Tag: travel


8 Real Literary Locations You’ve Read About in Novels!

I know it’s the end of summer vacation, yet I still want to share this combo of traveling and literature with you, maybe for your next vacation plans. Here are eight beautiful places that have been set in the world of words!




Thanks to Tim Pile’s recommendation, plus one of my pocket list, here’s the eight literary books:

  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (1994) by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • River of Time (1995) by Jon Swain
  • Our Man in Havana (1958) by Graham Greene 
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy
  • Out of Africa (1937) by Karen Blixen
  • The God of Small Things (1997) by Arundhati Roy
  • The Stolen Bicycle (2017) by Wu Ming-yi






Images Via Amazon, Amazon UK, lickr.comText Book Centreand The Tough Guy Book Club



Have read these yet? Let’s see the pictures first!



1. Kefalonia in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin


Image Via scmp



The Greek Island of Kefalonia is the soul in both Bernieres’ novel and 2001 cinema. In the story, a young officer came to the island with the Italian army and fell in love with a local doctor’s daughter. However, the woman he thinks is the one is already engaged to someone else. In the real word, the beaches on the island are incredibly beautiful without much contamination of tourism.



2. The Oheka Castle in The Great Gatsby


Image Via scmp



In Gatsby’s world, there’s a mansion called West Egg where Gatsby lives in search of his lost love of Daisy. Though it’s a fictional place, there’s a spot which inspired Fitzgerald in the real world. Located in Long Island, New York, the Oheka Castle is a place where literary New Yorkers should visit.



3. The Mekong River in River of Time


Image Via scmp



Jon Swain’s memoir describes the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge in 1975. The Mekong River is the soul in Vietnam. Sampans in the picture allow visitors to explore the beauty of the Mekong.



4. The Havana streets in Our Man in Havana


Image Via scmp


It’s a story about a vacuum cleaner salesman living in Havana, Cuba, who agrees to moonlight as a secret agent and recruit local spies for the British government. If you visit the streets in Havana, you can jump directly into the novel as Tim Pile suggests because the view has never changed.



5. Dorest inTess of the D’Urbervilles


Image Via scmp



One of the most famous villages for every English majors: Dorest in England’s southwest aka Hardy Country. It’s a beautiful village with “thatched cottages, grand manor houses, rolling hills and dramatic seascapes.”



6. Kenya’s Malindi beach in Out of Africa


Image Via Rhino Africa Blog


British East Africa, or Kenya, has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!!! Look at the transparent water! You can swim as if you’re in the center of the world and think of the story of Karen Blixen.



7. Kerala in The God of Small Things


Image Via scmp



Kerala is always a mysteriously attractive place to visit. In the jungle, would you find your god of small things?



8. Taipei in The Stolen Bicycle


Image Via Travel Wire Asia


Longlisted in 2018 for Man Booker’s International novel, Wu’s The Stolen Bicycle tells of stories interweaved in this beautiful island called Taiwan. The capital Taipei is a wonderful place to visit. You can find unbelievably delicious food here! 




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Featured Image Via ThurstonTalk


GoT Fans are Flocking to King’s Landing and Dubrovnik Residents Aren’t Happy About It

If you haven’t heard, there is a real-life King’s Landing located in the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia and it’s become a popular hotspot for fans of Game of Thrones


The good news is it’s just as beautiful in person as it is on-screen. The bad news is that you may be on the receiving end of angry glares from locals while you enjoy the scenery.



Image Via Matthew Williams-Ellis



The majestic city overlooking the Adriatic Sea has reportedly become packed with crowds of Game of Thrones fans within the last few years. Taking into account the large crowds of already existing tourists enticed by the incredible scenery and residents have faced a huge problem.



“There is no unique solution for every destination,” said Dubrovnik’s mayor, Mato Frankovic. “But it has to start with recognizing the problem.”




Image Via HBO



On top of the lack of space occupied by tourists, residents have complained about rising property prices and concerns about inappropriate tourists behavior.



The city has taken steps to counter these problems including: Limiting the number of passengers who can step off of cruise ships, decreasing outdoor seating at restaurants for crowd control, and putting restrictions on street vendors. Next year the city is also planning on restricting where cruise ships can dock.



The issues facing the city have grown in part due to the abrupt rise in tourism. According to the New York Times, there were about 300 tours related to Game of Thrones in 2015 which then increased to 4,500 tours in 2017 and, in 2018, has increased by 180%. With the series finale of Game of Thrones approaching, tourism is likely to increase. 





Featured Image Via Gulliver/ThinkStock


Italy quotes

10 Quotes to Make You Fall Deeply in Love with Italy

Maybe I’m biased as I am half, but the Italian language is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. The way it rolls off the tongue and flows from word to word with passionate little inflections is indeed quite lovely. Plus I’m a sucker for The Lizzie McGuire Movie. No, you may not judge me.


So, naturally, it’s expected that with a language that gorgeous, the literature is even more breathtaking. I’ll be taking a trip there this summer and my new mission is to read up on as much Italian lit and poetry as possible and eat all the spaghetti I can. And what better time to start than the present right? We’ll get to the pasta later. For now I’ve collected quotes about the magnificent Italia that will have you saying bellissima.


1. “You know, people come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they sat, it’s for the same two things.”
“Love and gelato.”

― Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Gelato


2. “You may have the universe if I may have Italy”
― Giuseppe Verdi


3. “First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, lemon trees, white wine, and raven-haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It’s alluring, but complicated. It’s the kind of place that can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters, or in the course of ten minutes. Italy is the only workshop in the world that can turn out both Botticellis and Berlusconis.”
― Beppe Severgnini, La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


4. “Italian cities have long been held up as ideals, not least by New Yorkers and Londoners enthralled by the ways their architecture gives beauty and meaning to everyday acts.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking


5. “Venice, it’s temples and palaces did seem like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven.”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley


6. “Rome seems a comfort to those with the ambitious soul of an Artist or a Conqueror.”

― Pietros Maneos, Poems of Blood and Passion


7. “Italy and London are the only places where I don’t feel to exist on sufferance.”
― E.M. Forster

8. “Who can resist sleep at two or three in the afternoon in these sunlit parts of the Mediterranean?”
― André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name


9. “The Tuscan countryside whizzed by in a kaleidoscopic whirl of shapes and colors. Green grass and trees melded with blue sky, purple and yellow wildflowers, peachy-orange villas, brown-and-gray farmhouses, and the occasional red-and-white Autogrill, Italy’s (delicious) answer to fast food.”

― Jenny Nelson, Georgia’s Kitchen 


10. “In America, one must be something, but in Italy one can simply be.”
― Pietros Maneos, The Italian Pleasures of Gabriele Paterkallos





Featured Image Via Business Insider


Writers In a New York Airport are Writing Stories For Flyers

When I think of reading in airports I think of Dan Brown novels, the latest thriller book, and very limited options when it comes to deciding what to pickup at the terminal’s book and magazine shop. Writers Gideon Jacobs and Lexie Smith are about to change all of that. 


The two writers set up shop at what used to be a Hudson News kiosk in Terminal A of New York’s La Guardia Airport, offering flyers a writing nook stacked with books, decorated with wooden furniture and rugs, and adorned with a vintage typewriter. In their nooks, they’re writing short stories for fliers.


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Image Via The New York Times


The writing initiative, named Landing Pages, is a part of a residency program by the Queens Council on the Arts and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Jacobs and Smith are just two out of many artists who have taken up residency at the terminal, taking over for three months to experiment and share their mediums. 


To receive a story from the authors, passengers just have to provide their flight number and contact information. Jacobs and Smith then go to work while passengers are in the air, texting them their completed stories before they arrive at their destination. 


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Image Via Hyperallergic


Together, the duo write about six stories a day with a goal of completing fifty by the end of June. With the end goal in mind, they plan on compiling all the stories they’ve written and self-publish them in an anthology. Until then, all the stories they’ve written so far are available to read online


Featured Image Via The New York Post. 


The 5 Most Interesting Bookmobiles From Around the World

It’s National Bookmobile Day! Bookmobiles, in case you weren’t aware, are mobile libraries that provide books to more remote and to people who can’t get to a library regularly such as hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Bookmobiles aren’t just cars, but they can also be boats, camels, and even converted military tanks. 


To celebrate national bookmobile day, here are some of the most interesting bookmobiles from around the world! 


1. Weapons of Mass Instruction – Argentina


book tank


Book Tank |  Via My Modern Met


This converted Ford Falcon is made to look like a military tank. Instead of explosives, this tank has a skeleton of built-in shelves that can hold about 900 books. Argentina-based artist Raul Lemesoff built the mobile in 2015 to spread messages of peace and literacy all over Argentina. 


book tank

Book Tank | Via In Habitat


2. The Camel Bookmobile – Kenya



Camel Bookmobile | Via The Yellow Sparrow


The inspiration behind the book, The Camel Bookmobile, this traveling camel provides books to people in Northeastern Kenya who are suffering from chronic poverty and drought. Due to the nomadic nature of the people living there, a static library would be useless and education is hard to come by. Not only does this mobile provide books, but it also teaches the people it visits English in outdoor classrooms.


3. Tell A Story – Portugal


book mobile

Tell A Story Van Front | Via Visit Portgual


A bookmobile targeting towards tourists of Lisbon provides travelers with Portuguese literature translated into English, French, Spanish, and German. The books featured inside the van showcase Portugal’s culture and language along with genres like literature and romance. Started in 2013, Francisco Antolin, Domingos Cruz, and Joao Correia Pereira wanted to spread Portugal’s culture in an accessible and hand-held way. 


4. Epos – Norway



Epos Boat | Via ThorNews


This bookmobile isn’t so much a mobile but more of a boat. Built in 1963, Epos was built specifically to serve as a floating library, sailing the coast of Norway ever since. Epos carries about 6,000 books and also offerers a dining room for patrons. Since Norway has many remote spots along the fjords, the boat offers books to over 150 communities who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a library.



Inside of the Ship | Via Moment


5. Bibloburro – Columbia



Bibloburro | Via This Gives Me Hope


Luis Soriano and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto (Alphabet in Spanish), travel across La Gloria, Columbia to elementary schools providing children with books to read. As a former Spanish teacher himself, he understands the lack of resources that some students in the rural state of Magdalena. Not only does Soriano provide books to schoolchildren, but he also provides them with homework help, help with learning how to read, and adventure stories and geography lessons that he has prepared for them.


 A few children’s books have been inspired by the biblioburro including Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia and Waiting for the Biblioburro.



Featured Image via American Library Association