3 Travel Books to inspire writers to soar like Ann Patchett
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller
If you’re dreaming of becoming a writer or if you’re a polished, established author, you may feel empty of new ideas or inspiration. In either situation, are you struggling for that sparkle of creative dust to sprinkle around your blank pages? But your writing world is a fresh slate beckoning you to fill it with words that sparkle. You look everywhere, but the ideas don’t arrive.
You wonder when and where can you awaken a muse or one of the Greek guiding spirits that inspired masterpieces for centuries. •Thalia (“The Cheerful One”) was the Muse of Comedy; Melpomene (“She Who Sings”) was the Muse of Tragedy; Calliope (“The One with a Beautiful Voice”) was the Muse of Epic Poetry.
Get up from your stale desk, pack your bags, and hit the road.
“Brent Crane’s article, “For a More Creative Brain, Travel”, Writers and thinkers have long felt the creative benefits of international travel. Ernest Hemingway, for example, drew inspiration for much of his work from his time in Spain and France. Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, moved from the U.K. to the U.S. in his 40s to branch out into screenwriting. Mark Twain, who sailed around the coast of the Mediterranean in 1869, wrote in his travelogue Innocents Abroad that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have begun examining more closely what many people have already learned anecdotally: that spending time abroad may have the potential to affect mental change. In general, creativity is related to neuroplasticity, or how the brain is wired. Neural pathways are influenced by environment and habit, meaning they’re also sensitive to change: New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain and may have the potential to revitalize the mind.”
Are you ready to pack your bags to recharge your creative brain?
Check out these travel books with various writer’s travel experiences. Enjoy their travel experiences and expect to find inspiration from your travels to write a masterpiece.
Books To help the writer’s personal muse
Inspired Journeys: Travel Writers in Search of the Muse By Brian Bouldrey: In this collection of essays, travelers seek inspiration and epiphanies across six continents. Follow their personal pilgrimages from the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, to the twists and turns of the Brothers Grimm-inspired Fairy Tale Road in Germany.
Full of humor, profundity, and obsession, these are tales of writers on peregrine paths. Some set out in search of legends or artistic inspiration; others seek spiritual epiphany or fulfillment of a promise. Their journeys lead them variously to Dracula’s castle, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s prairie, the Grimms’ fairy-tale road, Mayan temples, Nathaniel West’s California, the Camino de Santiago trail, Scott’s Antarctica, the Marquis de Sade’s haunted manor, or the sacred city of Varanasi. All of these pilgrimages are worthy journeys—redemptive and serious. But a time-honored element of pilgrimage is a suspension of rules, and there are absurdity and exuberance here as well.
The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True stories from the world’s best writers by Lonely Planet, Shannon Leone Fowler
A collection of great travel writing by authors from around the globe, including original stories set in Scotland, Thailand, Malaysia, Moldova, Tanzania, Austria and beyond, edited by long-term Lonely Planet collaborator Don George.
The 35 impassioned stories included in this collection – of fortune-tellers, tribal baboon hunters, a friendly Japanese family, and other notable characters – span a worldwide spectrum of themes, styles, and settings, but all show how travel in its unexpected turns tests and teaches us, making us aware that we are resilient, that we are not alone, and that there is so much love and connection to be had if we open ourselves up. This collection affirms that if we follow the compass of the heart, we will always find our way. Whether you read the book on the road or in an armchair at home, these tales are sure to entertain, amuse and inform you, and resonate long after the book is finished.
‘As you travel through these pages, may your mind be widened, your spirit enlivened, and your own path illuminated by these worldly word-journeys.’ —Don George
With sparkling contributions from some of the most acclaimed names in contemporary fiction and travel writing plus some new voices from around the world, including:
Ann Patchett, Francine Prose, TC Boyle, Karen Joy Fowler, Pico Iyer, Torre DeRoche, Blane Bachelor, Rebecca Dinerstein, Jan Morris, Elizabeth George, Jane Hamilton, Alexander McCall Smith, Keija Parssinen, Mridu Khullar Relph, Yulia Denisyuk, Emily Koch, Carissa Kasper, Jessica Silber, Candace Rose Rardon, Marilyn Abildskov, Shannon Leone Fowler, Robin Cherry, Robert Twigger, Porochista Khakpour, Natalie Baszile, Suzy Joinson, Anthony Sattin, LH McMillin, Bridget Crocker, Maggie Downs, Bishwanath Ghosh, Jeff Greenwald, James Dorsey, and Tahir Shah
Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith: In the latest installment of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and the only work of fiction on our list, a young Canadian woman travels to Botswana to seek a long-lost acquaintance from her childhood spent in Africa. With few clues, cautiously hopeful detective Precious Ramotswe decides to take on the challenging case.