Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Literature to inspire your travel bucket list

Literature has an amazing way of creating wanderlust with its elaborate descriptions of beautiful places inspiring readers to travel to the places featured in our favourite books. Whether it makes you want to go to Scotland or Thailand, we can definitely take our inspiration from literature.

David Nicholls’ One Day inspired me to travel to Edinburgh, which now takes prime position as my favourite city. It is where Emma and Dexter meet at university at the start of the novel, and remains a key feature throughout. Edinburgh is an excellent city for book lovers as it is rich with literary heritage. I enjoyed the Writers’ Museum, which has exhibits on Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There is also, unforgettably, the Elephant Café in which J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter.

I am hoping to visit Verona one day, which is the setting of one of my favourite pieces of literature ever: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In particular, I am desperate to visit Juliet’s balcony and to go to some of the other Shakespeare attractions. What more could a Shakespeare-lover want from a city?

The Tuscan countryside and the depictions of the beautiful city in the novel are inspiring

Having booked a holiday to Florence in September, I read E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View and absolutely loved it. The Tuscan countryside and the depictions of the beautiful city in the novel are inspiring. Upon visiting, I was just as much in awe of Florence’s magic as Lucy Honeychurch in the novel. I also visited the Basilica of Santa Croce which is mentioned in the novel and it was absolutely stunning.

When I read Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, it made me want to go back to Barcelona and explore the Gothic Quarter even more. I visited two summers ago and absolutely loved it, and it is another of my favourite cities. The novel is interwoven with the city so beautifully and the city feels alive in the book, which is a gothic mystery about a boy called Oscar who goes on an adventure with Marina.

I intend to go to Prague this summer as the way it is presented in one of my all-time favourite books – Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone – has made me want to go so much. The way the city is mixed with the mythology of the novel is stunning and Prague is depicted as such a magical place.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves to travel

Over the summer, I picked up Paige Toon’s The Last Piece of My Heart because of the hype surrounding the novel. It is a brilliant novel about a travel writer who takes a job in Cornwall and it was the richness of the depictions of settings in this novel which made it so enjoyable. Toon creates vivid descriptions of Cornwall and Thailand which have made me want to explore both. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves to travel.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins was one of my favourite books growing up and the beautiful descriptions of Paris made me want to visit so badly. Perkins uses cities heavily as part of her novels to such an extent that Paris feels like as much a part of the story as the characters. When I finally got the opportunity to go in 2015 I loved it so much and I have been several times since.

Upon reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green when it first came out, I fell in love with his depiction of Amsterdam and I wanted to go so badly. When I went in 2017, I absolutely loved it and made sure to visit the same places Hazel and Gus do in the text – namely, the Anne Frank Museum, Van Gogh Museum and, of course, the infamous bench they sit on.

All of these novels provided inspiration for my travel bucket list, and being able to discover amazing places in literature is something I love. It is always the first place I find inspiration for my next travel destination.

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