The Books That Have Transported me to New Places
I have been fortunate enough to travel to many wonderful places in my 23 years of life so far. I have also been fortunate enough to read a countless number of books (both fiction and non-fiction) that have transported me to numerous places I have not been able to explore for myself (yet).
It’s no secret that reading often brings people to different places, perspectives, and worlds – I am no stranger to this reading experience.
The following books are ones that have transported me to new places.
Return Trip Magazine
Return Trip is not the typical ‘Top 10 Things to do in Italy’ travel magazine. In the publication’s inaugural issue numerous contributors wrote about their unique travel experiences – whether that be what they learned when they visited a place they thought they knew, the importance of language, or what they learned upon returning home from abroad.
I expected Return Trip to transport me to many different places – it is a travel magazine after all, however, I never expected it to leave me with the feeling it did. Along with making me feel like I could smell the beauty of Vietnam, see the excitement of China, and taste the flavours of Japan, I was also left with a feeling of nostalgia. Although I have been to many places, I finished reading this magazine almost feeling guilty for the way I have travelled so far. I never tried to learn the language when I went to Italy, when I was in Grade 8 I took videos of a cat in Ottawa instead of Parliament, and, to my knowledge, I didn’t indulge in any of the local foods when I was in Costa Rica. The feeling of guilt vanished quickly and transformed into a feeling of excitement.
I am excited to travel (when it is safe to do so in the future) again and immerse myself in the cultures of the places I am.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Naturally, this book instantly transports me to Paris (more specifically, it transports me to Paris as a writer). I can visualize myself so clearly sitting in a café in Paris, sipping on espresso and eating a chocolate croissant – I can almost taste it, writing and journaling the day away.
The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
Similarly, The Sweet Life in Paris also brings me to the magical city. And until I can make the trip there, I can attempt to cook some of the delicacies at home courtesy of the recipes included in the book.
This book not only brought me to Paris while reading it, but it has also left me feeling as if I’ve lived in the city before.
Outline by Rachel Cusk
To be honest, I read this book a few years ago so I do somewhat forget its contents. However, I have never forgotten (and I don’t think I ever will) the feeling of calmness I felt overwhelmed with while reading it. A few years ago, Greece (unpopular opinion alert) was never high on my places to go list, but after I finished this book it quickly climbed the ladder. Like all of the books on this list, I also feel as if I have already been to Greece as a result of reading Outline (and not just seeing country plastered all over my Instagram feed).
Just Kids by Patti Smith
If you know me then you probably are already aware that Just Kids is one of my favourite books of all time. I try to read Just Kids every summer. Each time I read this book it takes me to new places both geographically and spiritually. However, every time I read it always brings me to New York. I can see the coffee shops, the busyness of the city, and all the tourist attractions I have been longing to see for myself one day.
Surprisingly, this book doesn’t make me feel as if I’ve been to New York before but it has left me with this great sensation that when I do visit it will be life-changing.
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
I’m not saying that this book changed my life but this book kind of changed my life. Ever since reading it I have tried to live life the way that I read that they do in Denmark – with hygge. The Little Book of Hygge didn’t necessarily transport me straight to Denmark per se, but it did transport me to a place where I was less stressed, more easy going, and content.
When I first came up with this blog post idea, I thought that I would only be writing about the places these books took me in a geographical sense. Upon writing I realized that these books didn’t just transport me to places while I was reading them, they left me with different lessons and memories that I take with me every day.
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