The Ten Best Travel Books of 2022: Inspiring Journeys and Unforgettable Stories

This year's picks include Black Lion, The Catch Me If You Can, and The Slow Road to Tehran. Illustration by Emily Lankiewicz. Traveling is an adventure that goes beyond reaching your destination. It's about the...

Travel-BookList.jpg This year's picks include Black Lion, The Catch Me If You Can, and The Slow Road to Tehran. Illustration by Emily Lankiewicz.

Traveling is an adventure that goes beyond reaching your destination. It's about the people you meet, the experiences you have, and the memories you create along the way. For many travelers, it's the connections made with locals that leave the most lasting impression. These interactions often go beyond what guidebooks can offer, making them truly unforgettable.

In 2022, the literary world saw the release of several travel books that capture the essence of these remarkable journeys, inspiring us to grab our passports and explore new horizons. From epic worldwide adventures to intimate explorations of nature and culture, here are the ten best travel books of 2022 that will transport you to captivating locales and introduce you to fascinating people.

The Catch Me If You Can: One Woman’s Journey to Every Country in the World by Jessica Nabongo

Visiting all 195 countries in the world is a dream for many, but for Jessica Nabongo, it became a reality. In her book, "The Catch Me If You Can," Nabongo takes readers on her epic journey, recounting her experiences in each destination. From scooter accidents in remote islands to swimming with humpback whales and immersing herself in local traditions, Nabongo introduces us not only to the incredible places she visited but also to the people who call those places home.

Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales by Doreen Cunningham

In "Soundings," author Doreen Cunningham combines science, nature writing, and personal memoir to take readers on a unique journey alongside gray whales. Following the migration route between Mexico and Alaska, Cunningham shares her experiences as a single mother and journalist, drawing parallels between the familial bonds of these majestic creatures and her own relationship with her son. This deeply personal exploration of nature and motherhood is a captivating read.

Bridges of the World by Giancarlo Ascari

Italian cartoonist and journalist Giancarlo Ascari's "Bridges of the World" is a visual feast, showcasing 50 iconic bridges from across the globe. From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to lesser-known marvels like Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in New York City, Ascari's book highlights the beauty and engineering marvels of these architectural wonders. Accompanied by fascinating facts and anecdotes, this book is a must-read for bridge enthusiasts and travel lovers alike.

Black Lion: Teachings from the Wilderness by Sicelo Mbatha

In "Black Lion," Sicelo Mbatha shares his incredible journey from witnessing a crocodile attack as a child to becoming a wilderness guide and advocate for a spiritual connection with nature. Through volunteering at Imfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, Mbatha has developed a profound understanding and respect for the local fauna. In his debut book, he invites readers to embrace a new mindset and embark on their own transformative journeys in nature.

The Writer’s Journey: In the Footsteps of the Literary Greats by Travis Elborough

Setting plays a crucial role in storytelling, and in "The Writer's Journey," Travis Elborough explores 35 locations around the world that inspired some of the greatest literary works. From Herman Melville's whaling voyage to Jack Kerouac's cross-country escapades, Elborough delves into the connections between authors and the places that shaped their writing. This book is a literary pilgrimage for anyone who loves literature and wants to explore the world through the lens of their favorite authors.

South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry

Imani Perry's "South to America" is a captivating exploration of the American South, combining history and culture to present a nuanced and thought-provoking perspective. From her native Alabama to the Appalachian region, Perry sheds light on both the region's troubled past and its vibrant present. By highlighting immigrant communities, artists, and innovators, Perry paints a vivid picture of a region that is constantly evolving and shaping the future of the United States.

The Slow Road to Tehran: A Revelatory Bike Ride Through Europe and the Middle East by Rebecca Lowe

In the midst of the Syrian War, journalist Rebecca Lowe embarked on a daring solo bicycle journey from London to Tehran. "The Slow Road to Tehran" is her gripping travel memoir, chronicling her encounters with locals and the diverse cultures she encountered along the way. Lowe's vivid storytelling and keen insights make this an unforgettable read, offering a unique perspective on the Middle East and showcasing the resilience and warmth of the people she met.

Antarctica: A History in 100 Objects by Jean de Pomereu and Daniella McCahey

To commemorate Captain James Cook's historic journey to the Antarctic Circle, Jean de Pomereu and Daniella McCahey present "Antarctica: A History in 100 Objects." This visually stunning book showcases objects that define the world's least-visited continent, offering a glimpse into its rich history and the explorers who braved its harsh conditions. From Ernest Shackleton's lifeboat to the skis used by Norwegian explorer Olav Bjaaland, these objects illuminate the spirit of exploration and human resilience.

This Contested Land: The Storied Past and Uncertain Future of America’s National Monuments by McKenzie Long

In "This Contested Land," McKenzie Long embarks on a journey through 13 national monuments across the United States, highlighting their historical and cultural significance. Long's powerful essays shed light on the challenges faced by these protected lands, which often come under threat from development and climate change. Through her thought-provoking storytelling, Long advocates for the preservation of these natural resources and the importance of protecting them for future generations.

Crossed Off the Map: Travels in Bolivia by Shafik Meghji

"Bolivia: Crossed Off the Map," written by travel expert Shafik Meghji, is a captivating exploration of the vibrant South American country. Meghji introduces readers to the lesser-known landmarks, history, and current issues of Bolivia, offering a comprehensive portrait of this diverse nation. From the bustling metropolis of La Paz to the serene altiplano and tropical forests, Meghji's vivid descriptions and historical context make this book an immersive journey through the heart of Bolivia.

These ten travel books of 2022 offer a diverse range of perspectives and experiences, transporting readers to captivating destinations and introducing them to fascinating cultures. Whether you're an armchair traveler or seeking inspiration for your next adventure, these books will ignite your wanderlust and remind you of the power of travel and human connections.