If, like me, you like to travel through literature when not actually on the road yourself then over at the Telegraph there’s a list of the 20 best travel books of all time (link)… of course any such list is subjective and I don’t entirely agree with all of the choices it is a pretty good reference and from my own experience would recommend 95% (i.e 19, in case you’re being dim today) of them….
If it was up to me though I reckon I would have included….
Jason Elliot’s “An Unexpected Light” which is a beautiful account of travels in a brutalized yet bewitching country
The Travels of Ibn Battuta… this is possibly THE original travel read -the writings of a 14th century Muslim scholar documenting 29 years of global wanderings. Fantastic read.
Of course that would then be 22 books in a list of 20…. I won’t say which ones I’d swap out, you’ll have to read them all and decide for yourself… :o)
Now, while not strictly a travel book (and I’m not sure what this will say about me), if you like your writing raw, raunchy and graphic and you’ve an affinity for Cuba then check out the writings of Havana native Pedro Juan Gutierrez… in particular Dirty Havana Trilogy and The Insatiable Spider Man… pretty rude stuff though so if you’re easily offended but still like your travel writing then may I suggest Paddington Abroad (link) instead :o)