My Favorite Travel Reads

So many bus rides, train rides, and time spent alone. Here are a few books that have been my constant companions. Some of which inspired me to begin the journey, others are what keep me company on the lonely days.

1. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

An inspiring fable about following your dreams. This book was recommended by a few friends back home as I was in the process of deciding the next direction to take in my life. I was sitting in a bar with a friend in Hollywood Florida (the third person who had mentioned the book) and looked over to see a copy of it lying on the counter at the end of the bar. I took it as a sign, went home and read the book that night in it’s entierty, and realized what I needed to do (putting a plan in place the very next day to begin the process.) I have given it away numerous times throughout my travels in hopes that it will inspire others to also pursue their own dreams.

2. Lonely Planet, Europe on a Shoestring

Given to me by a dear friend as she was dropping me off at the airport, this book has been the equivilant of my travel bible. It is big and bulky and so many times I wanted to leave it behind as you can always find travel books in hostels (sometimes even this exact book) but it has been extremely helpful in mapping out a plan as I move from country to country and finding the smaller places along the way that I might not have considered otherwise. (It has also come in handy as a head rest when I found myself in a train station or airport for a few hours.) The language section at the end for each country is quite basic, but will teach you a few useful phrases as well.

3. Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

I’m sure by now most people have seen the movie with Julia Roberts, but I picked up a copy of the book also before heading on my own adventures and have appreciated some of the parallels to my own life. I guess we all go through a phase of soul searching and self discovery in order to find what will ultimately make us happy. It doesn’t always mean picking up and traveling half way around the world, for happiness as you discover is found within. But sometimes it takes getting out of our comfort zones to be at a place where we can really look within ourselves to find it.

4. The Way to Love, Anthony De Mello

A pocket sized book that I have kept in my purse over the last few years, but packed full of insights about love and how to do so in a healthy, unattached way. As De Mello says “love springs from awareness. It is only when we see others as they are that we can begin to really love.”

10 Scrolls (Og Mandino)

Taken from the book “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” which was introduced to me back in my real estate days, I keep a copy of the ancient scrolls on my laptop and read through them as the book prescribes every morning, and every night when I retire. The principles of the scrolls guide me and inspire me to continue on the in the journey and become the best “me” that I can be.

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