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  • You're about to go on a big trip,

  • but you don't know what travel book to read.

  • Don't worry. You're in the right place.

  • Whether you're back home and in need of inspiration,

  • curious about a destination, or

  • just have a really long flight ahead of you,

  • this video will help you find the travel read for your travel need.

  • I'm Alex. I'm Marko, and yo are watching Vagabrothers,

  • your go-to guide for travel tips, vlogs, and inspiration here on YouTube.

  • We travel a lot; we read a lot.

  • In this video we're going to be sharing with you

  • the books we feel every traveller should read.

  • There're links to all the books we mention in the info box.

  • If you find this video useful, give it a big thumbs-up,

  • share it with your travel buddies,

  • subscribe to Vagabrothers,

  • and turn on notifications, if you have not already.

  • Without any further ado, you're watching Vagabrothers,

  • and these are the best travel books of all-time.

  • Let's begin with the most classic travel book of all time:

  • The Odyssey

  • Written in the eight century B.C,

  • it is the sequel to the oldest work of western literature:

  • The Illiad

  • and it recounts hero Odysses' return from the Trojan War,

  • which was supposed to be a short trip back to his homeland of Ithaca,

  • turns into an epic ten year adventure.

  • It is a classic, and it will make you think twice about complaining next time your flight's delayed ten minutes...

  • because it could be ten years!

  • Next up: a book that inspired this channel

  • Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.

  • This book showed us a new approach to travel,

  • something that did not have to be postponed until you

  • might be too old to enjoy it,

  • but something that could be done right now

  • for a lot cheaper than you think.

  • This book is both practical, inspirational,

  • and highly recommended by us....

  • required reading for any Vagabuddy.

  • But the granddaddy of America Vagabonds

  • has to be Henry David Thoreau

  • who graduated from Harvard about two hundred years

  • ago -and rejected society's expectations-

  • to go live in a cabin in the Massachusett's woods

  • that he built with his own two hands.

  • #cabinporn.

  • Thoreau worked just a couple weeks a year

  • in order to buy the essentials that he needed

  • in order to spend the rest of the year walking, writing,

  • and thinking deeply on the meaning of life.

  • His writings on frugality are required reading

  • for anyone who wants to work less and live more.

  • Wild is the true story of Cheryl Strayed who

  • attempts to recover from the death of her mother

  • and a divorce by walking a thousand miles

  • along the Pacific Crest Trail,

  • from California's Mohave Desert to

  • the border of Canada.

  • Cheryl did it completely alone with

  • no training and comes uncomfortably close to some

  • very dangerous encounters along the way.

  • Her story of perseverance became an instant best seller,

  • and was turned into a feature film staring Reese Witherspoon in 2014.

  • I haven't seen too many movies from Reese Witherspoon lately,

  • so maybe she decided to pack it up

  • and hike the P.C.T. by herself.

  • A nice contrast to Wild is A Walk in the Woods.

  • Bill Bryson's hilarious account of his two thousand mile

  • back country journey from Maine to Georgia

  • along the Appellation Trail.

  • Bryrson is a great travel companion.

  • He is a reluctant adventurer with a very rye sense of humor

  • complemented with his descriptions of the history

  • and ecology of the places he's passing,

  • not to mention his unforgettable characterizations

  • of the people he meets along the way.

  • Few writers have achieved the legendary status

  • of Jack Kerouac, the restless vagabond novelist

  • who broke free from the confining shackles of 1950s America

  • to found The Beat Generation,

  • the counter-culture predecessors to The Hippy Movement.

  • My favorite of Kerouac's novels is the Dharma Bums

  • about his search for Zen Enlightenment in California's Sierra Nevadas Mountains.

  • But his most popular book is On The Road,

  • a slightly fictionalized version of his travels

  • across post war America, looking for weed, wine, women, and jazz.

  • Kerouac's tales of hitchhiking, rough camping and truth seeking

  • redefine what it means to be young, free, and full of soul.

  • Marco Polo is perhaps the most famous traveler of all-time.

  • Marco Polo was born in Venice, Italy in 1254.

