Saturday, November 16, 2013

Writer's Wanderlust

I adore traveling—experiencing the world’s beauty thrills me, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than immersing myself in varied cultures, languages, art, food, and landscapes. I’ve been fortunate to travel to eleven different countries, but that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to where I want to go. There are still many squares in my passport that need to be stamped and pages in my travel journal I want to fill.

Many writers I know have serious cases of wanderlust, and I think that’s one of the reasons we enjoy reading so much! Books take us to places we’ve never been and help us experience those things which are foreign. At this time in my life, I don’t have the ability to do ALL the traveling I’d like (with two “tinys” at home), so I’m grateful for authors that stamp my reader’s passport with their books!

I’ve gazed at the majestic peaks of the Grand Teton Mountains with Clara Gardner in Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly.

I’ve walked the Jellicoe Road outside Sydney, Australia with Taylor Markham in Melina Marchetta’s On the Jellicoe Road.

I’ve sifted the red clay sand of Prince Edward Island with Anne Shirley in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.

I’ve toured the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with Claudia Kincaid in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  (A place I actually have been!)

I’ve wandered the dusty streets of Israel with Daniel bar Jamin in Elizabeth George Speare’s The Bronze Bow.

I’ve taken a turn among the rolling green hills and pristine lakes of England’s Lake District with Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

I’ve climbed the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with Christy in Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

And don’t even get me started on Paris, France! Ludwig Bemelman’s Madeline sparked my fascination with Paris, and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo matured it. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel Paris—twice—and loved every minute in the City of Lights. Lately, Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss has me itching to go back!

What about you? Do you have writer’s or reader’s wanderlust? To which places have your favorite books taken you?