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10 books that will make you want to travel...

A major staple of summer is the idea of a "summer vacation." From books to movies, this notion of summertime travel has been the inspiration for countless creative stories. While I have been fortunate enough to experience a few myself (including a trip to Virginia this summer and a trip to Paris last winter), books are also a great way to vicariously travel through characters. Here is a list of books which serve as a great way to travel through the pages without ever leaving your bed and may even inspire you to do some real life traveling:

1. Anna and the French Kiss - a high school student's life is turned upside down when she's sent to live in Paris and attend an American boarding school there. By the time I read this novel I had already been to Paris once, and by the time I reached the last page I couldn't wait to go back.

2. Harry Potter Series - I don't know why, but something about this series made me want to visit the UK, specifically the Wizarding World with features such as Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Hogsmeade.

3. Again, But Better - another London one, this debut novel follows a college student who makes an impromptu decision to study abroad in London. We discover the city as she does and I for sure was ready to book my ticket and visit in real life.

4. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - in the 17th and 18th century tradition of the "Grand Tour of Europe" this novel set in the 1700s follows Monty as he, his sister, and his best friend/sometimes lover Percy travel across the continent to learn, practice diplomacy, and outrun those that want them dead -- there's a lot going on here, but the experience of Europe through the character's eyes illicit serious wanderlust.

5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - this novel, a personal favorite of mine, makes the desert of El Paso, Texas, where you'd least expect it, seem like a wonderland for self exploration and the exploration of first love.

6. The Alchemist - I recently read this for the first time and not only do I now completely understand why it has become a worldwide favorite of many, but I also see traveling and what it can mean to find yourself and your path in a whole new way.

7. The House of Hades - despite the dark nature of this book, it will make you wish to hop on a flying boat and float your way around the Mediterranean (but hopefully you won't be chased by monsters while doing so as occurred in this novel).

8. In Other Words - we were required to read this novel before going to Florence freshman year at NYU (seems like yesterday) and while the writing could be... interesting, it did make me even more excited to spend my year abroad in Italy.

9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - while on the one hand this book (written like no other book I had ever read before) made me terrified to visit the Dominican Republic, it on the other hand made me want to run to the island and experience the land like (some of) the characters got to. But considering recent news coming from the DR, I'll wait a minute before I plan a trip there.

10. Eat, Pray, Love - a classic, at least to me, that influenced my decision to start learning Italian (way before I even thought of going abroad for school) and showed just how much you can find of yourself when you find new places to travel to.

Those are just some of my favorite travel books, but there are many more out there (especially in the YA genre). If you feel the need to get away but don't want to physically move or deal with TSA, then I'd recommend these to quench your wanderlust thirst.

Also, every time I type "wanderlust," I think of the song by The Weeknd.

#travel #summerbooks #cheaperthanaflight

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