The 10 best travel memoirs

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

See the world from the comfort of your own home with accounts of voyages of discovery on and off the beaten track

1. Viva South America! A Journey Through a Restless Continent

This is South America described by the people who live there. Oliver Balch spends a year talking to prisoners and miners, dance teachers and displaced farmers, about life as they see it.

£10.99, Faber & Faber

Buy from our bookshop

2. Exit into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe

A book that takes you on an intimate journey through Eastern Europe at a time when the dust was still settling from the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Eva Hoffman travels from the Baltic to the Black Sea, building a compelling portrait of a region uncertain about its future.

£16, Faber & Faber

Buy from our bookshop

3. Journey Without Maps

When Graham Greene embarked on his trek into Liberia in 1935, the interior of the country was still unmapped. Undeterred, he managed to walk  through the entire country, writing a remarkable account of exploring a place that almost killed him.

£8.99, Vintage Classics

Buy from our bookshop

4. Arabian Sands

Capturing a period when the Bedouin way of life was in decline, Arabian Sands is an extraordinary record of explorer Wilfred Thesiger’s odyssey through the aptly named “Empty Quarter” of Arabia. The book is a must-read classic for anyone travelling to, or hoping to better understand, the Middle East.

£9.99, Penguin Classics

Buy from our bookshop

5. Notes From a Big Country

Bill Bryson’s warm style makes him a pleasure to read and his reflections on everything from gardening to the death penalty provide a welcome narration to any journey stateside.

£8.99, Black Swan

Buy from our bookshop

6. In Patagonia

In Patagonia chronicles a remarkable trip through South America. Told in Bruce Chatwin’s meandering style, with 97 short untitled pieces that jump from one experience to the next, the structure seems appropriate for a book that is all about nomadic wanderings.

£8.99, Vintage Classics

Buy from our bookshop

7. On the Road

Jack Kerouac’s inspirational novel based on the travels undertaken by him and his friends across America during the late 1940s. Full of jazz and Americana, it tells a story of a generation trying to find meaning outside the mainstream.

£7.19, Penguin

Buy from our bookshop

8. Ghost Riders: Travels with American Nomads

Inspired by Kerouac, the young, broke Richard Grant set off to roam America, scraping together money for beer and motels, and selling his stories along the way. This book is an account of years spent on the road, as Grant tries to unpick his own impulses to wander.

£10.99, Abacus

Buy from our bookshop

9. A short Walk in the Hindu Kush

Travelling doesn’t get more memorable than this. Sparked by a telegram to a friend, Eric Newby and his companion set off from Mayfair to Afghanistan, where they wander the wilderness completely unprepared, but with plenty of wit.

£8.99, HarperPress

Buy from our bookshop

10. The Great Railway Bazaar

For anyone smitten with the romanticism of rail travel, this book by Paul Theroux has it all. Theroux’s epic journey was made in the 1970s, travelling routes such as the Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, and the Trans-Siberian.

£10.99, Penguin

Buy from our bookshop

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
FOOD+DRINK
Extras
HOME+GARDEN
Extras
HOME+GARDEN
Extras
OUTDOOR+ACTIVITY
Extras
GADGETS+TECH
Extras
HOME+GARDEN
Extras
Prosecco picture
FOOD+DRINK
Extras
10 best clutch bags
FASHION
Extras
OUTDOOR + ACTIVITY
Extras
10 best children's jumper
KIDS
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?