Last week, my part of the world was locked in a deep freeze. Wednesday morning we woke up to -42C (-40C and -40F are the same temperature if that helps any). Is it any wonder my thoughts turned to travel? This week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop, I set this topic:
Do you like to travel? If so, do you have a favourite place? Also - do you incorporate places you’ve visited into your novels?
I love to travel, and have been lucky enough to go to some amazing places. Not only have I seen a lot of the wonders my beautiful province of British Columbia offers, but I’ve been to New York City, San Francisco, Mexico, France, Belgium, and England. I’ve also been to Portugal – not the mainland, but the islands of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic (more on that later). And there are still so many places to see!
One of my bucket list dreams is to spend at least three months living in a foreign country. I want the experience of actually living in a place – not just seeing all the tourist sites (which are wonderful, don’t get me wrong) but feeling like part of the community.
When we travel, I like to read books that are set in the place we are visiting. London was amazing for this. I love Regency romances, and to be able to walk in Hyde Park and down Piccadilly Street, just like those heroines would have done (if they were real 😉) brings a deeper understanding of the stories.
One of the reasons I decided to use my hometown of Prince George as the main setting for most of my own novels ties in with that thought. I figured if I liked to read about other places, other people do, too. And since Prince George is an "other place" to most readers, why go to the bother of coming up with an imaginary location when I could give readers a glimpse of the beauty surrounding me every day?
The only book I’ve written that ties in with a place I’ve travelled to (so far) is NO LIFE BUT THIS. My husband’s family is from the Azores, and in 2013 we decided to travel there with his parents, siblings and our children. Even before we left, I’d started NLBT, as I knew I wanted to write a story with a heroine who jumps out of her comfort zone in one big leap. While we were there, I soaked in as much of the sights and sounds as I could, then used them to colour my story. It is still one of my favourite books.
What about you? Do you like to travel or are you more of a homebody? Let me know in the comments, then hop over to Clair Brett to see how she uses travel in her stories!