Monday, October 13, 2014

Top 10 Places Books Have Made Me Want to Travel + One I Already Visited

The prompt for this week's Top Ten Tuesday list from The Broke and the Bookish combines two of my favorite things in life -- reading and travel. Have you been inspired to visit a place because you read about it in a book? Well I certainly have, and it was tough to keep this list to just 10 11!
1. Antarctica
"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple was a cute, quirky book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and it totally caused me to add "take Antarctica cruise" to my bucket list!
2. Oxford's Bodleian Library
I've read about this magical place in several different books, but most recently in Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy and Laurie R. King's Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mysteries. And it was a filming location for the first two Harry Potter movies. I wonder if they're hiring!?
3. Santorini
This stunning island off the coast of Greece is always mentioned in Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily mysteries.
4. North Carolina beaches
Thanks to Nicholas Sparks, I'd love to visit some of these beaches. They seem so different from the beaches I've been to in Hawaii, Florida and Texas. Lots of people from Ohio vacation at the Outer Banks and I've heard good things. I hope we can take a trip there before we move from Ohio!
5. Paris
Food, food, Eiffel Tower, food. I absolutely must get myself an authentic French hot chocolate. And visit the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore. And so many other things. Some recent-ish Paris reads with a wonderful sense of atmosphere: "My Life in France" by Julia Child; "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins; and "Paris in Love: A Memoir" by Eloisa James.
6. Bali
I didn't completely fall in love with "Eat, Pray, Love" but it sure did make me want to visit all the places in the book, especially Bali. This is where all those beautiful beachy pictures on your calendar come from, folks!
(image source)
7. Washington State/San Juan Islands
I've read lots of books that take place in Washington, from the Twilight series to Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove series and more. I'd love to visit Olympic National Park, the San Juan Islands and Seattle and take an killer whale-watching tour.

8. England
England, home of Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and Jane Austen. There are so many bookish and historical things to do here and I know I'll have an amazing trip one day.

9. New York City
Oh, where to begin? I've read dozens and dozens of books set in NYC in all time periods and I can't wait to visit!
10. Charleston, South Carolina
I'd love to play Southern belle in Charleston after reading books like "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy and "Death by Darjeeling" by Laura Childs.
11. Julia Child's Kitchen
Whenever we get around to visiting Washington, D.C., I'll be sure to check out this exhibit at the Smithsonian. I loved Julia Child's autobiography, "My Life in France," as well as the movie "Julie and Julia." I have the "J&J" book and eventually I'll get around to reading it!

 And here's a place we visited because of a book:
(image source)
I loved this fantastic novel (review) about a young girl ripped away from her family and sent to the Kalaupapa leper quarantine colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai in the late 1800s. We just so happened to be living in Hawaii at the time, so when we took a weekend trip to Molokai in 2011 I booked us a mule ride down the cliffs to Kalaupapa.
See that tiny village on the flat land? That's Kalaupapa, and the lepers exiled there were essentially stuck in that beautiful natural prison surrounded by the rough and dangerous Pacific Ocean and massive cliffs.
Steep, slick and muddy! Trust in your mule was essential to not freaking out!
(pali = cliff)
Reading "Molokai" before we visited Kalaupapa greatly enhanced my visit there, and seeing the setting in person brought the book even more vividly to life. Plus I learned a lot about leprosy, a disease I was barely familiar with before picking up "Molokai." I love novels that teach me something, and I love books with such rich atmosphere that they make me want to just pack up and get on a plane!


  1. I picked Paris and England, but can't believe I forgot Greece! Great list.
    Check out my Top 10

  2. What a wonderful trip you had! I love the photos, and that you took time to visit the former leper colony. Your want-to-visit sites all look good, too. I left out England because I've been there several times, though I would love to go back! Oxford's Bodleian would be worth the trip all on its own (and for the exact same books.) My husband wants to go to Antarctica, but the rough seas in that region make me nervous.

    1. I sure hope we get to visit England one day -- I'm jealous that you've been! I already have a mental list going of all the book-related things I want to do there: Platform 9 3/4, the HP filming studio, Jane Austen's House, the Tower of London (I've read so many historical fiction books that invovled the tower)... on and on! My poor husband is going to be dragged around everywhere!

      You shouldn't let the rough waters persuade you not to go to Antarctica -- it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience! :)

  3. Santorini is gorgeous (at least according to the pictures). I wouldn't mind visiting there one day... but I didn't include it on my list because I haven't read any books set there!

    Washington State seems so boring to me... but that's probably because I live next to it (in British Columbia) and much of it seems familiar. The scenery in the Pacific Northwest is quite beautiful, though. And you don't always need to make a special trip just to see the wildlife. The last time I took the ferry over to Vancouver Island, we got to see a pod of orcas feeding in one of the bays as we passed! That was pretty cool, for a trip that's basically a glorified commute.

    1. How lucky to see orcas on a regular ol' commute! We got to see humpback whales and dolphins in Hawaii a few times without even trying and it was always amazing!

      I'm from Colorado originally and I will never get tired of hiking and breathing mountain air! Washington just looks so beautiful -- like Colorado but with an ocean in the background! :)

  4. I wish I'd thought of the Bodleian as I've just finished reading the All Souls Trilogy and I loved it. Paris and New York are great choices too.
    I'd also love to go to Charleston as I'm a big fan of North and South by John Jakes.

    Your photos are so great, it looks like an amazing adventure you had :)

    1. "North and South" is on my to-read-someday list. I'm glad I'll have another reason to visit Charleston!

      Molokai was a pretty cool trip. It's totally different from the more well-known Hawaiian islands!

  5. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a cruise to Antarctica! I've read a lot of good things about Where'd You Go Bernadette, so maybe I'll finally check it out. Great list!

    1. I always used to say I wanted to visit every continent EXCEPT Antarctica, until I read that book. Now it's towards the top of my bucket list. I even did some research on the cruises offered and they sound amazing! You should check out "Where'd You Go, Bernadette." It was a fun book. :)


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