While Jack Kerouac’s On The Road is widely regarded as the ultimate travel guide, there are many other books that capture the essence of life on the road. If you’re craving adventure and need an escape, we’ve put together a list of some of the greatest books about backpacking.
America Day by Day by Simone De Beauvoir
Published in 1947, this classic is the result of the French novelist’s four-month road trip from New York to LA and back again. From her uniquely French perspective, she explores American customs and culture, from the gritty life in underground Chicago to encounters with gambling addicts in Reno.
Flaming Iguanas by Erika Lopez
Considered the perfect response to the typical “white male road trip” narrative, this book offers a strange and vivid account of Tomato Rodriguez’s cross-country motorcycle journey. Brace yourself for a wild ride that has been compared to a mix of Easy Rider and Alice in Wonderland.
Around the World in 72 Days by Nellie Bly
Published in 1873, nearly twenty years after Around the World in 80 Days, this gem of a book chronicles journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochrane’s (her real name) journey around the world for a New York tabloid. Armed with just a few changes of underwear, toiletries, and a necklace of cash, she navigates through Amiens, Brindisi, Penang, Japan, and more.
The Routes of Man by Ted Conover
This book delves into the idea that roads are not just paths to get from point A to point B; they also serve as connections between people. By following six trucks in different locations around the world, the author reveals how roads and landscapes shape our development as individuals and communities.
Revolutionary Ride: On The Road in Search of the Real Iran by Lois Pryce
This gripping memoir follows travel writer Lois Pryce on her 3,000-mile journey across Iran. The adventure begins when she discovers a note on her motorcycle that reads, “WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS! Please come to my city, Shiraz.” Filled with bizarre encounters, the book offers hope in the midst of challenging times.