Far from Home
Blogger: Etta Wilson
Location: Books & Such client retreat, Monterey, CA
So many good travel books are available now–almost as many as cookbooks, but that’s another topic for a later blog. Being here in Monterey opens up all sorts of opportunities to use a good travel book.
Also, I went to the bookstore about two weeks ago to find a particular book on Paris, and I was astounded. In addition to the standard Frommers, Fodors and Rick Steves, the clerk showed me a whole shelf of books just on Paris, including new specific versions of the standards. Selection of just one was very difficult. Publishers must know that travel is big business.
A recent example of travel’s lure and emotional healing is seen in the ongoing success of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love (it may not have translated to film very well, but I haven’t seen it). Over the centuries, many authors have described their adventures away from home and the new viewpoints and sometimes wealth those travels afford. The Travels of Marco Polo comes to mind.
Even if writers are unable to travel, they often use the travelogue as a framework for other content, such as in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. The steps of the journey, whether biographical or imaginary, provide a framework for other content that actually is more significant.
Being away from the day-to-day life and routines opens new vistas, both outward and inward, and we are so blessed to have such opportunity to go to different places. Maybe it’s a long walk on a park trail; maybe it’s only a drive of 50 miles or so; maybe it’s a transcontinental flight; and before long it may be an interplanetary flight! Regardless, we can observe, be uplifted and perhaps even jot down a few notes for use in our writing.
Where do you long to go? Do characters in your writing travel much? And just to help folk with wanderlust like me–how do you balance the necessity of sitting to write with the urge to travel?