The Romance of Travel and Fiction–Beth Trissel

The following post is contributed by Eve Baxter. Enjoy. I did!
Ever finished a book set in some foreign land and found yourself immediately trawling the internet for holidays, mildly obsessed with visiting the real life setting? A well written novel can be one of the best forms of escapism, transporting you to another time and place by making the sights, sounds and smells of a foreign land irresistibly inviting and real. Throw in a romantic plot line to add to the allure and you could find yourself on the next plane to the country depicted in the book in search of romance and adventure. Good fiction can be an excellent source of inspiration for your own life; whether it be the desire to travel, learn a new hobby or cook exotic food.
Heat, Passion and Tango
Much of the story line in Lloyd Jones’ novel Here At The End Of The World We Learn To Dance, is set in hot and humid Buenos Aires and centres around the beautifully passionate dance of the Argentinian tango. Spanning three generations, it is the seductive and enchanting influence of the country’s famous dance which pulls together and binds two compelling love stories. On finishing the novel, readers might find themselves drawn to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires with its bustling streets, colonial architecture and handsome inhabitants. With the opportunity to watch some professionals dance the tango in its original setting, while sipping a full-bodied bottle of Argentinian wine and dining on the famed local steak; this South American city has a lot of pull. For the less adventurous looking to ignite some of the passion of Lloyd Jones’ novel without travelling so far might sign up to a local Argentinian tango class where the pulse is sure to get racing.
Love in the Unlikeliest of Places
Argentina is arguably an obvious setting for romance; the bleak and war-torn city of Leningrad (now known as St Petersberg) might be less so. Nonetheless, Paulina Simons’ novel The Bronze Horseman is the epic tale of Tatiana and Alexander, two young people who fall in love while the country is at the precipice of war, and their desperate attempt to cling together in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Their budding romance is set against a backdrop of the eerily romantic white nights and palace gardens of the city. With the difficulty of snatching moments together in Tatiana’s family’s tiny shared flat occupied by three generations in Communist Russia where the concept of privacy is largely unknown, the sense of the couple’s angst and longing is very infectious. The reader may well find themselves reading up hotel reviews for St Petersberg after finishing the novel – or even before. Furthermore the amorous interlude set in a wooden cabin by the lake is likely to inspire the reader to whisk their paramour off for their own romantic stay in a lakeside lodge.
Exotic Escapism
Although perhaps not likely to be categorized as a romantic novel as such, The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson is likely to romance you with its heady mix of exotic Jamaican setting and 1940s Hollywood glamour. An interesting story which Amazon describes as “a tale of passion and recklessness”, the plot encompasses two generations. The action centres around the charming Errol Flynn, his affair with a much younger girl named Ida and their daughter May, estranged from her father who is born as a result. In search of their own exotic adventure, the reader may well be drawn to Caribbean cruises, the ideal way to explore the best that the Caribbean has to offer. As Ian Fleming was provoked to start writing his famous James Bond novels while staying in Jamaica, inspiration might take hold whilst in the Caribbean. What better place to begin penning a work of your own than between destinations in the luxury of your cruise cabin. While cruising around the Caribbean the spicy food available in the Caribbean Outdoor Eateries recommended by the National Geographic may well add some heat to your romantic life and spur you on to recreate the exotic tastes when you return home.
Whatever your preference for adventure, when looking for travel inspiration, fiction can be an interesting source of ideas. Certainly, it can be exciting to experience for yourself the enticing foreign lands of a favorite novel. Or perhaps you are less intrepid in nature, content with travelling with your mind from the comfort of your sofa. In which case, Around the World in 80 Books featured on goodreads might be a fun place to start the journey.
Yes indeed. Thanks Eve!

2 responses to “The Romance of Travel and Fiction–Beth Trissel

  1. I love going to different and exotic places through fiction as I cannot go to the real places. Sometimes if the author uses a real place I will look them up. Otherwise I just enjoy it. Wonderful post and pictures.
    Sue B


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