Must read Travel books

by Pascal
travel books ©

Your (in)complete list of must read travel books!

A good book takes you away to another place and/or time. If you’re one of the lucky people who experienced this magic first hand, you’re most probably craving your next fix like any other addict. As much as this is how a good wave feels, this time I’m actually talking about travel books.

So what is a good (surf) travel book?

In my opinion, it’s exactly this. The ability to take you away. But If you’re sitting in a bus in South America, you probably don’t want to be taken to the 15th century Maluku Islands, right? However, if you’re at home, longing for another trip, this book might be the best thing that can happen to you? Same if you’re heading to Jakarta and hope to get a better historical understanding.

Because of this, I ordered the list by continents, regions or countries. I hope this makes it easier for you to find the book for your next trip.

I like to believe that the right book finds you at the right time! Maybe this list is nothing else than a little help for the right book to find you. The time is right!

The travel books on this list are great anyways. But if you’re heading somewhere soon, and need something to read in anticipation, I hope you find it here.

Other books are about traveling or specific about surf travel and take you on a ride around the world, rather than just one specific region. You can read them everywhere, any time. Simply because you love surfing, traveling, reading, or all of them together. Those are the first ones I’ll introduce to you.

One more thing

This list is incomplete. Feel free to write the books I’ve missed in the comments, and i’ll keep updating the list.

Here we go, these travel books are for you.

Favorite picks:

Surf travel books, general:

surf travel books ©
Maybe the #1 Must read surf travel book…

° Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

°Pipe Dreams by Kelly Slater

° Swell by Liz Clark

° Boardelines by Andreas Brendt

Travel books general

°The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo

°The Collector of Worlds by Ilija Trojanow

°Life of Pi by Yann Martel


° Breath by Tim Winston

°MP by Sean Doherty

°Down Under by Bill Bryson

°Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan


must read surf travel books ©
Somewhere in Bali, letting “Troppo” take me up to Sumatra

° Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (India)

°Nathaliens Nutmeg by Giles Milton ( Indonesia)

°Troppo by Madelaine Dickie (Indonesia)

°Snowing in Bali by Kathryn Bonella (Bali)

°Hotel K by Kathryn Bonella (Bali)

° The God of small Thingy by Arundhati Roy (India)

°Siddharta by Herman Hesse (India)

°The Beach by Alex Garland (Thailand)

North America

°On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Central America

° In search of Captain Zero by Allan Weisbecker

°Flying into the Sun by Paul Ogier (Mexico)

South America

°Marching Powder by Rusty Young (Bolivia)

° One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia)

° The Lost City of Z by David Grann (Brazilian Amazon)

°Turn right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams (Peru)


insight africa Carlo Drechsel ©
If you understand German, check this travel book out…

° Insight Africa by Carlo Drechsel

°Long walk to freedom by Nelson Mandela (South Africa)

°LSD, Lunatic, Surfer or Destiny by Donald Paarman (South Africa)

°Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Morocco)

° The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah (Morocco)