Wanderlust and Books

We all know that books have the power to take us anywhere; give us real emotions from their fictional worlds, but also letting us travel to destinations we never have physically been to.Some places are so inviting and such an important part of the story that we feel a pull to go there, whether it is because of the plot, the setting or the characters. We want to do what they did, see what they saw, and feel what they felt. I thought I’d share some of the books that were at the origin of these feelings of wanderlust in me and of the places they stirred me towards.

Right away I can tell you I live in the mid-east of Canada. Regardless of books, I’ve always been attracted to the West Coast. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to “study” at the University of British Columbia and visit Vancouver for a month. I had the best time of my life. I’ve been wanting to go back and even move there since. The West coast is such a different environment, people are different, lifestyle is different, climate is different. I’d also like to visit the states of Washington and California.

Back to subject:

UK (LONDON)

– All The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

InfernalDevices

A lot of books take place in the UK, especially in London. Being an old city, one of the first industrialized one, she’s widely known and widely popular. I’ve never been to Europe but if I had that chance, that’s were I would want to go first. What I enjoyed in the Infernal Devices specifically is the description of architecture and landscape. I could picture it in my mind and feel like I was there.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (or any of Dickens’ novels, really)

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Dickens lived in London and all of his stories took place there. His writing is so rich in descriptions and details, so atmospheric, that his whole work became the representation of a time period. It isn’t rare to hear “Dickensian London” to describe that era in more contemporary author’s work. My favorite is A Christmas Carol, as it is full of value and moral, and the one story I will never get tired of reading every year. There is also a lot of classical London traditions woven in the story.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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This story happens in our world during a fictional third world war and most of it takes places in the countryside somewhere in the UK. They’re just a bunch of kids hiding and waiting in their farmhouse and enjoying the good side of life before the bad takes it all away. They run free through the mountains, the woods, the lakes, they play with animals, they enjoy the nice temperature of summer… the whole landscape description is just so heavenly to me, even if the story itself isn’t. I just know by watching a lot of movie set in the English countryside that it’s always very green and wide and beautiful, and that book reinforced that image in my mind.

UK (SCOTLAND)

– All the Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

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Ok so some of you lesser fans (lol, no offense intended) might want to tell me “Harry Potter is totally taking place in England honey” well you’re half right. Harry’s former house, on Private Drive, is indeed in the suburbs around London and King’s Cross Platform 9 ¾ is also directly in London. But Hogwarts is hidden somewhere between the hills in Scotland. And that’s what I’m interested about. It may be a mix of what I saw in the movie and what I read in the books but all that open space and clean air around the castle makes me want to go so bad. Scotland is just above England too.

 – The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

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I’ve only read half the first book of this huge series, but I already love it. Again, most of it takes place in Scotland a few hundreds of years ago, when electricity wasn’t a thing. I guess I’m attracted by that whole countryside oldschool way of living. I’m sure If I’d read any Jane Austen (I haven’t, I know I know) I’d be even more attracted to that whole region.

USA

Amy and Roger’s by Morgan Matson (Kentucky, Colorado, Yosemite, South Carolina, Tennessee)

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This is a roadtrip book that I feel has gotten a lot of hype these past 2 years so I don’t feel the need to talk about it too much except that I want to go everywhere they went. I want to see it all!

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (NY)

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This story takes place in New York like many others, but it feels more intimate. We usually hear about New York in the big city way, while for Dash and Lily, it’s just their home city. They’re living ordinary lives, and we get to see them go to their regular favorite places, stores, restaurants and it makes us want to live there and do the same.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Pacific Northwest)

Twilight

Now this might be a surprise. Forks and the whole Seattle region is described in these books as the rainiest, cloudiest part of the US. Nothing too appealing there, I agree. But like you may have noticed by now, I like places where nature is an important part of the picture. The way she described all the huge trees, the lush dark green forest, the crisp air and the ocean made me want to visit the Pacific Northwest region so bad. I feel like I may be overestimating the whole panorama and it probably wouldnt be as fun as I want it to be, but it’s still one of the first books that really made me want to go to a specific place. Also, I’ve always lived in the suburbs of a big city, where you don’t necessarily know your neighbors and public transport is everywhere etc so the small tiny town where everybody knows eachother always appeals to me too.

Into the wild (Southwest to south to west to mid to Northwest Canada to Alaska)

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Lastly, this story made a lasting impression on me. I say story because I prefered the movie, that I watched prior to reading the book. What is so special about it is that it is based on a true story, and pretty accurately if I might add (I did some research). The ending is not what pulls me, obviously, but the journey and all the people he met. He had quite a trajectory and visited many places. You can have an idea of his route on this map. I strongly suggest you watch that movie if you haven’t already, as it is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen (and it was directed by Sean Penn).

Have you read any of these books and have you felt the same way I did? If not, what are the books that gave you wanderlust? Comment below and let me know!

Happy Reading 🙂

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