Those who love to read will often love to travel too, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Imagining new places, seeking the thrill of adventure that every protagonist seems to enjoy, and discovering the places we’ve read about – your mind has traveled to all of these places, so why not make the experience real?
Great books have been written all over the world, and it’s hard to come by a small town that hasn’t grown an author once upon a time. We can’t visit them all, though, at least not this year, so here is a handful of great places to start you off with. Although they won’t quench your thirst for adventure, they’ll at least intrigue you to keep reading – and to keep traveling.
Looking for some traditional literature, some gothic mysteries, or even a good whodunit novel? England has bred so many excellent writers; it was the home of Jane Austen, after all, which should already be reason enough as it is. Have a look at the Chatsworth House to see how Mr Darcy lived and wander around in Derbyshire to feel the same kind of inspiration Austin had when describing Lambton and Kympton.
Not to mention the walks along the Thames you’ll have, contemplating on the same issues Katharine did in Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day novel. As a book lover, you simply cannot go wrong by visiting England, breathing in its history and walking around in the numerous second-hand bookshops you’ll find all over London.
You don’t have to just stay in London to experience literature, though – it is after all, often just as dirty and crooked as Dickens described it to be. Go up north instead and visit Yorkshire to take in the moors from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. The landscape is found through every page of her book, and you’ll probably run into a few Josephs while you’re up there.
Anyone who loves Lord of The Rings would have dreams about visiting New Zealand, the land of Hobbits, sheeps, and evergreen fields. Just like you can find whatever Jane Austen-tour or Virginia Woolf-trail when you want some more in-depth knowledge about the authors and their books, you’ll be able to locate numerous tours for Lord of The Rings fans; what about Rotora, otherwise known as Hobbiton?
Or pay a visit to Queenstown – the Pillars of the King, as well as Kaitoke Regional Park to finally take in the sight of Rivendell. Have a look at New Zealand travel itineraries for a more comprehensive guide on what you’ll be able to see, and accept the fact that the country is undeniably gorgeous; you’ll hardly be disappointed even if you don’t see any hobbits.
If you’re a fan of theatre, Oslo in Norway is an ideal place to visit for a tour around Ibsen’s apartment. It won’t be his childhood home, though, as you’d have to travel to Skien to experience this, but Oslo was his home for many years, and you’ll find the rather lucrative restaurant right around the corner of the Ibsen Museum where he wrote many of his biggest plays.
Pay it a visit just to breathe in the birthplace of Noraism – the dramatic scene that gave a name to feminism in many parts of the world, where Nora decides to leave her husband and children.
Although Ibsen claim he never intended for the play to be about feminism, he allegedly had doubts when facing criticism about his dramatic ending of Nora leaving her family. Ibsen’s wife, on the other hand, made it very clear that ‘if Nora stays, I’m leaving’ and the rest if, of course, playwright history.
Visit the Scandinavian country to check out the Hamsun Center too, by the way, if you ever read Hunger and would like to tirelessly drift the streets of Oslo as a starving artist as well.
Finally, New York is always worth a visit, and it’s bound to be the home of many successful authors over the years. The Catcher in The Rye is, for example, one of these and New York has inspired and become a huge part of the novel. Visit a few of the places that are featured in the book too, by the way, to discover the big city in a completely different way.
To travel for the sake of literature is the best way to travel as even the smallest places and towns can take your breath away and leave you amazed.