said it had to be a book read when you were a kid/teen - could be a book you read last year.

Posted by
7361 posts

As an adolescent, I had a keen interest in WWII history (which wasn't that distant at the time) and must have read every book in the local library on the subject at least once. This encouraged an interest in geography, language and European history. Later, after college, I realized I could actually go there and see these places in person.

Posted by
1932 posts

Almost 60 years after the fact, we visited Krakow because the school librarian read The Trumpeter of Krakow to my class when I was in 4th grade. Teachers truly touch lives. (And I think the one who taught me to underline book titles is glaring at me from somewhere, but I don’t know how to do it.) Safe and literate travels to all.

Posted by
455 posts

My Collins Atlas I had in school (age 12).
It was fun to look through and see all the different countries, and read the information about each. And Heidi. Loved that book as a child. That started me dreaming.
Now I am reading the M.C. Beaton Hamish books and want to go to Scotland :-)
You're never to old to be influenced.

Posted by
3377 posts

And just where did Bugs influence you to travel?

...and of course, as noted above by Allan, Albuquerque -- in 2018. Uber driver: "I bet you're here because of Breaking Bad." Me: "No, Bugs Bunny. I've never seen Breaking Bad." He kept pointing out Breaking Bad filming locations and grew increasingly frustrated that I knew nothing about them. I grew increasingly frustrated that he didn't know where Bugs should've taken that left turn.

Posted by
95 posts

The Diary of Anne Frank, it made me want to go to Amsterdam to see the secret annex.

Posted by
331 posts

"The White Stallions of Vienna" by Marguerite Henry which I read around third grade and still own. Thrilled to see them in their home 50+ years later.
Cynthia

Posted by
2365 posts

The Paddington books by Michael Bond inspired my love of all things English at age 8...39 years later my first trip abroad was to London. I read the Diary of Anne Frank at age 10 and that began my interest in WWII history, which has inspired many of my trips to Europe.

Posted by
150 posts

A Book that my parents gave me for Christmas a long time ago, ‘A short walk in the Hindu Kush’ published 1963 as I was at University and hiking on weekends. It is a mountain range in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is quite unsafe now. In the same area is ‘Three cups of tea’ 2006 but I don’t expect that I will ever get there but I travel not only to cities but also to some out-of -the-way places. Been to Italy 3 times in last 15 years but never been to Rome but we will finally go there this October.
I also read books, generally mysteries, about some of the places that I think about going to as they give me a feeling of the country. As we’re going to Italy, I’m reading Donna Leon’s books set in Venice.

Posted by
2408 posts

I’m with lisa — The Diary of Anne Frank. I read it around 1965 and finally made it to Amsterdam in 2018. Being in the annex was perhaps the most emotional experience I’ve had in Europe.

Posted by
1657 posts

I"ve been travelling internationally since 1970 but my addiction didn't come until much, much later and it didn't come from a book, the books came afterward. It was my first visit to Berlin, and I keep returning.

.

I travelled to the Cotswolds for a week, in 1995, after reading National Geographic Traveler (Jul/Aug 1994) The Cotswolds. I loved the hiking and was fascinated watching individuals do the brass rubbings.

Posted by
6380 posts

Maybe obligatory, but honestly, "Europe Through the Backdoor" I read when I first started thinking about a Europe trip, and that cemented the possibility that I could plan and go without much fear, that it was doable.

Aside from that, I was a voracious reader when young, and being a military brat meant travel and constantly moving. The combination of that and the whole range of places visited by book is what established the wanderlust in me.

Posted by
2861 posts

My wife and I are in Scotland as I write this on her search for Jamie Fraser tour. The Outlander book and TV series are heavy influencers of our itinerary.

Posted by
1930 posts

I started reading the Donna Leon detective series set in Venice several years ago. I re-read several prior to our first Venice trip in May. It was like a treasure hunt to find the locations mentioned in her books. The same goes for Cara Black’s series set in Paris.

Posted by
2140 posts

When I was a young single mother in my mid-20's, I read a book called Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle. It was written by an Irish woman named Dervla Murphy, who traveled solo to India on her bike, and later as a single mother, traveled with her daughter. She traveled all over the world; mostly to poverty stricken areas. It was this book that first made me realize that a woman could successfully travel solo. I never made it to India (yet) but have traveled through much of the world solo (and one trip with my daughter).

It's ironic that this question came up now, because when I was writing this, I decided to see how she was doing and found out that she died about 6 weeks ago at the age of 90. What a rich and wonderful life she must have led.

Posted by
2140 posts

These two female authors did not start my travel addiction but did feed it. English writer Mary Stewart and Canadian writer Susanna Kearsley were gifted with the ability to make locations come alive through their books. I traveled to Greece after reading My Brother Michael and The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart. And The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley has me longing to visit Scotland (planned for next year). All of their books have in some way contributed to my love for travel.

*

Posted by
240 posts

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. I read it as an undergraduate English literature major and still regard it as one of the best travel books ever. It's a nonfiction work about the American writer's 1867 trip to Europe and the Middle East. Though sometimes cynical, Twain appeared to love to travel. Some of the sites in Europe overwhelmed him. And he made other trips overseas, including another to Europe in 1880 that produced another book, A Tramp Abroad. Relatively late in life, he had yet another adventurous trip that involved crossing the Pacific, where he gave speeches in Asia and South Africa.

Posted by
7126 posts

During the Summer of 1975 I chose to read all of Agatha Christie Harlequin and Hercule Poirot novels.
Also loved the Ian Carmichael Lord Peter Wimsey series on PBS.

Anyway between Agatha Christie and Lord Peter Wimsey I was captivated!

Still am. London never fails to make me happy.

Posted by
8673 posts

I grew up in France and we traveled to other countries a lot, but reading All Creatures Great and Small (like Stacy) when i was 7-8 yrs old and Agatha Christie in my teens made me fall in love with England.

Posted by
2653 posts

In the very early 70's, I bought a copy of "Let's Go Europe". It had so much more detail in those days. Also in those days, I could barely afford a trip to the grocery store, let alone a trip to Europe. That book instilled in me the fantasy of stepping off a train and walking to my hotel in the center of a quaint and history-filled European town with wonderful food and incredible sites.