Discover more from Your Reading Life
Summer Reading + Travel
Why not go to there?
August is historically a big take time off and travel month.
Summer is historically a big time to read during your time off work.
“Beach reads” are sold because let’s be honest, some beaches can be a bit too “relaxing”.
What’s better is not just taking the time to read but to also digest what you’re reading. What’s even better than reading and digesting what you’re reading out loud with someone else is to do it in a place that actually adds to your understanding of what you’re reading. Actually enriches the experience of it.
Read and Dialogue in these Three Destinations
Herodotus wrote The Histories. Herodotus is from Halicarnassus. Halicarnassus is no more. Sort of. The place with that name is more of an archaeological site. Nowadays you’d call it Bodrum. It is a beautiful city on the Mediterranean. Reading Herodotus’ histories with Bodrum as a homebase could be magical. Taking day trips inland where some of the battles were fought and boat trips to some of the islands he mentions would very much drive home the notion that history is with us all the time and that all the land we walk is ancient and been walked for zillions of years by all kinds of characters.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a book my, now partner, then, been-on-a-couple-dates girlfriend, told me to read. I happened to read it en route to, not Ghana, but flying over Ghana to a friend’s wedding in Kenya. While much of the story takes place in the US, the more in-the-past historical parts take place in Ghana. Reading Homegoing walking around the monuments of a free state in Africa in Accra or at the Cape Coast Castle that factors into the book so much, will not only bring the pages and characters to life but deepen the pathos with which you take in this story that still affects millions to this day on both sides of the Atlantic.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is set in an unnamed port city in northern Colombia, near the Caribbean Sea and the Magdalena River. The city is based on an amalgam of the real Colombian cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla. Compare reading Love in the Time on the coast of Colombia to reading it in my parents basement in the suburbs. No, wait, don’t.
Rather, picture you read a chapter or two at your hotel on the coast. Then you and a couple others who are also reading it have lunch and sip an aguardiente or two while trying to articulate what Marquez is trying to say underneath the beautiful story. Then you head to a park under flowering trees and read of the same flowering trees. Then as you approach the end of the work of art you sit down for dinner with the same fellow readers to really profoundly digest both the message Marquez has for his readers and a whole sea bass cooked in salt.
You get to the end. Full. And also with that feeling, wow, I think I get this book now. Now, after reading it here, on location, and dialoging about it with others reading it, now, I see what the author is doing. I get what his project was. What beauty. What a wizard. What a success!
Would you like to plan a travel experience around a book? I know I do. But if you do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org