Travel has indeed effected me greatly, but that effect has paled in comparison to how much reading has changed me. I’m now 32 years old and have read over 600 books, or so GoodReads has informed me, and in that time, I’ve come to experience a thousand lives, and millions of situations I would have never entertained if it weren’t for all these words. Reading has given me more than I can ever repay, including a firm foundation of truth in a world of confusion and manipulation, and has given me the ability to think for myself; the most important gift.
As of late, I’ve had less time to read, but I still keep my mind reeling and learning and expanding, and how I do that is through the lovely form of audiobooks. Audiobooks are lifesavers for the busy person who’s always on the run, because you can listen for 5-minutes when you can spare them, or for hours while you work. I do a little of both. Lately, I’ve been working with AudioBooks.com’s app for the iPhone, which has been a very positive way for me to continue learning and thinking. And since my mind has turned into quite the content suck, their large catalog has become invaluable to me. I thought I might highlight six books that have inspired me most in my travels, in my life, writing, work, and beyond…
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
This book is only available on this app as an abridged version, but I suggest actually reading the full book as it's a million times better and more complete. This book taught me of how the world came to be as it stands to this day.
The Art of War by Steven Pressfield
This book helped me realize that the inner heckler is just my own mind giving into fear of inadequacy, and by labeling it I can fight the feeling it gives me when I am trying to write something daring.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This is a beautiful book with stories, and quips, and other useful bits of wisdom from an older culture, older than our own.
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was one of the most influential thinkers and scientists in recorded history, and when you experience the way his mind worked and see how he saw, then you begin to understand the origins of everything.
Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
This is a bit of a guilty pleasure book, because the end is sad for the main character, yet being a true story, the feeling of authenticity, passion and dissent come through and make you think deeper about Nature and being.
Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves
Rick Steves is a very influential person in the early days of my travel experience, because he showcased the beautiful and history of many of my favorite places in Europe, and aided in my outlook as travel as a political act.