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4 travel books to take with you on your next holiday

Travelling is a wondrous thing - you can explore new worlds, discover new perspectives, learn about history and immerse yourself in fresh ways of thinking. There's one other way to accomplish those same goals: reading. Through books, we are able to live through characters' experiences in a way that helps us learn more about ourselves. It's no surprise that travel and reading are excellent companions. Not only do they both educate us in similar ways, there's also the fact that travel often involves long stretches of time during which you must occupy your attention: lying on the beach, flying, sitting by the pool. As you prepare for your holiday in Australia, you'll probably want to bring along a great book to carry with you. Here are a few of our favourite travel-focused books to settle in with while staying at your holiday accommodation.

'On the Road' by Jack Kerouac

This novel comes first on our list because it inspired an entire generation of wanderlusters to get out and experience the world first-hand. In fact, it pretty much single-handedly spawned the invention of the road trip. Kerouac's autobiographical novel tells the story of Sal Paradise and his travel companion, Dean Moriarty, as they traverse America, visiting New York, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angles along the way. In between destinations, the dynamic pair encounter all the things that defined the Beat Generation, including women, music, hitchhiking and drugs. A truly iconic and adventurous tale, the book is known for its mentality-defining ideals, offhanded prose style, and message of a thirst for life and travel.

'Eat Pray Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert

A more recent demographic-defining piece of literature, 'Eat Pray Love' tells the story of Elizabeth Gilbert, a recent divorcee who embarks on a personal transformative journey through Italy, India and Bali. The novel has inspired thousands of solo women to take similar journeys, and was made into a feature film starring Julia Roberts in 2010. It isn't just Gilbert's travel experiences that are cataloged in the book; she also writes extensively about yoga, Buddhism and meditation throughout her journey. The third pillar of the novel is Gilbert's self-reflection on her recent divorce and thoughts on relationships.

'The Great Railway Bazaar' by Paul Theroux

In this love letter to rail travel, Theroux tells the story of a four-month trip throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the majority of which are traversed via train. The story begins in London, where the author boards the train, then makes its way through Europe before winding through Iran, Pakistan, India, Japan and many other destinations. The novel is characterised by its constant sense of curiosity and discovery, with the author painting often-frustrating aspects of travel (broken down trains, delayed voyages) as learning experiences.

'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed

The most recent novel on our list to be catapulted to popularity, 'Wild' is the memoir of Cheryl Strayed, who set out to hike the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail in the United States. The book, which was recently made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, has garnered a huge following and widespread acclaim. Strayed's journey took her through the majority of America's western mountain ranges - a difficult feat for any hiker and unheard of at the time for women travelling alone. The journey was in response to Strayed's recent divorce as well as the death of her mother, which she recounts with emotion throughout the memoir. This book is a must-read for any traveller in desire of a fresh start and a new perspective on life.

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