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Samuel Turner

During your time abroad you’re bound to end up either trudging aimlessly around an airport, eating away time at a bus terminal or preferably lazing about on a hammock with the sand beneath your feet. For any occasion on the road, a good book is a crucial necessity. And I’m not talking about that behemoth of a Lonely Planet guide. Here are my personal favorite books for traveling that are equal parts incredible, concise and in my opinion - life changing.

The Secret

“Each of us can be lulled into remaining within our comfort zone. But once we get even a glimpse of real fulfilment, we can no longer feel content with the limited, available pleasures. We’ve started inexorably down the path to an entirely new, transcendent experience.”

The world-renowned The Secret is written by Michael Berg and contains some very spiritual and intriguing concepts in the dense hundred pages of the text. It blends Kabbalistic teachings, ancient wisdom and the author’s unique perspective to apparently unlock the source of joy and fulfilment in your life. It is definitely worth a read with easily comprehendible language and explanations. The simplicity of the book is its main drawcard. I’d tell you more, but you can discover The Secret on your own.

The Secret

Manuscript found in Accra

“The Unwanted Visitor visits those who don’t change and those who do. But those who did change can say: ‘My life was an interesting one. I didn’t squander my blessing.’ And to those who believe that adventures are dangerous, I say, try routine; that kills you far more quickly.”

This intriguing and influential piece by Paulo Coehlo actually is a work over seven hundred years in the making. Originally found in Egypt forty years ago, the Manuscript Found in Accra was carbon dated to 1307AD. The fictional classic details the citizens of the city of Jerusalem awaiting the invasion of the Crusaders. They consult the wise man of their town who addresses the people on many matters including fear, wisdom, sex, love and change. This masterpiece contains insightful gems on almost every page, with wise words evolving into valuable life lessons and teachings. Still relevant after seven centuries, there is a reason this manuscript has survived so long.

Manuscript found in Accra

The Greatest Salesman in the World, Part Two

“My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action.”

I found this old, dusty book in a hostel exchange. With little expectations I took it as a companion in the Amazon. This thirty year old book contains the story of an old retired salesman who wants to share his ‘Ten Scrolls of Success’ for those who seek to attain a better life. The story follows the ups and downs of his career, his religious struggle and the culmination of many life lessons along the way. It delivers the reader several ways to face their challenges in life, including acting now, laughing at the world and mastering your emotions. He too embarks on a journey, both physical and mental, and the reader joins his caravan.

The Greatest Salesman in the World

The Art of Success

“Don’t see the word as the city, state of country you live in. It’s a far bigger arena than that. Don’t limit the world to the profession, company or industry you work in – it is far broader. And don’t downsize the world based on where you have been and what you have accomplished so far – the possibilities for the future are vastly greater.”

Reading this book has been described as like having a coffee with the world’s greatest business minds. Even though the category is a little more serious, The Art of Success teaches many invaluable lessons usable in both the business world and your own day to day life. It teaches a change in your mentality is imperative in changing your daily habits, through a system called the ‘Seven Pillars’. These Seven Pillars include concepts such as embracing change and taking risks – an imperative concept to understand when you’re traveling.

The Alchemist

“When he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

Hands-down the best fictional companion whilst traveling, the whimsical writings of Paulo Coehlo transcend language and time making this an all-time classic (irrespective of its seemingly cliché popularity). The book, filled constantly with incredible metaphors on life, is a story about a shepherd boy risking it all to find treasure in a far away land and follow his ‘Personal Legend’. The young boy has a passion for traveling and many scenarios resonate with anyone out of their comfort zone, in a foreign country or hoping for something more than the mundane.

A good book does more than whisk you away to a far away universe – it teaches you something about yourself. What these books in particular teach you is that your mentality is the most important tool you have to enrich your life. And when you’re traveling, it just makes you enjoy it that much more.

The Alchemist

Don’t forget:

  • If you’re staying in a hostel, check out the book exchange. Even though usually quite bland, saunter through the countless travel guides and you can find a diamond in the rough.
  • A Kindle or E-reader can help to save space on bulky books. You can often snap up $5 steals as well on the App Store!
  • Disconnect from the Wi-Fi. Traveling gives you more time to enjoy the little things like getting engrossed in a good book.


Samuel Turner is an Australian journalist with a passion for adventure, travel and food. Follow him on Instagram @turnernator and Facebook Samuel Turner

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.