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World Travel Through Literature

World Travel Through Literature

Nowadays it seems like everyone is traveling. In an age of social media, our feeds are inundated with photos of seemingly carefree individuals exploring far-flung places around the globe. Of course, summer Euro trips, spring break in Mexico and backpacking adventures across Southeast Asia are nothing new. Individuals have been exploring the globe for decades, but never has travel been documented the way it is today — visually.

This quest for wanderlust is undeniable and generationally unique. Largely millennial driven, this cohort is investing in overseas experiences at rate unlike the generations before them — and hoping the bet pays off. But don’t just take our word for it. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), an agency of the United Nations and WYSE Travel Confederation estimate the youth travel market accounts for nearly 25% of international travelers and generates more than $180 billion in annual tourism revenue. Say what you want about this frequently disputed age group, but they’re re-shaping the way we travel, and more importantly, how we research our next destination.

For years, the way we chose a travel location was typically word of mouth, Frommers tourism picks, magazines or books. Yet, in the digital age, we’ve transitioned away from one of the best educational travel resources — books. Instead, we rely so heavily on hashtags, geotags and blogs to conduct our research, and in the process there’s a lot of missed details about a destination, it’s history and culture. Books offer a wealth of information that go beyond the top Instagrammable spots and “10 best” things to do. Sure, these are modern resources designed for the modern traveler, but to truly gain valuable insights into a location, it’s history, people and cultural differences, there’s no better place to start than by cracking open the pages of a book. From tomes written as historical fiction and graphic novels to memoirs and travelogues, there’s no shortage of genres that capture the essence of a country and its people.

Whether you’re an armchair traveler, expert road tripper or jetsetter, we’re taking travel education to the next level with this comprehensive database of books. Sorted in the form of an interactive map, these reads will help you better understand the diverse history and culture of different countries around the world. All you need to do is click on a country of interest and a list of the top recommended reads will populate. Each book list comes complete with a download feature, so you can save it for later or share digitally.

In fact, studies have suggested that reading literary fiction can increase empathy. The same is thought for literary nonfiction and other genres, by offering carefully observed portraits of human frailties, societal change and building a broader knowledge base about life elsewhere. Something that’s often missed through digital travel research and planning.

We don’t expect that you’ll read every book on the list — this is a challenge few will accomplish — but it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for deeper and more meaningful information when planning a trip to a new country. So, next time you’re getting ready to set off on a road trip across the border or jet set halfway around the globe, keep this guide in your back pocket as a reference. Of course, for some of us, this kind of travel doesn’t come naturally. Be it finances, limited access or fear of the unknown, exploring the world isn’t always as easy as it appears. Books are a timeless way to armchair travel, inspire or simply help make you a more educated person.

***Covering all the books ever published on each of the 196 sovereign countries would be a daunting task, so we did our best to include as many books on the list as possible. While this is a comprehensive list, it doesn’t take into account every country or island nation around the world due to lack of English translation options and user experience.

Posted on: April 27, 2019, 6:30 am Category: Uncategorized

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