The travel that changed me: Shafik Meghji

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From the biggest myth in travel writing to the dream destination he hasn’t yet seen, author Shafik Meghji tells us about the travel that changed him

In his early teens, Shafik Meghji came to the conclusion that he wasn’t going to make it as a professional footballer. As such, he settled for the next best thing: a job as a roving sports reporter. He won a coveted Scott Trust Bursary from the Guardian which funded his diploma in newspaper journalism and led to a role at the Evening Standard. 

20 best books about Antarctica

A scene from Antarctic

From harrowing accounts of survival to the heartwarming tale of a rescued penguin, we list our favourite books about Antarctica

The most inhospitable place on Earth is an engrossing setting for any story, be it fictional or factual. Unsurprisingly, Antarctica’s literary canon is filled with tales of tragedy and/or survival against the odds. It would be easy, then, to fill this list with biographies of Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton alone. But Antarctica deserves attention beyond its tales of tragedy.

Best travel books 2022: our top 10 picks

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From a grumpy hiker’s outing in the mountains to the isolated shores of North Sentinel Island, we list the best travel books 2022

Travel memoirs are tricky beasts. In theory, 400 pages about someone else’s trip isn’t exactly appealing – like a protracted version of Jenny from Accounting’s week-long trip to Tuscany. 

Best mountaineering books: 27 great reads

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Updated for 2021, we list the best mountaineering books ever written, drawing on accounts of world-class climbers in the harshest environments

As I’ve mentioned many times before, my bookshelves are filled with tales of adventure travel, survival against the odds and obsessive searches.

I’m an avid climber keen on winter mountaineering and wild camping so, naturally, mountaineering books take up a good chunk of space on my shelf.

The travel that changed me: Tharik Hussain

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Kia speaks to author Tharik Hussain and explains why his book about Muslim Europe is changing her thoughts about her own religion

If I had read Minarets in the Mountains in my youth, I would have almost certainly felt differently about my religion. My parents were Bangladeshi immigrants to the UK and in an effort to cling on to their identity, followed a highly prescriptive version of Islam that wasn’t very much fun.

The travel that changed me: Vaseem Khan

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Gateway of India in Mumbai, IndiaAiko3p/Shutterstock

Award-winning writer Vaseem Khan tells us how India’s ‘city of dreams’ turned him into an author

There’s no denying it: Vaseem Khan is an overachiever. Born and raised in Newham (one of the UK’s most deprived areas), Vaseem went on to study at the London School of Economics, one of the best universities in the world. 

The travel that changed me: Amit Patel

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Author Amit Patel tells us about his favourite trip, what remains on his bucket list and how travel changed for him after his sight loss

Amit Patel was born to be a boy racer. In his teens, he nearly rode himself (and two of his friends) into a pond on a clapped-out motorbike. Around the same time, he joined his local squadron of the Air Training Corps and took to the skies every chance he got. When he finished his GCSEs, he celebrated by jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet.

Adventure travel books 2021: our top 10 picks

We share the best adventure travel books 2021 and explain why each should be on your reading list

From a cross-country road trip in a hostile America to boundless sand dunes in remote China, our crop of adventure travel books 2021 have one thing in common: their journeys are more than just physical. 

The travel that changed me: Roz Watkins

Dal Lake in KashmirTappasan Phurisamrit/Shutterstock

From trekking in the hills of Kashmir to evading a rhino in India, author Roz Watkins tells us about the travel that changed her

Roz Watkins is the author of the critically-acclaimed DI Meg Dalton crime series. Set in the Peak District, her novels are known for their extraordinary sense of place. Think moody moors, gnarled forests and creepy local lore. Her protagonist is spirited and sensitive, but what draws me most strongly to Roz’s work is her willingness to venture into the darker corners of society. 

The travel that changed me: Jini Reddy

From trekking in Nepal to exploring Iran and Pakistan, author Jini Reddy regales us with tales of the travel that changed her

If there were ever an international woman of mystery, she would likely have been a lot like Jini Reddy. A British author and journalist, Jini has lived in London, Montreal, Hong Kong, Provence and Tbilisi. 

