While Jack Kerouac’s On The Road is the quintessential traveler’s bible, it’s not the only book that encapsulates life on the road. If your soul is hungry for some adventure, and your only escape is a good book, then we’ve ruffled up a list of some of the greatest books about the back-packing life.
America Day by Day by Simone De Beauvoir
This 1947 classic is a product of the French novelist’s four-month road trip from New York to LA and back again. From her deliciously French perspective, she grapples with American customs and culture from the grimy life in the underground Chicago to gambling addicts in Reno.
Flaming Iguanas by Erika Lopez
Considered to be the perfect answer to the typical “white male road trip,” this book is a strange and wildly graphic account of Tomato Rodriguez’s coast to coast motorbike journey. Expect a wild ride. It’s been compared to Easy Rider meets Alice in Wonderland.
Around the World in 72 Days by Nellie Bly
In 1873, almost twenty years after Around the World in 80 Days came this gem of a book. The story by journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochrane (her real name) chronicles her trip around the world for a New York tabloid. With just a few changes of underwear, a few toiletries, and a necklace of cash, she makes it through Amiens, Brindisis Penang, Japan, and more.
The Routes of Man by Ted Conover
This book explores how roads are more than just paths to get from A to B, they can also be a means of connecting to each one another. By following six trucks in different locations around the world, the book reveals how roads and landscapes are an integral part of our development as people.
Revolutionary Ride: On The Road in Search of the Real Iran by Lois Pryce
This incredibly old memoir features the adventures of travel writer Lois Pryce and her 3,000-mile journey across the country of Iran. According to the book, it alls started when she finds a note on her motorcycle reading “WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS! Please come to my city, Shiraz.” It’s filled with whacky encounters, all of which inspire hope during dark times.