Some people would argue that books can’t make you do anything, but I disagree. A book can impact you in ways that you never could have imagined. If you want to quit your job and travel the world, here are some books I would recommend.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This is a simple parable about a shepherd boy in Spain who goes out in the world to discover himself. Along the way he encounters surprising lessons from places he never expected and battles internal conflicts that had held him back. The message to me was that you will never find anything if you don’t go out looking—even if it’s not what you had expected to find.
(You might also like: Candide by Voltaire)
The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
Kerouac and his friend Japhy explore the tenets of Buddhism as they traverse the country and seek transcendence amidst their chaotic lives. If you’re a curious person who is seeking fulfillment and adventure, this book will speak to you too.
(You might also like: On the Road by Jack Kerouac)
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
So many of that expats I’ve met in Madrid have read this book. It’s based on a trip that Hemingway once took from Paris to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls. I once followed the route that he took in the novel and it was during that trip that I decided to move to Spain. Maybe you will too.
(You might also like: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway)
Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer
Krakauer writes about professional football player Pat Tillman who left the NFL and joined the military after 9/11. He was sent Afghanistan and was eventually killed by friendly fire. Tillman was an incredibly thoughtful and principled man who gave up fame and fortune for what he believed in.
(You might also like: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer)
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
This book tells the tale of a prince named Siddhartha who leaves home in search of enlightenment. He shuns traditional paths presented to him in favor of finding his own way. He is continually exploring new ideas as he grapples with his own sense of meaning and purpose.
(You might also like: Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
The Cage: Escaping the American Dream by Rollie Peterkin
Of course, before you read any of the above books, you should read this one. It tells the story of how I left behind my career as a Wall Street bond trader and moved to Peru to become a professional MMA fighter. It was a terrifying decision, but the adventures I’ve had since then have been worth more than any amount of money could buy.