Before going on a journey, there is always an idea that precedes, an idea that one day, arises from the depths and becomes lancinating until you obsess. This idea of the type of journey, of the way, and of what one will come for, rarely imposes itself, not often, in any case, without recourse to the experience of other travelers who have preceded you on the tracks you want to take. Whether it’s the return of a friend or after reading a magazine, the adventure begins with the inspiration of others.
But what better support than the adventure story? The story, complete, that lasts hundreds of pages with which one lives the time of a book an adventure by proxy. We dive with the explorer in his quest, in his effort, in his joys and his sorrows, and above all, in the wide-open spaces with the unattainable horizon that he crosses.
The reading of an adventure story is, therefore, a perfect vehicle to give birth to the idea of travel and adventure, to get out of one’s daily life, and to seek out experiences rich in sensations and evocative power.
Here is a list of my best adventure stories, (which of course is only my opinion and is limited to what I have read) of those that made me dream the most. As we close the pages, we can all ask, ” What About Us?
This little book has aroused many vocations and must arouse some more. It has, in any case, engraved with me the desire to make a great trip by bike (6 good reasons to travel by bike). But where I only followed a tilled path, Sylvain Tesson and Alexandre Poussin did it at a time when it was a small feat.
They recount, from the height of their twenties, and with a style that already foreshadows the writers that they will become, their adventures throughout this year where they will travel 25,000 km. Improvisation and resourcefulness, burlesque anecdotes, small and big frustrations, but also reflection and poetry pop up the story of their trip.
Today, both successful travel writers, this journey is the beginning of their lives as adventurers. And reading this book could become the beginning of yours.
Mike Horn is the prototype of the extreme adventurer, alone against the natural elements. He always has Adventures in proportion to his exceptional stamina, resilience, and mind.
Latitude Zero is the adventure story of his first great epic, where he tells how he traveled 40,000 kilometers following the line of the equator (more or less 40 kilometers). Leaving Gabon, west of the African continent, it will take seventeen months to return to its starting point. It will cross 3 Oceans in solitude, the Amazon forest (which is already an incredible feat in itself!), and even the war in which he was arrested in the Congo by rebels who wanted to execute him. An extraordinary adventure to read If you’re going to experience the most extreme.
Once again Mike Horn in an expedition that will confront him to his limits: to go around the world following the Arctic Circle is 20,000 kilometers in two years, and, therefore, two winters that will plunge him into total darkness for one year (this is what I find the craziest!). Take the temperature of the story with this quote:
“I almost died in the icy water, I felt the fangs of the polar bears against my face, I survived temperatures of minus sixty; I made detours of twelve hundred kilometers in the total night of the Arctic winter, I had the fingers, face and even lungs frozen, I struggled five days, and five nights, in my boat punctured by a tree trunk, I lost all my equipment, and I began to burn alive… the Arctic is merciless. Everything I faced was new to me. I found the courage to overcome certain trials only because I did not know the suffering they would represent. »
Although I find his fight of “me against the natural elements” a little tiring at times, he must be recognized as a force of life and an exceptional physical and mental power.
Cover inside pole jean Louis Etienne this adventure story could also take part in the category “adventure trail” that we find below. But I chose to put it in this one because it is essentially an adventurer turned towards the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic) or the high mountain (by the way for those who are not very comfortable with the Cold, The Practical guide to stop having cold outside).
Between the stories of his crossing the Antarctic sled dogs with a multinational team, his conquest of the North Pole, thus becoming the first French to reach the northernmost point of the planet, and the first to reach it alone, or his expeditions as a doctor in the Himalayas, Jean-Louis Etienne has an extraordinary life.
In this book, he tells both his expeditions, but he also wonders about the foundations of his need for adventure and what this call evokes. How can we help each one of us reach the end of our dreams?