On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Held up as the book that encouraged thousands to leave the trappings of home and hit the road for the promise of endless adventure, On The Road is the ultimate gap year travel book. Following the story of Sal Paradise as he follows the wild path of Dean Moriarty cutting across the United States from New York to San Francisco via Denver and back again, their journey is a celebration of life, friendship and freedom davao hotels.
The Beach by Alex Garland
Commonly seen parading in the hand of any worth-their-salt backpacker, Alex Garland’s The Beach tells the story of one man’s search for paradise on earth. Symbolic of the all-consuming escapism that heading into unchartered territory provides, the books setting in Southeast Asia, and Thailand specifically, serves as fuel to the fire for any would-be adventurer.
Venice by Jan Morris
Offering not just a wealth of information on this famous Italian city’s past, Morris’ Venice is also full of gorgeous prose and description that makes the book a fitting accompaniment to the city itself. Winner of the 1961 Heinemann Award, it may be a bit dated for gap year travel but that’s not to say it won’t leave you inspired and hungry for a good ride on a gondola.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Most famous for its thrilling bull-fighting sequences set in Pamplona, The Sun Also Rises follows the adventures of a group of American expats as they fall in love, but most of all drink, their way across Paris and Spain. Widely regarded as Hemingway’s best work, you’d be hard pressed to find something less captivating to take with you on your trip.
The Journals by James Cook
Although you probably don’t want to end up like him (eaten by natives), the first-hand accounts of the great voyages of James Cook will at least want to make you head out exploring. Cook’s descriptions of new lands in the southern hemisphere and the islands of the Pacific fit well with any gap year travel routes traversing these regions.
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