The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living.Abraham Joshua Heschel
Author: Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, & Ella Morton
Geographic Area: Worldwide
Original Language: English
You can’t talk about travel books without including guides of some sort. In my experience, there are few better than Atlas Obscura.
Translated as “Dark Atlas,” I especially love this book because it compiles strange and out-of-the-way places that you might not find in a standard travel guide. For example, you may have heard of Cairo’s City of the Dead, but have you heard of Cairo’s Garbage City?
This tome presents over 700 unique destinations, spread out across all seven continents. They range from the serene, like Pando the Trembling Giant in Utah, to the arresting, like the Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden in Thailand. There are literally so many inspirations in this book it will blow your mind. On top of actual locations and physical relics, you could also learn some interesting facts, like “Historical Methods of Preventing Premature Burial.” Because apparently enough people were being buried alive in the 18th and 19th centuries to warrant such methods.
Atlas Obscura started as a website, and it’s useful for tracking which of these sites you’ve been to and which you want to visit, as well as looking up chartered trips, and connecting with other like-minded travelers.
However, I’m a book guy and I’ve always been a book guy and I just like having this thing on my bookshelf. It’s not just a wealth of information; its hardcover design lends a sense of adventure to any room. I just feel like an explorer every time I take it down to consult it.
If you too would like to keep this wonderful guidebook on your shelf, you may purchase a copy using the link below. It is an affiliate link, so I would get a percentage if you do.