Books That Inspired Me To Travel

Books and traveling… Two of my most favorite things in life.

If I´m not reading / book blogging or going after my highly demanding duties as a mom and wife I´m always on tour. And by on tour I don´t mean hopping in the car and visiting surrounding cities. I mean I actually do some serious country hopping.

Some say it´s because I´m an Aquarius ( I fail to see that connection ). Some say I travel a lot because I´m bored out of my wits….

I think it´goes deeper than that. You see, I´m an Army brat. I´ve been to places. I´ve seen my fair share of countries against my will as a kid ( because moving a lot and having to make new friends at a new school ALWAYS sucked ). Years ago, once I settled down and stopped moving, I felt a certain unease. I felt caged by life. It´s funny because, as a kid I wanted nothing more than for my family to settle down. When I became an adult I didn´t want to be settled. I wanted out. And not only out of the house. I wanted out of the country. To be able to see new places, taste new dishes, meet new people and just…. enjoy what the world has to offer.

What I used to hate with a passion became by second greatest passion.

Reading books helped a lot to ease the nerve wrecking itch I felt. I had the power to dive into a story and live wherever the story was set at. But books only helped to a limited extent. I actually WANTED to visit the places I read about. I wanted to be in Paris and sit at a Café and drink hot chocolate while watching tourists and Parisians pass by. I wanted to walk through the Black Forest and feel the Snow White aura.

But reading about those fabulous places and seeing them with your own eyes are two completely different things.

Sure, I could gush over the beautiful details talented authors provide. And I do. I soak up every stinking detail authors give on certain places. Some writers are brilliant at painting a picture for a reader.

But wouldn´t it be even better to visit those places that inspired authors to include in their stories?

My grande idea: Visit the places I loved so much in books.

I´d like to clarify something real quick before I´m shoved into an unloving category.

I live in central Europe. In Germany, to be exact. And, flights are super cheap within Europe. I can be in a lot of places within 1 – 2 hours ( flight!) for a more than affordable price. Of course, taking the car is also cheap. But who wants to sit in a car for 12 hours when they can book a flight to the UK for 14.00 Euros pP. ?

 

Here are the books that inspired me to travel. Cities and countries I highly recommend any book lover ( and non book lover ) to visit soon!

 

Outlander – Diana Gabaldonoutlander

Genre – Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Romance

Set in – Highlands, Scotland

 

Outlander made me visit Scotland and boy, was I ever grateful I decided to do a short trip through the Highlands. The people were amazingly friendly, the weather was perfect ( for me ). The food was exactly the way I like it – Hearty. It didn´t matter where I went I was surrounded by the magic so many authors swoon about in their stories.

Seven Ages Of Paris – Alistair Horneseven ages of paris

Genre – History, Non Fiction

About – Paris, France

 

What can I say? I´m a sucker for knowledge. I love to learn new things. And…I love to know things. Knowing stuff rocks. Paris is my go – to place when I can´t decide where to travel next. The city is actually not the cleanest but it definitely has that special flair that´s been described in many books. You can literally smell and taste the history when you walk the old streets and visit certain areas of the city. The people aren´t as friendly as they are in the UK but since I´m used to rudeness ( yeah. Germans aren´t known to be a friendly bunch, either ) I have no problem with Parisians.

 

Goddess Of Yesterday – Caroline B. Cooney goddess of yesterday

Genre – Fantasy, YA, Mythology

Set in – Greece

I´m some – what of a Greek Mythology geek. For as long as I can remember I´ve loved stories told about the Gods. Hence the reason why I´ll read anything involving Greek Mythology.

 

Sadly enough, I only have 1 picture from my 2009 Greece vacation because my, then 2 yr old daughter, deleted them. All 200 pictures. But I have those great memories to hang on to. Greece is one of those history packed countries where you can also feel it´s ancient aura. The people are great. The food…. GOOD GODS ABOVE! You´ll think you´re in Heaven when you eat a Gyros Pita. It´s truly no wonder many authors choose Greece for their story and / or write about Greek Mythology.

