The six best books to read while you are travelling.

If there’s one time in your life you have the time to read, it’s surely while travelling.

So, to both get you in the spirit of being far from home, and celebrating the the glory of everything about it, we asked some of our Mamamia writers for their favourite travelling reads.

These are just a few:

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

Kristen Newman is a TV writer who has written for That 70’s Show, Chuck and How I Met Your Mother. In her 20s and 30s, not content with settling down and having babies like many of her friends did, she instead travelled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year.

In an interview with the L.A Times back in 2014, she said she hoped her memoir of her time travelling alone would inspire other young women to do the same, and buck societal norms that dictate when they should settle down.

“I hope that single girls will buy a plane ticket after reading this book and go travel by themselves. There’s something particularly unique about travelling alone that changes you—and I don’t think that trips with other people change you.”

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road is a 1957 novel by American writer Jack Kerouac and based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the US.

Time named it as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005, and The New York Times hailed it as “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat,’ and whose principal avatar he is.”

Image: Getty.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This, no doubt, is an obvious one.

Eat Pray Love, the cult-classic by Elizabeth Gilbert, details the author's trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels.

According to The Telegraph, the key to the book's success is Gilbert herself.

"Gilbert is instantly likeable as a narrator: she’s warm, funny and, as she says, can make friends with anyone, anywhere. That included her readers who have become cult-like devotees."

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

The story of Leaving Time centres on Jenna Metcalf who was with her mother the night she disappeared in mysterious circumstances, but she remembers nothing. Over ten years have passed, and still Jenna reads and rereads her mother's journals, hoping to find some clue hidden there. The novel is set partially at a New England elephant sanctuary and in Africa.


According to Readers Digest, "Picoult goes about her work with such unashamed conviction that it’s impossible not to be swept along".

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

Publisher's Weekly calls The Last Anniversary "a stunner several shades darker than typical chick lit", about a family and the outsider who inherits a house on Scribbly Gum, their (fictional) Australian island.

It's an easy read, where, as Publisher's Weekly points out, "Moriarty's prose turns from funny through poignant to frightening in an artful snap".

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

When Cheryl Strayed was 22, her mother had died, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed.

As stated on her website, four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision hiking more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State alone. The book details her journey.

According to Dwight Garner of The New York Times, "It’s uplifting, but not in the way of many memoirs, where the uplift makes you feel that you’re committing mental suicide.

"This book is as loose and sexy and dark as an early Lucinda Williams song. It’s got a punk spirit and makes an earthy and American sound."

What is the best book you've read while travelling?