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5 Books For A Dose Of Armchair Travel

These books take you globetrotting from the comfort of your couch

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Suramya Kapoor
June 2, 2023
5 Books For A Dose Of Armchair Travel

A good travel book can take you to different places, inspire wanderlust, and give you a strong sense of place. We have curated a list of books that let you travel far and wide, imagine, and escape while sitting comfortably in your chair at home.

My 1001 Nights By Alice Morrison

Alice Morrison recounts her incredibly enriching experiences in Morocco, where she stayed for over 1001 nights. This book gives you an “on-the-ground experience” and transports you to the country with every page you turn. Throughout the book, she gives an insight into the local culture, history, people, food, markets, and everything in between. If you are planning a trip to Morocco, the details of the places and the valuable tips provided here will help you. The book has been released again under the title “Adventures in Morocco.”

 

Seven Years In Tibet By Heinrich Harrer

“Wherever I live, I shall feel homesick for Tibet.” This line from the book shows the love Heinrich Harrer held for Tibet and its culture. Harrer recounts his experiences in Tibet, from encountering the 14th Dalai Lama for the first time to becoming his tutor and friend. The book paints a picture of independent Tibet before the Chinese invasion and tells of life in Lhasa in intricate detail. Despite the criticisms it has collected over the years, this autobiographical account is historically and culturally significant as it observes a social, cultural, and religious past that is very different in today’s Tibet.

 

The Geography Of Bliss By Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner searches for the happiest places in the world and investigates what makes people in a particular place more joyful than others. He also visits the unhappiest country in the world, Moldavia. Reading the book will make you question your notions of what you believe happiness to be and how a culture defines joy. You may find yourself contemplating whether you agree with the author’s view of places and cultures. Overall, if you like to ponder philosophical questions about life and enjoy travelling, do give this book a read. 

The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through The Americas By Paul Theroux

This travel classic explores the memorable voyage on trains undertaken by well-known travel writer Paul Theroux from Massachusetts to the southern tip of America. He travels alone yet doesn’t shy away from conversing with the locals he meets along the way. These conversations are both illuminating and humorous. His description of the places he sees, especially Argentina, is so convincing that it makes you want to pack a bag and go there right away. The book highlights how sometimes travelling ‘cheap’ allows you to explore the beauty that money can obscure.

 

The Road To Oxiana By Robert Byron

The Road to Oxiana documents Robert Byron’s journey through the Middle East, where he makes detailed observations on architecture and the people he sees. His passion and knowledge of history shine throughout the book, and his dry sense of humour and extensive knowledge make for a compelling read. One must remember that it is the diary of an Englishman from colonial times, and so the colonial mindset does make its appearance. However, this is a remarkable piece of travel literature, as it vividly describes everything Byron sees. The travelogue explores a part of the world that, even today, remains a not-so-easy or accessible destination.

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