 

Fingersmith – Sarah Waters Fingersmith

Genre – Mystery, Historical Fiction

Set in – London, UK

 

To be honest- this isn´t the book that set off my need to travel to London. Many MANY books before the Fingersmith had accomplished that years before. Still, a great book, though. London belongs to the cities I´ll never grow tired of. The city flair matches no other. It´s a super busy place and I get lost every time I´m there. The people “bless” me all the time ( which can get confusing because I only use the term when someone sneezes ). Plus- I get to see my bestie when I visit.  London is just THE place to be.

 

Zoo Station – Christiane F. Zoo Station

Genre – Non Fiction, Biography

Set in – Berlin, Germany

 

This was the first book I read that was set in Berlin. Of course, the true story of a teenage drug addict didn´t necessarily inspire me to travel to Berlin. The book itself is not for the faint of heart but still worth reading ( even if it´s to cure teenagers from taking drugs. THAT´S how graphic this book is). No. It wasn´t Christiane F´s story that made me want to visit the city with depressing history. I´ve always been some – what of a fan of the Golden 20´s era in Berlin.  I thought some of that magic was still lurking around ( like it does with Paris and London ) but, nope. I´d say Berlin is my LEAST favorite city in all Europe. It´s just…. super modern and super sad. You get an awful lot of reminders of how Berlin ( or Germany, for that matter) had once suffered. I understand the importance of history. But… there´s needs to be a break somewhere. Still, the place is packed with tourists from all over the world.

 

PS, I Love You – Cecelia Ahern PS I love you

Genre – Romance, Chick Lit

Set In – Ireland

 

 

Ireland is the place I want to retire at. I want to spend the rest of my glorious old days on the small Island, preferably out in the country, living in a cozy cottage, surrounded by sheep. I LOVE Ireland. Ever since I read PS, I Love You I wanted to visit. And when I did I refused to leave. What a beautiful place. The weather is definitely something you could argue over but the rest? That´s the place I want to be. I can hear Ireland calling my name.

 

Midnight In Sicily – Peter RobbMidnight in Sicily

Genre – Non Fiction, Cultural

Set In – Sicily, Italy

 

While Sicily isn´t and has never been on my Top 10 list of place I want to travel, Italy was.

This book is a glorious piece of wonderful, but I sort of lost interest in visiting Sicily. IT`S DANGEROUS! People don´t gossip for nothing. And when someone writes a great book on the good and bad of that Island then you´ll think twice before booking a flight. But the rest of Italy is fantabulous! My favorite cities are, without a doubt, Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence and Pisa ( because I tackle all the tourist favorites before getting lost in the middle of nowhere).

And then there´s Pasta. Need I say more?

 

Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm – The Grimm Brothers grimm

Genre – Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Children, Classic

Set In – Germany

 

I really REALLY don´t want to toot my horn, here. Seriously, I don´t. But there is NO WAY I can leave this one out. I live just a handful of miles away from where the Grimm Brothers were born and where they grew up. Yupp. I´ve walked through the forest where they got some of their inspiration for their Fairy Tales. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Yes. My all time favorite Fairy Tale story tellers. Of course, I was unaware of that fact for years ( It took 5 years after moving to Germany for someone to point that little fun fact out. 5 YEARS!), which makes the whole situation more exciting for me. their history is just a short car drive away from my house! It´s a feeling that comes close to winning the lottery.

 

Of course, there are quite a few more places I´ve been to but those countries / cities had nothing to do with books / story settings.

 

Is there a book that inspired you to travel somewhere? Where was the destination? Or have you ever taken a literary – themed vacation? Is there a book place you´d love to travel to?

 

I hope you enjoyed my little travel / book inspiration adventure. Thank you for reading! ❤

 

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mug Monday & Bookish Private Life

Bookish Private Life Topic

My daughter´s dream career.

Mug Info

Disney´s Baby Princesses Mug- Purchased in Paris

 

Happy Mug Monday!

It feels like I haven´t done one of these since…. Okay. I can´t remember. Let´s forget about that.

