“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel
without moving your feet.”
In a recent post I asked which books and movies had inspired you to travel. Your responses were wonderful and numerous. In the quick and easy replies, Italy and France took the lead in enticing you to worlds formerly undiscovered.
Some titles mentioned are both book and movie; certainly an enticing story deserves to be told in more than one medium. Readers cited “Under the Tuscan Sun” (book and movie), “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Summertime,” “Rome Adventure,” “Roman Holiday,” “It Started in Naples,” and “Tea with Mussolini.” Italy has done very well in the movies. I remember wondering if the Italian board of tourism had contributed heavily to the filming of “Only You.” It does as much to glamorize the wonders of Italy as any of those silver screen romances above.
Other readers reported books set in France as the key to later riches. I had mentioned All the Light We Cannot See in my write-up. Another title which people bring up whenever that is mentioned is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay is also set in Paris during World War II. But it was The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (about Hemingway’s first marriage) which drew the most enthusiastic comments. I am currently listening to this in preparation for Paris! It reads like a Who’s Who of early 20th century literature. And yes, it is whetting my appetite for the Left Bank of Paris.
One reader reached far back into her memories to cite an entire collection of inspirations. Who among us has not been fascinated by National Geographic for introducing us to destinations and wonders literally all over the world?
In a similar vein she credits her high school biology text with inspiring her to go to the Galapagos upon learning of Darwin and his finches. Her history and art history books inspired her to travel all over Europe and Asia and to visit native cultures in Mexico, Central and South America.
The book and film Lost Horizon inspired her to visit Tibet for her “most interesting travel adventure” among many.
Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder inspired her to go to the Amazon.
The Diary of Anne Frank inspired her to go to Amsterdam and meet the people who braved being executed by sheltering their Jewish neighbors.
What a robust endorsement all this is for education! Open those books with care! You never know what fire might be sparked in your life. But don’t let that stop you reading – or traveling.
Boundaries divide. Travel unites.
1 October 2015