Travel is often eye opening. Surrounding yourself with different cultures, different people and different outlooks on life broadens our knowledge base. It’s arguably the best education a person can receive — to experience life in someone else’s shoes.
Yet in the digital age, it seems that so many of us take to our Instagram feeds, Pinterest boards and travel forums as primary resources to learn about the world. Not to say these aren’t valuable resources for the modern day traveler — they certainly can be. But in limiting our research to social platforms, there’s a great amount of detail about the history of a place, it’s customs, culture and life through a local’s point of view that is, more often than not, missed in translation.
Prior to the age of social media, books and word of mouth were the primary resources to learn about traveling to a new country. It’s the reason why libraries dedicate massive sections to history and travel — How else are we supposed to understand where we’re going if we don’t learn about the past? Of course, in the sea of incredible books, genres and authors, it can be incredibly overwhelming to even know where to begin. Do you start your research on a location with history, autobiographical accounts or nonfiction? The list goes on.
Recognizing the need to diversify the way we learn about different countries and how we travel, CarRentals created this interactive literary guide that covers 402 books to explore the sovereign nations around the world. Think of it as a mini library sorted by country. All you need to do is choose a country of interest and a recommended list of books will populate.
Whether you have a serious case of wanderlust or simply wish to armchair travel, there’s no better place to start than this literary map when it comes to learning about the diverse world we live in. Use this guide to curate your summer reading list and crack open the pages of these incredible resources.