Going to a hot and sunny beach in the middle of winter is not something we all have the privilege to do. Travel prices are higher, the holidays are always an expensive time, and taking time off work is often frowned upon after you've just gotten back from a mini hiatus—we're right there with you. While travel might not be in the stars in the coming months, you can mentally transport yourself through some books on travel—whether they be memoirs or fictional tales you hope to (partially) recreate, take some time to relax, unwind and take a mini mental getaway.
The Beach, by Alex Garland
The Beach tells the story of Richard, a solo traveler making his way through Thailand when he happens upon a map that leads him to a well-concealed commune of people. When he and another couple arrive there, they realize that freedom from the world often has a price. Alex Garland's debut novel is interesting, unexpected and takes you on an adventure that you never thought you'd go on—though is nothing short of bizarre. Need some visual stimulation? Opt for the 2000 movie version starring Leonardo DiCaprio (but read the book first!).
The Lost Girls, by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner
Ever wanted to just take off on an adventure with your girlfriends? Jennifer, Holly and Amanda of The Lost Girls do just that. This memoir of three twenty-something friends as they travel across four continents inspires us all to have a look at our lives and reevaluate what we want, what we need and which direction we really should be headed in.
Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
Not quite a novel about travel so much as a story about love that spans multiple generations and countries, Beautiful Ruins starts in a fictitious town on the coast of Genoa and moves forward 50 years to Hollywood. Weaving together different locales and an almost-love affair, this book will transport your mind to warmer climates and take you through a journey across continents, peppered with scandal and chasing the one you love throughout a lifetime, even when you don't know who she is.