10 books to transport you to the world’s most visited countries

Sample the world’s most popular destinations without leaving your home

On a normal spring day, you can expect the Champ de Mars in Paris to be teeming with tourists. This vibrant swatch of green offers iconic views of the Eiffel Tower and hosts droves of visitors every year – possibly as many as 80 million. France is after all the most visited country in the world. 

The travel that changed me: William Dalrymple

From the footsteps of Marco Polo to the dream destination he hasn’t yet seen, author William Dalrymple tells us about the travel that changed him

William Dalrymple was born in Scotland in 1965. At the age of 22, he set off to follow on foot the outward route of Marco Polo from Jerusalem to Mongolia. The journey inspired In Xanadu, the highly acclaimed bestseller which marked the beginning of a long and illustrious career.

Announcing Kia’s new book: Take It Back

Take It Back is a gripping courtroom drama perfect for fans of Apple Tree Yard, He Said/She Said and Anatomy of a Scandal

The day I got a book deal started inauspiciously. Our group of 13 had camped for a night in the Australian Outback after battling broken air conditioning in 40°C heat, a cracked windshield, a change of vehicle and an alarming array of bugs at night – as well as a snake and dingo. 

Best sailing books: 25 tales inspired by the sea

another montage of eight sailing booksAtlas & Boots

A list of the best sailing books including memoirs, novels and biographies, constituting the most fascinating nautical tales ever penned

After recently compiling a list of the best sailing movies we’ve seen, I was prompted into some related reading. Fresh from a delivery of sailing bestsellers (and less-sellers), I’ve put together a list of the best sailing books.

15 best books about Myanmar

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We wrap up our series on this extraordinary country by browsing through the best books about Myanmar and the insights offered within their pages

Before I visit a country, I like to read a book or two about the destination to get a sense of the place and culture. For Myanmar, it had to be George Orwell’s Burmese Days, a dark and fascinating insight into British colonial Burma and the disgust Orwell felt towards the system he was a part of. 

22 books about obsessive searches

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We list some excellent books about obsessive searches – perfect reading for your own journeys of discovery

All travel to some extent is about searching. It may be a deep and yearning search for fulfilment, a soul-wrenching quest for absolution, or something far more base (Thailand, anyone?).

For some, travel is a way to silence an echoing need, be it for knowledge, enlightenment, glory or revenge. These obsessive searches take travellers on great journeys across the wild, usually giving rise to incredible tales of incredible lands. At times, these tales are humbling; at others, they are exasperating but never are they boring.

Best books about survival: 25 true life tales

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Our selection of the best books about survival includes astonishing accounts of endurance to tales of daring escape and everything in between

Books about survival demonstrate what humans are capable of when pushed to their limits. Whether it’s the treacherous slopes of a mountain in hurricane-force winds, being cast adrift in the middle of the ocean or a hellish trek through arid desert, the challenges described within illustrate the true strength of the human spirit.

25 best-selling expat books of 2015

Over the last 18 months, Kia and I have been away from home either on the road or holed up in our tiny French village. As with many people, our reading habits changed to reflect our lifestyle which means we’ve worked our way through a rather eclectic mix of guidebooks, adventure travel books and ‘expat books’, tales of leaving behind ordinary lives in pursuit of something new. 

With Christmas fast approaching, we decided to take a look at some of the best-selling expat books of 2015 – perfect gifts for those living away from home or contemplating the leap for 2016.

25 best-selling adventure travel books of 2015

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My bookshelves and Kindle are filled with tales of against-the-odds Antarctic survival, deathly mountaineering endeavours and Hemingway-esque journeys that change lives and shift perceptions. I know what I like and adventure travel books unfailingly engross me from cover to cover. 

With Christmas fast approaching, we take a look at Amazon’s best-selling adventure travel books of 2015 – perfect gifts for would-be adventurers like me.