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A good book can inspire you to explore new places in the world and take part in new adventures. Reading stories about other people’s experiences, whether they are big or small, is a great way to fuel your wanderlust. It can open your eyes, provide you with perspective, and allow you to identify with humanity. Reading about travel can also provide great insight into the how-to and what-if situations that inevitably arise when traveling into an unknown area. Here are five must-read books worth exploring.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is an international best selling book, with millions of copies sold worldwide. It tells the tale of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure. His journey ends up being one of self-discovery and includes several life lessons along the way. The story inspires you to follow your dreams and to have the courage never to give up.

Girl in the Woods by Aspen Mentis

A beautifully written memoir, Girl in the Woods tells the story of Aspen Matis and her life-changing adventure of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. While there are many books with a similar theme of overcoming struggles through the PCT, such as the popular story Wild, Girl in the Woods stands out through its raw, emotional tale of a young woman’s struggle to overcome rape on a college campus. You feel like you are right there with Aspen, through her struggles in college, with her family, and her grueling 2,650-mile hike. Her story is inspirational and provides a positive outlook of courage and hope to overcome obstacles that come your way.

The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small by Kath Stathers

This book makes the perfect gift and a great addition to any coffee table. It features thousands of adventures throughout the world, providing photos and descriptions of unique activities, cultural experiences, and culinary delights. Aside from travel the book also offers direction for checking off items on your bucket list that are relevant to people of certain ages and goals. This book is sure to inspire you to try something new.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is a well-known writer when it comes to travel books. He has several best-selling books to choose from. However the humorous, sometimes dangerous, and knowledge packed story of In a Sunburned Country is a great choice for anyone interested in visiting Australia one day. Through his journey off-the-beaten-path, Bryson explores coastal cities, lethal wildlife, and friendly companions along the way. In a Sunburned Country is an entertaining read that will fill your mind with wonder.