Travel Bug

Jessie: Basking like a lizard in the warmth that has finally arrived in New Hampshire! 


Most people agree summer is a great time for travel. The recent spike in the temperature in my village has me thinking about books that have sparked my interest in a variety of travel destinations, both near and far.

You know those books that make you wonder what it would be like to vacation in a place you had never before considered visiting? Often times a novel will prompt me to go digging into non-fiction resources about the setting. I have a list of places I’d love to see because of books I’ve enjoyed.

M.C.Beaton‘s books have encouraged an interest in the Scottish Highlands and the Cotswolds.  Elly Griffiths inspires consideration of Norfolk, England. Elizabeth Kostova‘s The Historian makes me want to book a trip to Turkey and to Eastern Europe.

Henning Mankell‘s Dogs of Riga and Annie Proulx‘s The Shipping News make me long to see Latvia and Newfoundland.

Alexander McCall Smith makes Botswana sound like one of the loveliest places on Earth. Kerry Greenwood has done the same for Australia. Leighton Gage shared a compelling view of Brazil in his Chief Inspector Mario Silva mysteries.

I love being an armchair traveller but what I love even more is following through with actual travel plans. Thanks to Arnaldur Indridason’s work, I’ve planned a trip to Iceland in the autumn. I hope my books set in New Hampshire and my upcoming mystery, Whispers Beyond the Veil, have caused some readers to want to visit New England someday too!

Readers, have you ever been inspired to visit a place based on the way it is portrayed in a novel? 

21 Thoughts

  1. Even before Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series Nevil Shute made me want to not only visit but to live in Australia.

  2. I so agree about Botswana, Jessie. And even though I have been to the part of Quebec where Louise Penny plopped Three Pines, I still want to go there and try to find it!

  3. Lucy Burdette’s Key West Food Critic Mystery series makes Key West sound so wonderful, I may have to head down there some day!

  4. I confess I let Mary Stewart send me to several different countries (although I haven’t yet made it to Greece, alas). Dorothy Sayers made me yearn for Oxford (I read Gaudy Night first). And I agree with you, Jessie–Elly Griffiths conveys a great sense of place. You’ll have to tell us all about Iceland!

  5. Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, and the list goes on and on! Lynn Hamilton was probably the most recent influence. I loved her character’s trips to lands rich in art and culture. Jessie, I made it to Iceland last summer, and I can’t tell you how much I loved it. Fascinating, like no place I’ve ever been. Go!!! 🙂

  6. I love Donna Leon’s Venice and Rebecca Pawel’s wonderful Carlos Tejada Alonso y Leon Investigations, about a Spanish Nationalist and officer in the Guardia in love with a Spanish Republican during and after the Spanish Civil War, which allow me to time travel and travel-travel at the same time.

    1. I love books that let you double-dip on location and time. I really loved The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker for that experience. It is set at the turn of the last century in NYC and was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

  7. So many!

    When I graduated from college, my college graduation “present” was a trip to Europe for my parents, my younger brother, and myself. (Sorry, it was an excuse they’d been saving for. Not that I didn’t have a fabulous time.) They planned most of the trip, but I did get input on two places. We started in the Netherlands and visited Corrie ten Boom’s house. Everyone in the family had read The Hiding Place at that time, her story of her family’s work to hide Jews during World War II. Then we ended in Switzerland so we could visit Chateau Cheion (can’t remember how it is spelled right now). I’d just read about it in a Mrs. Pollifax book, and I wanted to see it in real life.

    Places I’d love to visit based on books I’ve read? Key West. Australia (thanks to Sandy Dengler’s books), Wales (thanks to Rhys Bowen’s Evan Evans series), and New England would be fun after reading so many Wicked Cozy mysteries.

    Someday I will have the money to travel and the time to travel at the same time.

    1. What a lovely trip it sounds like you had! And that is the trick, isn’t it, Mark? Having time when you have money and money when you have time? I hope you have them together as soon as you’d like!

  8. For me it is the reverse. I tend to choose books that are set (even if it is fictional) in places I am familiar with. The funniest experience I ever had, was the first time we went to Savannah. I did not read IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL nor did I watch that terrible tmovie. But, every one we met asked us if we were in Savannah because of the “book.” I was there simply to be is a very unique haunted wicked city. And no I have still not read the “book.”

    1. Reading books about places you’ve visited feel a bit like visiting again, doesn’t it? Savannah is another place I’d like to visit.

  9. Dorothy Sayers gave me the bug to see Oxford; Agatha Christie those Cotswolds towns. I’ve been three times and will still go back!

  10. I feel like every time I read a cozy mystery I want to go visit the place where it is set. I have to say that I live close to New England and thanks to Barbra Ross (and Thomas the Tank Engine) we are planning a vacation to Maine with a stop on the way back to see Thomas.

  11. Because of my family roots, Erin Hart and Sheila Connolly’s books make me want to go to Ireland (and also because I LOVE traditional Celtic music) and Rhys Bowen’s books call me to Wales. And I know he’s not a cozy writer, but Tony Hillerman’s books make me want to visit the Southwest.

Comments are closed.