5 Books to Fuel Your Wanderlust Between Travels

5 Books to Fuel Your Wanderlust Between Travels

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a bottomless travel fund and endless PTO days? Unfortunately we don’t live in such a utopian world.  For us, the month of July was a down time for travel.  In these dire times, I figure if I can’t physically go somewhere, I want to get lost in the words of those who did.

I’ve always found so much comfort in reading; a trait I inherited from my mom.  So, if you’re a fellow wanderluster looking for inspiration, comfort, or a getaway to a far off land, I’ve got five books you may want to snag at your nearest Barnes & Noble, STAT!

The world belongs to those who read. – Rick Holland

1.  The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

Last winter, the Danish term hygge took the world by storm.  According to hyggehouse.com, “Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cozy, charming or special.”  The beauty of language, friends. Danes are also the happiest people on earth, so we could probably learn something from them.  My sister, who I firmly believe lives out hygge like a boss, got me this book last winter and I quickly fell in love. (Side Note: it doesn’t have to be winter to get your hygge on.  Besides, Winter is coming…)

The book follows a British couple as they move to Denmark.  Helen is amazingly witty, unabashedly honest, and does a phenomenal job researching and learning from the Danes by embracing the culture head on.  You’ll find yourself laughing with her, spicing up your life with hygge, and booking the next flight to Denmark.  Also, she leaves you with her top ten tips for living Danishly.  You can use that as a reference when you need to a happy boost.


Remember the simple pleasures in life–light a candle, make yourself a cup of coffee, eat some pastries.  See?  You’re feeling better already. – Helen Russell

2.  A House Somewhere-Tales of Life Abroad – Edited by Done George & Anthony Sattin

Talk to me for 2.5 seconds and if I don’t mention my burning desire to move abroad, you’re probably just not listening.  While short-term travel and vacations allow us to hit the highlights, the tourist spots, the   resorts, and the best restaurants to dine in; living abroad takes the mundane day to day tasks and turn them into an adventure!

This collection of stories gives one insight into what life is like abroad.  The good, the bad, the beautiful.  I love this book because it allowed me to sneak a peak into the cultural norms and expat struggles in different countries all over the world!  It also increased my “must-read” list because I was able to read excerpts from so many incredible travel books.

My problem is that I am home-impaired. As a foreign correspondent, much of my life is spent on airplanes, in hotels, under jeeps.  I’ve often been homesick, but I’ve never been able to say for where. – Mort Rosenblum


3.  The New York Times 36 Hours (150 weekends in the USA & Canada)- Edited by Barbara Ireland

If there is one place that knows the grind of balancing work and play, it’s New York.  Because of that, the NY times gave us this gem.  We may not have endless travel funds, but we can all find 36 hours to explore.  Promise you can find the time!

Broken out by U.S. & Canada regions, you’ll find a 36 hour weekend itinerary ready for you to follow!   It’s a common misconception that to travel means we have to go on an elaborate vacation overseas.  However, there is so much beauty to be found here in the United States.  This book does a phenomenal job of outlining awesome cities, unique experiences and jaw dropping landscapes to see right on our soil! You basically have your own personal travel agent, can you really go wrong?

36 Hours lives in the realm of the possible.  The framework is the weekend.  The audience is broad–with a little adapting, these itineraries are meant to work for both the backpacker and the jet-setter. – Barbara Ireland


4.  The Map That Leads to You- J.P. Monninger

Not really shocking that I would add a romantic novel to the list.  I recently finished this book and while I didn’t love the ending, I appreciated the story line and the underlying message of life, love, friendship, and travel.  Jack and Heather meet by chance on a train to Amsterdam while she is on a Europe trip with her girlfriends.  The book follows them as they fall hopelessly in love while making unforgettable memories in European cities. I’m a sucker for a love story and this one is as sweet as a Nicholas Sparks novel.

What intrigued me most was how the author brought to light a detrimental flaw in how we travel today.  Nowadays, with the rise of Social Media, it’s more about our Instagram likes on our perfectly staged vacation photo that we find ourselves caring most about.   Shouldn’t we hold the memories and our journey to a higher caliber than what a stranger deems as a thumbs up?   J.P Monninger demonstrates an admirable way to travel through life and explorations through his character, Jack’s eyes.  He reveals what it means to be present in the here and now.  To hold onto a moment for eternity, not simply for a fleeting photo on the web.

He wasn’t  content to visit museums and cathedrals and interesting cityscapes, then go home and feel he had bagged another destination.  He refused to be a mere tourist.  He desired a deeper connection with the land and people… – J.P. Monninger


5.  Traveling Light by Max Lucado

I admire how Max Lucado eloquently combines faith and travel in this book.  Breaking down Psalm 23 using the metaphor of a traveler packing light, Max pulls you into the word of God with easy to follow chapters.  If you’re struggling with carrying too many burdens or need help lightening the load, this book is for you.


We are all travelers on this road called Life and there is no need to pack more than what is necessary. A delightful insight into one of my favorite verses in the Bible, you’ll find yourself packing only a carry on in your every day life, too.

There are certain weights in life you simply cannot carry.  Your Lord is asking you to set them down and trust him.  He is the father at the baggage claim.


There you have it, my five latest and greatest books to inspire your wanderlust!  Next on deck is:

  • The Geography of Bliss: One Grumps Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner
  • The Art of Travel by Alain de Botten


Share with me PLEASE any and every book that ignites your wanderlust! I can’t wait to hear!  Have you read any of the above books? What were your thoughts?





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Haley Milan

Consumed by wanderlust, fueled by coffee, determined to live a minimalist lifestyle and collect moments, not things. Join me on my travels and an every day life of simplicity!

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