Both of us travelled pretty widely in our late teens and earlier 20's. Between us we've been all across the United States, over to Europe, the middle east, Africa, and Cuba for various reasons and adventures. But. We're both hovering around 30 now, and have 3 (soon to be 4) kids between us. With growing young families, mortgages, husbands, and real careers, travel has been more limited to staying a bit closer to home in recent years.
We both still have corners of our hearts that yearn to hop on a plane bound for far flung places again, so thankfully, we have books. Armchair travel has become a genre we feel especially endeared to lately, both to satisfy our curiosity about other cultures and places, to plan our adventures when bigger travel plans become part of our lives again in the (hopefully not too distant) future, and even to just get ideas about where explore near us.
We recently read Under the Tuscan Sun and The Enchanted April as buddy-reads so we could travel together to warm, beautiful Italy and escape the dreary PNW spring in the sunlit pages of the book. But. You know what? Right here in our pacific northwestern backyard has some pretty awesome literature based in it, too. After getting to jet off to Italy and England, we needed to get grounded a bit.
Investing in our home lives and exploring the PNW in this season of our lives has definite benefits (and we do truly love it), and until we can pull a Tsh Oxenreider and haul the family with us, we have to be more realistic with our travel plans. Shortly after putting down our far off travel books, we found the book Delancey, which is set near us here in Seattle. We quickly realized we could go on a bit of an adventure in a local sense, too! As much as we'd love to visit the Tuscan countryside and lush English gardens, this was more reasonable for us right now. We can actually go to Delancey and eat pizza there!
Since we live near Seattle, it was easy to think of a few fun literary adventures right here where we live. From Delancey by Molly Wizenberg to Where'd You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple, to the movies 10 Things I Hate About You or Sleepless in Seattle, there are iconic places to easily fill up your day, and your stomach. Seeing your familiar city through the fresh lens of a book or a movie can really make for a great adventure.
You can't go everywhere or experience everything, but you can read about anywhere and anything you could possibly imagine. We love finding books set where we live to further explore our corner of the world just as much as we love reading books about far off places and adventures we could someday have.
What books are your favorites to satisfy your wanderlust? Or do you know of any great books set near where you live? We'd sincerely love to hear!