Best Travel Books: Because You WILL Travel a Lot

   
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I’ve never thought that one of the things I’ll do a lot once I start my own business is travel. I thought I would be stuck in an office, growing my online empire, but that was so far from the truth. At some point, while I was building my company, I travel 5 months in a year: I went to trade show, expos, conferences, all to promote our work and get more contacts in the industry.

Truth is, though, that with the best travel books, you can explore some of the world’s most incredible places without ever having to leave your home. Whether you don’t have the funds to take a fantastic trip or you’re planning a future getaway, you’ll easily be able to pick the perfect destination for your time away. Filled with plenty of pictures and informative blurbs about unique destinations and popular tourist attractions, your travels will be far more interesting.

For me it wasn’t about not traveling, but about adding a little bit of fun to a business trip. I looked in advance for things to do or see and I usually got one more day at the destination (if possible) and I got to enjoy some places I would never have gone to otherwise.

What we have come to love about travel books the most is that they help to educate you about specific areas in the world. You’ll be able to delve into unique cultures, learn about native species, as well as the different environments that we are surrounded by. You would be surprised at how much you can learn about your local area if you were to invest in some of the best travel books.

There is so much to experience in the world, and with the insanely vibrant imagery in these books, it will feel like you’re traveling without having to spend thousands. From destinations, such as Fiji, to the Amazon, there is an extensive number of places that you can experience simply by flipping through the pages. Travelers will especially love these books, as they can help you to pinpoint unique destinations that you may have never thought of before.

During your time away from home, consider picking up some of the best travel books in the area you’re visiting! You might find yourself reinventing your itinerary so that you can have more amazing experiences that are indeed one of a kind.

By the end of your trip, you can guarantee you will have an assortment of unique picturesque moments, so you can show off your amazing travels and soak in everyone’s envy.

It’s easy to see how so many people have wanderlust to see things outside of what they’re faced with every day. Surely consider some of the best travel books for an exceptional experience you aren’t soon to forget.

Best Travel Books

Mapping the Mind

Mapping the Mind

I started my interest in neurobiology in December 1998 after reading a discussion by Rita Carter in the FT showing that rational behavior under uncertainty and rational decision making can come from a defect in the amygdala. Since then I've had five years of reading more technical material (Gazzaniga et al is perhaps the most complete reference on cognitive neuroscience) and thought that I transcended this book.

But it was not so. I picked up this book again last weekend and was both astonished at a) the ease of reading , b) the clarity of the text and c) the breadth of the approach! I was looking for a refresher as I am trying to capture a general idea of the functioning of that black box and found exactly what I needed without the excess burden of prominent textbooks. Very pedagogical.

I read here and there comments by neuroscientists dissing the book over small details perhaps invisible even to experts. I just realize that Carter should keep updating it, as it is invaluable in my suitcase when I travel! I do not conceal my suspicion of "science writers" and journalists more trained in communicating than understanding and usually shallow babblers but Carter is an exception. Perhaps the science of the mind requires breadth of knowledge that she has. She is a thinker in her own right not just a "medical journalist".

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur
The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

You might think you don’t want to read a whole book about shipping containers. And Levinson is pretty self-aware about what an unusual topic he chose. But he makes a good case that the move to containerized shipping had an enormous impact on the global economy and changed the way the world does business. And he turns it into a very readable narrative. I won’t look at a cargo ship in quite the same way again.
Bill Gates
CEO/Microsoft
I, Asimov: A Memoir

I, Asimov: A Memoir

In I, Asimov I’ve discovered a genuine happy person, someone that did what he loved his entire life. I discovered that one of the biggest authors of Science Fiction actually stopped writing fiction novels almost completely for 20 years. I discovered that he enjoyed writing mystery short stories a lot. And this shouldn’t surprise me since most of the books in his SF series are, actually, mysteries. Especially the Robots ones.

His autobiography reads like the archive of a blog, with anecdotes and short stories of the author’s life. It made me smile so often, I didn’t believe it. I was reading in bed and I would read out loud to my fiancée something that made me laugh loudly.

Besides the laughs, I also appreciated the power of Asimov’s convictions. I’m taking example, as well, since sometimes I forget to support my opinions as strongly as I should. If you enjoyed Asimov's books, you're gonna love this one.

Bobby Voicu
Founder/the CEO Library
The Lost Colony (The Long Winter Trilogy Book 3)

The Lost Colony (The Long Winter Trilogy Book 3)

On the non-fiction front, I love A.G. Riddle's works and I just finished his last book in the The Long Winter trilogy: The Lost Colony. I wanted to read it so much that I preordered the book and I put the day of launch in my calendar, 5-6 months ago, after reading the second book. The entire trilogy is an interesting take on time travel, actually, but it only makes sense in the final book, this one.

Bobby Voicu
Founder/The CEO Library
Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

Understand how our brains operate at work throughout the day was really illuminating for me, especially because I manage other humans who have brains.

