In a world where so many people don’t have the means to travel, I’m in the minority. My partner, Warren, and I love discovering new cities and will plan a world trip whenever we have the funds.
You see, from Australia, it’s cheaper to buy a ’round the world’ ticket, which usually takes in three continents, than it is to travel to a few destinations and back. We were reminded of this when I went to the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. We played with the idea of visiting the festival, then travelling on to Mexico, then on to somewhere in South America before coming back home. This idea was more costly than circling the globe. Seriously!
In the Nate and Cameron series, I’ve shared our travels.
Although, not in an obvious way. Often when I write about these places I add a touch of the surreal to their descriptions. I do this to encourage my readers to see these destinations for themselves and work out what I am talking about. For example, here is a passage from Nate and the New Yorker –
Horses clopped along, taking tourists on their way through this magical town. The Pickpocket Express, a name given to one of the local trams by travel guides, snaked its way past us. The storybook buildings had me searching for Puss in Boots, Cinderella, and various Prince Charmings.
This is Prague, a city Hitler loved, so he never bombed it. It’s where you can see how all of Europe might have looked today if history was different.
Video screens burst with bubblegum colors, demanding attention high in the skyscrapers above. Taxi drivers watched vigilantly for potential fares. Fashionable crowds filled the sidewalk, some darting about in order to meet friends on time. And a mishmash of large and small eateries flaunted plastic replicas of their menus in their front windows.
This city was not one that Warren had interest in, but he changed his mind after his visit. Tokyo is now one of his favourite destinations.
Bagels spread out in another shop window, with a sign claiming they were the best in Manhattan. A busker rapped between the notes he played on his saxophone, telling us God would love us if we bought his CDs. And all this was happening as cars breezed along on the wrong side of the street.
One reviewer found my musings of New York interesting, as I was talking about their country. As she said, I was describing this famous city from a point of view she had never considered. All these places are featured in Nate and the New Yorker, with more to come when Nate’s Last Tango is released on June 26.
I was reminded how many don’t travel through a question I posed on Twitter.
I asked “Where would you like to visit?” Too many of my American followers either mentioned somewhere else in the USA, or answered “Italy”. When I asked the latter group why, they said it was because they have Italian heritage. I was puzzled.
Australians travel. Many of us have passports. It’s just what we do!
So, to any of my readers who haven’t ventured beyond their borders – please pick a destination outside of your comfort zone, and go. Once the travel bug bites, you won’t be looking for an antidote.