Leaving for a trip always gives me a flutter of butterflies in my stomach. You never know what you're going to find in the days and miles ahead. Adventure? Love? Friendship? Surprises? No matter where you're headed, you never quite know how your life may change when you travel the world.
With summer just around the corner, wanderlust is certainly in the air. It's time to pack your suitcase for that amazing trip you've been planning. Or hey, even if you don't have an IRL trip planned, there's plenty of travel you can do through reading. No matter what your summer plans are, there are plenty of books out there that show how truly life-changing a trip can be. Some of these books deal with unrequited love, others with heartbreak, and others with family relationships. But all of them are about discovering the people you love in unexpected places. For journeys of the body, spirit, and mind, look no further than these 10 books about the one trip that changed everything.
As you pack your bag for your summer holiday weekend, make sure to include one or two of these books in your travel bag — you won't regret it.
'The Summer of Us' by Cecilia Vinesse
Rae and Aubrey have been dreaming of their Euro trip since they were kids. But it's finally the summer before college, and the backpacking trip they're about to embark on is way more complicated than they could have imagined. Aubrey's dating Jonah, but she may have accidentally kissed Gabe. Meanwhile, Rae's crushing on their friend Clara, but Clara isn't into girls. As the five make their way through Europe, it all adds up to one unforgettable trip.
'Starry Eyes' by Jenn Bennett
Zorie and Lennon used to be best friends until a falling out at last year's homecoming dance turned them into enemies. But when a camping trip goes awry, the two find themselves stuck in the wilderness... alone.
'Just Visiting' by Dahlia Adler
In this exciting road trip book, best friends Reagan and Victoria embark on a trip to visit colleges before their senior year of high school. But as the trip progresses, and they stumble upon romance and adventure, they each learn that maybe everything they've always wanted isn't for them after all.
'Stranger Than Fanfiction' by Chris Colfer
From Glee star Chris Colfer, this book follows Cash Carter, the star of the hit show Wiz Kids. When four fans invite him along on a cross-country road trip, he surprises everyone by agreeing to come. But as the group set off on the road together, they discover that Cash is hiding some deep secrets.
'Love & Gelato' by Jenna Evans Welch
Lina is reluctantly spending the summer in Tuscany, only because it was her mother's dying wish that she get to know her estranged father. But when Lina is given a journal that belonged to her mother during her time in Italy, she begins to retrace her mother's footsteps, and uncovers a magical world—along with a secret that changes everything.
'Two Steps Forward' by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist
Every year, thousands flock to walk The Chemin (a.k.a. Camino de Santiago), a centuries-old pilgrim route that begins in France and ends in northwest Spain. Zoe, mourning the loss of her husband, has journeyed from California to walk the route. Martin, reeling from a messy divorce, has come from England to do the same. As the two set off, they find challenges and surprises every step of the way.
'Wanderlove' by Kirsten Hubbard
Eighteen-year-old Bria has always wanted to be a world traveler, so she signs up for a guided tour of Central America. But she's shocked to find that the tour isn't quite the adventure she was expecting, filled with middle-aged, fanny-pack-wearing tourists. But when she meets Rowan, a devoted backpacker and dive instructor, she jumps at the chance to join him off the beaten path.
'The Summer of Broken Things' by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Avery and Kayla used to be friends as kids, but now they barely know each other. So when Avery's dad invites Kayla on their family trip to Spain, Avery is less than thrilled. But when the two girls uncover a secret their families have been hiding from them, suddenly everything is different.
'And We're Off' by Dana Schwartz
Seventeen-year-old artist Nora Holmes can't wait to embark on an all-expenses-paid trek across Europe, funded by her painter grandfather. But everything seems to be ruined when, at the last minute, Nora's controlling mother decides to tag along. Now Nora's solo adventure has turned into a mother-daughter trip, and she just can't quite handle it.
'Layover' by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer
Of course, one of the most important moments in travel happen when things don't go according to plan. Step-siblings Flynn, Amos and Poppy's lives are changed forever when they purposefully miss their flight and embark on an adventure in LA.