A few weeks ago, I was hit with the wanderlust bug. For a long time, the thing that has bothered me the most about my anxiety was the fact that I can’t travel anymore. I long for places I’ve never seen – with Scotland and Ireland being the most obvious examples. These are countries that call to my heart and sing to my soul. I want to discover everything, feel the atmosphere, talk to the people, walk the little cobblestone streets and simply enjoy the feeling of absorbing another culture.
Some of my best memories are from when I was on holiday. Like celebrating my 20th birthday on top of a cruise ship, in a hot tub, as we slowly sailed through the majestic Norwegian fjords by sunset. Or wading through an almost magical-like, enchanting forest in the Canary Islands. Or falling in love with Dublin as we explored its streets and shops.
There’s just this small problem of me having agoraphobia and not being able to travel, which is a bit of a pain in the butt. It’s one of the things I miss most – the exploring, the trying out, the sightseeing, the wondering. I’m working on it, I really am, and I sincerely hope that I can make that step soon(ish). In the meantime, though, I’ll have to get lost in the world of books.
To quell this sudden craving for travel, I’ve decided to order a few travelling books. No guides or anything, but books where characters go on road trips or travel to another country, as we discover other cultures through these characters’ eyes; or simply stories that are set in a different country. Stories that make you feel like you’re there with them, taking in the scenery and tasting the foods. Stories that make you feel alive.
I have a few gems to share with you. You will love these if you’ve grown tired of the same contemporary American towns. They will be like a breath of fresh air.
Wanderlost || In which Aubree, who has never even left her state, suddenly has to replace her sister and unexpectedly goes on a trip around Europe. Amsterdam, Vienna, and Prague are just a few cities where Aubree will leave her footprints. It’s extremely funny and the romance is to gobble up.
Happiness for Beginners || Thirtysomething Helen signs up for a survival course in the middle of the mountains and wilderness with a bunch of strangers. Yes, for fun. And to find happiness. I loved how relatable Helen was, and the mountains are a really nice setting for her story.
Eat, Pray, Love || A non-fiction story by Elizabeth Gilbert, who went away to find herself again. She travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia. It’s a bit slow at times, but it made me smile a lot and warmed my heart.
The Suffering || Seems a little out of place in the midst of all the contemporaries, but honestly, I loved the setting of this book. Tark travels to Aokigahara forest, also known as the suicide forest of Japan. It was properly creepy.
Anna and the French Kiss || With those in love with the city of Paris.
Meant to Be || “Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London.”
About A Girl || Your typical chicklit, set in Hawaii. There’s a ditzy main character, two very handsome love interests, a lot of alcohol, and a very healthy dose of humour.
How Not to Travel the World || I haven’t finished this one yet. I’m currently in the middle of a buddy read with my former #otspsecretsister, Nat. I’m really excited about this one. It sounds like a great read!
“I have the utmost respect for girls who travel alone, because it’s hard work sometimes. But girls, we just want adventures. We want international best friends and hold-your-breath vistas out of crappy hostel windows. We want to discover moving works of art, sometimes in museums and sometimes in side-street graffiti. We want to hear soul-restoring jam sessions at beach bonfires and to watch celestial dawns spill over villages that haven’t changed since the Middle Ages.
We want to fall in love with boys with say-that-again accents. We want sore feet from stay-up-all-night dance parties at just-one-more-drink bars.
We want to be on our own even as we sketch and photograph the Piazza San Marco covered in pigeons and beautiful Italian lovers intertwined so that we’ll never forget what it feels like to be twenty-three and absolutely purposeless and single, but in love with every city we visit next.”
– Girls Who Travel, Nicole Trilivas