My topic of the week is something I´ve been wanting to share for a while but with my girls around ( and me falling asleep right when Mommy Time starts ) it´s hard to share bookish stories about my private life.

It´s probably known by now that I have 2 girls. Eve, my 10-year-old day dreamer… And Lillian, my 6-year-old firecracker. They don´t kid you when they say you´ll never have two of the same kind ( and by “they” I´m referring to the neighbors, my mother, mother in-law and every other woman who had kids and even the one´s who don´t have kids ).

For a while now, my babies are living out the phase of making plans for their future.

“I wanna be a dancer / a singer / a firefighter / a vet. I wanna pick flowers for a living!”

Most of the time those bold statements are followed by these questions:

“Do I have to see blood when I become a vet? Can I be one without having to deal with blood? Do I have to dance in front of an audience, or can I just dance at home?”

Innocent questions asked by innocent minds and all those dream jobs and questions come from my youngest, Lillian. Eve has only had one dream job she´s been wanting to do ever since the job picking phase in my house started.

She wants to become a writer.

“Mommy, what do I have to do to become a writer?”

She´s 10, so she can deal with the truth, right?

The first thing I wanted to say was, “Are you sure?!” but decided I didn´t want to make her doubt her choice of profession.

“Baby, being a writer is hard work. It´s not as easy as you think it is.” Is what I say to her, instead. And it´s true. Being a writer isn´t easy. Not that I´ve experienced that at first hand…. I haven´t. I´m not an author. But thanks to the blogging years I have under my belt I´ve seen enough struggling authors to last me a lifetime.

“What´s not easy about being an author? I have tons of ideas, Mom.” And I see the determination in her eyes. She wants to become a writer and she isn´t going to allow me to crush that dream for her. She has yet to comprehend that I´m not crushing any dreams… I´m helping her understand the hardships of being a writer.

“It´s not only about ideas, babe. If you have the ideas then collect them. Add to those ideas. Write them all down. You can even use my laptop to write. Make sticky notes and plaster your room with them. Take a notepad to school with you, incase you think of something fabulous to write about. Just never let that idea disappear.  But, what good are ideas if you have no one who reads them?”

I think this is a point a lot of authors can relate to. Not my child, though. For her, it´s more than enough if me, my husband, both Grandma´s and a few school friends read her stories. And that´s more than fine. In fact- If that´s the route she believes she should take then she has my full support.

Have I mentioned how determined Eve is? Ever since our little discussion she´s been writing like a mad – child. Every night she presents a new chapter of her latest “Moonlight Wolf” short story and wants me to edit the chapters for her at night.

mug i
Right side- My daughter´s chapters, waiting for edits.

Am I proud? Definitely! She wants to be a writer. If that´s her dream job then I´m the last person to object. Who am I to argue with someone over their dreams, right?

Now, to the mug…. Dear Heavens above! Last year we thought a Family Trip to Paris would be a great idea. All 4 of us, driving down to the city of love. The girls made HUGE plans. All they wanted to see was the Eiffel Tower and the rest?… They didn´t care much for whatever else Paris had to offer. Hubby and I have visited Paris many times before so we had a good idea on what we could do with the girls and how to make their city vacation a great experience.

We had it all planned out. We made charts and reservations. We bought tickets to all major tourist attractions to avoid standing hours in line. We were prepared. 4 days in Paris and we were determined to exhaust our girls and fill their minds with beauty and history. ( That´s a parent´s dream. If you ask my kids what they remember of our Paris vacation they´ll just say they had to walk a lot )

We were not prepared for the Disney store on the Champs Elysees.

Let´s just say we spent over 2 hours in there and spent more money than I planned to ever spend in a Disney store for Disney stuff.

Thankfully, I was able to buy myself a mug. A self-pity purchase, on my part. A note to all parents: Never take your children in a Disney store. You´ll never get them out. Not even the Eiffel Tower will get them to leave.

 

That´s it for today. I hope you enjoyed my little private bookish blog post.

Until next time!

 

Much love,

Morgana ❤

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