It is eerie how many of the books that have exploded my old world and created a new one have been travel books. Maybe it’s because the stories that change you aren’t really the ones where people stay at home, or maybe it has to do with my personal temperament — but by my count, there are five travel books which have already changed my life.
1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
For me, a love of travel started with a love of the sea. My uncle was a boat captain, and whenever we’d visit him in Florida, we’d go out, 20, 30, 50 miles into the Gulf of Mexico for deep sea fishing. We’d pull up sharks, marlin, kingfish, and grouper. We’d watch flying fish skip over the surface of the water near our boat and we’d watch dolphins play in our wake.