Novels and Travelling

I found an English book shop in Hanoi, Vietnam, and for reasons I can’t recall, I ended up buying Until I find you by John Irving. The book accompanied me on my travels, I finally finished it about five weeks later in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Sunset sky, gorgeous dinner, and my best friend: My book.
Sunset sky, gorgeous dinner, and my best friend: My book.

I fell in love with that book, and may go as far to say it is one of my all time favourites. I was travelling on my own so that book was my companion. It joined me in bed, at dinner, and on long journeys; it really became my best friend.

I think the story is brilliant, and so well written. I left it in the book exchange in Cambodia and now hope someone is reading it and loving it as much as I did.

The book is set in many different countries and cities but one of the main ones was Amsterdam. On my way home from South East Asia, Mitch and I agreed to meet in Amsterdam. I was very excited.

Have you ever been to a city which you’ve read about in a book? Read street names and monuments from a story and had this picture in your head of a city? Then you see said city and you can picture the story coming to life before you?

It’s brilliant.

Inside the stunning Oude Kerk Church, Amsterdam.
Inside the stunning Oude Kerk Church, Amsterdam.

I adored this novel and then I then got to visit the places where so much happened within the story. The Oude Kerk church was a particular highlight. As I stepped inside, I pictured and heard the organ being played (not too much of a spoiler for the book). As if the city isn’t beautiful enough and seeing Mitch after nearly three months wasn’t good enough. I saw these places I read about. I pictured those fictional characters in these spaces. I loved it.

If you’ve ever read a book with a prominent city as it’s location, go there. See the story unravel around you and picture those characters you hold dear in the very place your feet are. It’s a wonderful feeling as a traveller and book lover.

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  1. Nice blog. Really needs a whole entry on the Elvis story though! I had the perfect chance to tell in in India that would have brought the house down. but couldn’t remember it. Make sure you lay it on really thick….

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