Have you noticed that travelers write about travels, and the main people who read about those who travel, are those who are travelling?
Even foodie blogs write about travels – because many have pictures of food from various countries through which the writer has traveled – not a complaint, because I love to read about other people’s food & travels. My wife’s hobby is cooking, so she collects recipes from around the world, and my hobby is eating, and this makes for a perfect combination!
The seed of travel for me was sown when I was a boy after the war listening to my father’s travels during WW 2. I followed him to sea; he was Royal Navy, I joined the merchant navy.
Combining a love of the sea, with the love of books in my youth, my favourite authors, were C.S Forester, the Hornblower series,
Somerset Maugham short stories of life in the Far East –
Eric Newby travel writer, describing his voyage at 18 years of age in 1938.
Joseph Conrad’s novels – such as
Rudyard Kipling’s stories & poems of Burma and India.
– Rudyard is the name of a man-made lake in Staffordshire, UK, and Rudyard Kipling was named after this lake because his parents met there in 1863. Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (now Mumbai).
I first went to Burma (as it was then) in 1965 /6 and it hadn’t changed that much when I visited for a holiday in 2012.
I never did make it to Mandalay!
In my late teens I moved on to Jack Kerouac’s – On The Road – a must read for many a teenager.
As one grows older travel books still have a fascination, but for me I seem to be looking back over my shoulder thanks to Gavin Young’s two books
Slow Boat to China (Pub 1984)
A great book to read while my memories of China where still sharp & Slow Boats Home (Pub 1986) when ships where still ships, and not floating warehouses.
The two books below are travel books, but they’re not . . . they are about a boy living in Singapore and going to school in England – it is the author’s memoirs. For me, they are real memories of traveling fifty years ago.
Both books bring back ‘yesterday’ of life in Singapore & Malaya.
Davison’s memories are not so far back that they are history for for me, because I can remember much of this author’s life experiences in Singapore & Malaya (for me it was Malaysia, but it hadn’t changed that much ).
You can always combine cooking and travel if you try. I bought my wife a Christmas present in 2014
mainly as a present for her, but also for me, because I also wanted to read this book.
The author Ann Mah, travels around France for a year cooking and eating . . . what more could you want?
Traveled a great deal - about 80 countries - first foreign country I suppose was Wales, which was only 80 miles away from where I was born.
Visited each Continent, except Antarctica, and I doubt that it is on my bucket list - too cold. I love Asian food, Australian wine & British beer & trying to entertain by writing.
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5 thoughts on “Books that influenced my travels”
Interesting list! Adding them to my need-to-read stack. ☺
Incredible how you have so many books that go along with or bring you back to your global travels. You have obviously done some extensive journeying, I wish to be in your place one day.
My first overseas trip was youth hosteling around Germany when I was 15, and for someone who had little intention of going ‘abroad’ I think after 70+ countries it makes a mockery of my comment – I’ll never go abroad – which I stupidly said to a teacher when I was 13 . . . . we all make mistakes :-o)
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Very cool. No 13 year old knows what they want or who they’ll be as a man or woman. You chose a fulfilling path in my opinion, one with unlimited forks.
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Unlimited forks – I like that phrase, if I may I’ll incorporate it somewhere in the sequel I am writing. If I didn’t blog I’d get a lot further with writing the book :-o)