Jason Stirman
CEO/Lucid
Green Hills of Africa

Green Hills of Africa

One of the most underrated books that [Hemingway has] written.
Josh Waitzkin
Author
The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos

The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos

The Space Barons by Christian Davenport, a Washington Post reporter, is an exciting narrative filled with colorful reporting and sharp insights. The book sparkles because of Davenport’s access to the main players and his talent for crisp storytelling.
Walter Isaacson
Author
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Here are some of the guests and some of their books, in no particular order. I recommend all of the below books. If I didn't like a book, I wouldn't have them on the show.

James Altucher
Founder/StockPickr
Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

Chronologically, my first favourite book probably was Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days.
Cristina Riesen
Founder/We Are Play Lab
The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing

The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing

This is a sparkling biography—not just of a pair of remarkable women, but of a popular personality tool. Merve Emre deftly exposes the hidden origins of the MBTI and the seductive appeal and fatal flaws of personality types. Ultimately, she reveals that a sense of self is less something we discover, and more something we create and revise.
Adam Grant
Author/Originals
The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness

I also really enjoyed reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.
John Shea
Founder/No Shame Income
The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War: This book was a grind, but it had a lot of good stuff in it. It’s only 784 pages so it took more than a day to read it. If you are trying to understand what is going on in the current American economy, and why the future will not look like the past, this is a good place to start.
Brad Feld
Co-Founder/Foundry Group
Asylum

Asylum

In 1934, William Seabrook was one of the most famous journalists in the world. He was also an alcoholic. But there was no treatment for his disease. So he checked himself into an insane asylum. There, from the perspective of a travel writer, he described his own journey through this strange and foreign place. Today, you can’t read a page in the book without seeing him bump, unknowingly, into the basic principles of 12-step groups and then thwarted by well meaning doctors (like the one who decides he’s cured and can start drinking again). On a regular basis, he says things so clear, so self-aware that you’re stunned an addict could have written it–shocked that this book isn’t a classic American text. Yet all his books are out of print and hard to find. Two of my copies are first editions from 1931 and 1942. It breaks your heart to know that just a few years or decades later, his options (and outcome) would have been so very different (he eventually died of an opium overdose).
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Wow, did you know that Moby Dick was based on a true story? There was a real whaling ship that was broken in half by an angry sperm whale. But it gets even more insane. The members of the crew escaped in three lifeboats, traveling thousands of miles at sea with little food and water until they slowly resorted to cannibalism(!) Besides being an utterly unbelievable story, this book also gives a great history into the whaling industry and the cowboys/entrepreneurs who led it. Definitely recommend and I promise my spoilers did not ruin anything.
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
Brain Rules: 12 Principles of Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School

Brain Rules: 12 Principles of Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School

I can say that my area, or my background involves a lot of practical work, traveling, learning and performing a big variety of sports, meeting new people and making contacts. But taking into account that being a young entrepreneur I wish I had known a lot of things before starting everything. Therefore, what I would suggest people to do is invest a lot in themselves professionally and personally, where I put a lot of emphasis on developing an equilibrium between mind, body and spirit. This equilibrium will help a lot in everything you do in your daily life. So these are the books I would recommend.
Tudor Teodorescu
Founder/Transylvania Uncharted
My Berlin Child

My Berlin Child

I’m reading more books at the same time. Guilty. Some of them are Tools of Titans - Tim Ferriss, My Berlin Child – Anne Wiazemsky, Women who Run with the Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Tim is full of lessons to learn, remember & implement, I’ll see what the rest of the books will unfold.
Irina Botnari
Managing Partner & Co-Founder/Bucur's Shelter Hostel
Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

I read Plato and the Platypus by Umberto Eco, which I found brilliant and was sucked into buying this book thinking it was about the same problem of categories. But Philosophy this is not, or if it is, it is not deep enough to give satisfaction. This is like a brief drink in an airplane lounge with someone funny, smart, witty, but not too funny. So I would give it my lowest rating: 4 stars (as an author I can't give below that --I just would not review).

Would I buy it again? Perhaps, but only for a plane ride. It left me very very hungry for both jokes and philosophy.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur
All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Obama released a list of his summer favorites back in 2015.
Barack Obama
Former USA President
Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind

Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind

Kottke recently shared a list of the books he and Jobs read around their time at Reed — ones that inspired Jobs's travels across the globe as well as his professional pursuits. One of the most influential works on that list is "Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind," originally published by a Canadian psychiatrist in 1901.
Steve Jobs
Founder/Apple
The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance

The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis–and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance

I read this book (note: The Gift of Failure) not long after reading Senator Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult and found it to be a great companion. We forget that homework doesn’t matter, grades don’t matter—only what the process they represent matters. Children are not a reflection of their parents, they depend on their parents to raise them into adults who can be reflections of who they uniquely are.
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
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