  • The son of a merchant, he left Italy to travel

  • across all of Asia overland, eventually

  • becoming the guest of the Mongol emperor of China, Kublai Khan,

  • and returning to Europe 24 years later

  • to tell the story to Europeans who knew virtually

  • nothing of the outside world.

  • Marco Polo's books sparked Europe's interest in China and India,

  • and on the upside, gave me my nickname.

  • This book is interesting because these days

  • there's no shortage of Chinese tourist in Venice or

  • Italians on the Great Wall of China.

  • It was an historic encounter, but if you cannot

  • get into the original text, check out the

  • two-part series on Netflix.

  • It's dramatized, can be boring at times, but it puts

  • this historic encounter of east and west into some colorful perspective.

  • Not long after Marco Polo comes a similar story from the other side of the Mediterranean.

  • Ibn Battuta, a 21 year old legal student from Morocco

  • goes on Pilgrimage to Mecca and returns 24 years later.

  • His travels take him all across North Africa,

  • Egypt, the Middle East, the Caspean Sea

  • India, China, and South East Asia.

  • The Travels of Ibn Battuta is a fascinating insight into the medieval Muslim world

  • from a perspective that we very, very rarely hear in the west.

  • The Alchemist is like a fictionalized inspirational version of the real life story of Ibn Battuta.

  • It tells the story of Santiago, a boy from Southern Spain,

  • who one night dreams about the pyramids in Egypt

  • and sets off on a journey across North Africa to see them.

  • It is fictional, but the lessons about how life is a journey

  • will resonate with anybody seeking a deeper purpose in life.

  • Pico Iyer bursts into the ranks of travel writing history

  • with his 1989 travel log:

  • Video Night in Kathmandu.

  • Iyer was born in Britain to Indian parents and raised in California.

  • And his third culture upbringing lends his travel essays

  • incisive insight into foreign cultures.

  • This book is a post-modern classic tale

  • of his journeys from Bali to Burma

  • and all the backpacker dives in between.

  • To get a better taste of Iyer, check out his Ted Talk,

  • Where Is Home? Really insightful.

  • Another classic on backpacker culture in Asia is

  • Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald.

  • A journalist who follows her lover to New Delhi

  • and goes through all the stages of culture shock

  • so you don't have to.

  • But the definitive travel book about India has to be

  • the one thousand page Shantaram,

  • an epic story based on the true life of author Gregory David Roberts,

  • a former criminal who escaped from maximum security prison in Australia

  • to hide in the slums of Mumbai

  • eventually joining the Indian underground mafia

  • and smuggling guns to rebels in Afghanistan.

  • To learn more about this book and how it changed my life, personally,

  • go check out the review I did on my second channel, the Marko Book Club.

  • There's a link in the info box.

  • But arguable the most talented and prolific travel writer of the last century

  • must be Paul Theroux

  • whose most well known book, The Great Railway Bizarre

  • is a travel log about the most epic train journey of all time.

  • From London to Tokyo via the Trans-Siberian, the Kyber Pass Local, and the Orient Express.

  • Theroux has a unique style that blends astute

  • observations with wordy dialogue and a misanthropic world view

  • that makes him the doer traveler that you hate to love

  • Next up we have Eat Pray love, one woman's search for everything across

  • Italy, India, and Indonesia.

  • Eat Pray Love is the true story of how author

  • Elizabeth Gilbert dealt with a midlife crisis

  • divorce and depression by selling all her possessions,

  • quitting her job and hitting the road for a year of solo travel.

  • As the story progresses, Elizabeth finds herself by eating in Italy,

  • studying with a guru in India,

  • and eventually finding love and balance in Bali.

  • You've already heard all the jokes about it, but

  • now it's time for you to read the book.

  • Not all tales have a happy ending.

  • Into The Wild is a true story of Chris Mccandless,

  • a young American who abandoned the life of privilege

  • in order to hitchhike across the country in search of freedom,

  • only to be discovered dead in the wilderness of Alaska a few years later.

  • Written by adventure journalist Jon Krakauer and adapted into a major motion picture by Sean Penn,