Lately I've been suffering from a severe case of wanderlust.
I just. want. to travel.
And I'm not picky. It's everything I can do to not jump in the car and drive an hour or so and see where it takes me. I'm ripe for adventure but can't go anywhere so I've been trying to accomplish it in small ways: going to a grocery store I've never been to, taking a new way home...I don't really care what.
I'm not sure why it's such a strong feeling right now. But here's the reality. Jack has exams this week, he starts his first full-time job as a lifeguard for the Summer...and he needs me to drive him there. Not to mention that there's not money in our budget for travel right now.
So...I've been looking for other creative ways of "getting away" without going anywhere. That's when I discovered this post by Conde Nast Traveler...
The 69 Greatest Fiction Travel Books of All Time...hmm....
It's a book in which a place is as important a character as the protagonist; it's a book so informed by the writer's culture that it's impossible to read it without uncovering the life of the author behind it; it's a book that has shaped the way we see a certain place; it's a book whose events and characters could be set nowhere else.
OK. I think I could use this as a way of traveling without going anywhere.
Plus, I love to read and I read a lot. Well actually, I don't "read" a lot, I listen a lot....to audiobooks... while I'm working and stitching and folding laundry, etc.
And, since I'm making so many decisions in my daily life, I don't really want to have to work too hard in selecting books. That's why I love loooong, complex series. I read one, love it...and immediately begin reading the next book. Then when it's all over, I'm sad for a while until I find the next "series" to sink my teeth into...Over a month ago, I finished the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and I've been floundering to find a new book path to follow.
I can cure my wanderlust and my need for a book selection in one fell swoop!
I'm going to work my way through this list of traveling fiction starting with Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac. I've never read any of Balzac's work so I'm looking forward to immersing myself into early 19th century France. Evidently, he is considered the founder of realism and European literature and influenced the works of authors like Dickens, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, and Henry James.
A few years back, I participated in an online reading challenge, the 1% Well-Read Challenge where you read one book every month off the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die list. I read some great books that year (you can check out the reviews I wrote here.)....one of them was Breakfast at Tiffany's and we all know what happened as a result of my reading that book. Plus, I read books by foreign authors and period literature that I'm not sure I would have found on my own.
I think this new reading plan coupled with this book I re-discovered on my own book shelf...Weekends Away Without Leaving Home...
Just might get me somewhere.
Anyone want to join me? I'd love to have traveling companions...