Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kimberly’s Top Ten Tuesday: Places Books Make Me Want to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a freebie, which immediately sent me into a state of paralysis. But I have prevailed and picked a topic to discuss: top ten places books have made me want to visit. This topic was originally done on October 14, 2014, during that period of time when I had forgotten I was supposed to be guest blogging. It’s a great one, because books really do have the power to transport readers to places they have never visited, can’t visit because they are fictional, have visited and loved, or may not be brave enough to visit in person.

1) Australia - I have always wanted to visit Australia, but the expensive (and looong) plane flight makes it a dream for a wealthier future. Reading In a Sunburned Country, a hilarious travelogue written by Bill Bryson, only cemented my desire to one day make the trek across the Pacific. It seems like such a cheerful place, apart from the terrifying and deadly wildlife.

2) Egypt - One summer during college, my mom introduced me to the fantastic Amelia Peabody series, written by Elizabeth Peters. I was completely hooked. I would love to one day visit Egypt for myself and see everything referenced in those books, particularly the Great Pyramid at Giza. I imagine that is an inspiring sight indeed

3) England - On my first day visiting London, my friend, who had had been there before, took me straight from our hotel to the Tower of London. She said I needed to see something iconic to really feel like I was there. She was right. The Tower of London was just like I had seen in movies and on TV, and it was perfect. Basically every book I’ve ever read since then that was set in England has made me long to go back. There is so much I didn’t get to see! I could live there for a year, and still want to go back and explore.

4) Guernsey - I have always been fascinated by the idea of the Channel Islands, but it wasn’t until I read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows that I actually wanted to visit them. A few years ago, my parents took a cruise around the British Isle that stopped for a shore day at Guernsey, one of the islands. From this book and their descriptions, it just sounds so charming.

5) Hogwarts & Diagon Alley - I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter...

6) Machu Picchu - I actually have mixed feelings about this one because I pretty much hate the outdoors, and I’m really not a hiker. In Justina Chen’s A Blind Spot for Boys, they actually do hike the entire way to Machu Picchu and, frankly? It sounds horrible. But Machu Picchu itself? Sounds like one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on Earth. I just need a different route there…

7) Middle-earth - Who wouldn’t want to visit Middle-earth after reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s tales? Obviously, I’d rather visit during a time of peace, but eating glorious meals in The Shire and finding rejuvenation in the Elven lands would make for a wonderful vacation.

8) Paris - When I first read Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss, I had never been to Paris. But, oh, did I want to hop on a plane and go! So when my parents (who were living in Italy at the time), gave me the option of flying over during their visit to Paris or their visit to Rome, I immediately picked Paris. I felt like I was walking through the book, that’s how realistic Perkin’s description of Paris was. She really makes the city come to life for me.

9) Prague - Until I read Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Prague had never crossed my mind as a destination point. After finishing the book and being swept away by the descriptions of the city, I immediately looked up photos of Prague and vacation information. It looks so beautiful and gothic. I want to go!

10) Scotland - On my one trip to the British Isles, I didn’t have time to visit Scotland. I just couldn’t work it in. I really wanted to visit Wales (see below), and I couldn’t figure out a way to spend a week in London and then make it to Wales and Scotland and Ireland. So Scotland was shelved until a later date. I’m almost glad about that now, because that trip was before I had read any of Susanna Kearsley’s novels, all of which are extremely atmospheric. Scotland almost feels like another character in her novels, and I think I will appreciate my visit more after having experienced the country in writing first.


I’m an incredibly visual person with a pretty average imagination. So often, seeing places on screen makes more of an impact for me than reading it in print. Hence, these bonus places I want to visit after seeing them on screen.

Hawaii - I’ve been rewatching Hawaii 5-0 (the reboot version) lately and, wow. It is gorgeous. (The eye candy on that show doesn’t hurt, either!) Please, let me go there and bask in the sunshine and bright, crisp colors.

Ireland - I know, I know. Leap Year is kind of a silly movie. But I enjoy it anyway, both for its silliness and for its beautiful scenery. When I finally made it to Ireland, the countryside was just as green and lovely as the movie had lead me to believe.

New Zealand - Over New Year’s Eve and Day, I rewatched all three extended editions of The Lord of the Rings movies. It was amazing (but tiring) and reminded me anew just how breathtaking New Zealand is in those movies. Like with Australia, if a flight weren’t so expensive and so very long, I would visit in a heartbeat.

Wales - Chalk this one up to too many seasons of Torchwood and Gavin & Stacey. After watching those shows (and being charmed by Welsh accents), I had to visit. It was lovely and the people were some of the nicest I might on my trip.

What have you read or watched lately that has inspired your wanderlust?

Photo Credits: Australia  / Egypt  / England  / Guernsey / Diagon Alley  / Machu Picchu  / Middle Earth  / Paris / Prague / Scotland