Literary Inspired Holidays & Travel from tailor made specialists
How many of you have long dreamed of visiting somewhere inspired by books you have read, either as a child or later in life? I know reading definitely inspired my own ‘wanderlust’ from a very early age! The picture painted of faraway lands and unusual animals in books such as David Attenborough’s ‘Zoo Quest‘ series in the 50s and 60s and Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and Other Animals’ (set in Corfu), ‘Zoo in my luggage’ and others really made me want to learn more about exotic animals and rainforests and I have always yearned to go to Madagascar!
Travel writing is extremely popular and many modern day stories of overland travel (whether by car, bike, truck, train or camel!) spark the imagination, inviting you to go on your own exploration around the world…. leave the i-phone and internet behind and join an adventure! As well travelled professionals ourselves we can put together your own literary inspired holidays and get you to visit places you have so far only read about. Whether you want to go ‘Pole to Pole’ like Michael Palin or ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ like Phileas Fogg in the novel by Jules Verne, we can come up with a plan for your bucket list trip! (We are not so sure about the other novels by Jules Verne … a Journey to the centre of the earth, or a voyage to twenty thousand leagues under the sea may be a bit of a challenge!). Among the earliest travel writers was Daniel Defoe with his world famous ‘Robinson Crusoe‘ (published in 1719) being now used as a term for any kind of ‘island castaway’. If you would like to stay on your own desert island take a look at the private islands section or highly recommended is Chole Mjini on Mafia Island, a personal favourite of mine where you can sleep in a gorgeous tree house far from the bustle of modern day life! Robert Louis Stevenson inspired many intrepid travellers and highlighted the world of pirates and swash-buckling heros in his famous book ‘Treasure Island’. Many islands of the Caribbean have a strong pirate and naval history.
If you would like to go on a ‘Passage to India’ we work with India specialists to create your own voyage to the Indian sub-continent. I am currently working my way through the novel ‘Shantaram’ which is an incredibly evocative tale of a man who found himself living in the slums of Mumbai and really paints a picture of India which anyone who has travelled there will love. India is a wonderful country full of passion and culture with many literary tales written about it.
Closer to home there have been many romantic novels written about Greek Islands, such a s ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ (set on Kefalonia) or the legend of Zorba the Greek (written in the Peloponnese). Many city breaks can include locations inspired by novels (although we don’t recommend ‘Murder on the Orient Express’!). Inspired by Gerald Durrell and ‘My Family and other Animals’ Corfu has long attracted writers and artists.
Africa (safaris being Jules’ specialist subject!) has thousands of travel books and stories which you can relate to. Particularly in Kenya, where you can follow in the footsteps of Karen Blixen where she lived on her coffee farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills outside of Nairobi. For your own ‘Out of Africa’ experience, we can arrange flights in colonial style planes over the Rift Valley and you can stay at Angama Mara a new luxury safari lodge on the location of Karen and Deny’s picnic in the film! Other historical true stories based in East Africa include ‘West with the Night’ by Beryl Markham (first lady pilot) and Happy Valley (which has also been made into a film). Stay on location of Hemmingway’s “green hills of Africa” at Campi Ya Kanzi
Alastair McCall-Smith has a huge literary following for his Scotland Street and wonderful ‘No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ series. I’ve collected them all since the start and travelling to Botswana and understanding the people of the ‘land of cattle and wood smoke’ these lovely books make a great read. There are actually ‘No 1 Ladies tours’ in Botswana – so contact us to arrange for you to meet the people of Gabarone and see where Mma Ramotswe lived as part of a safari to Southern Africa!
Natural History programmes on TV have also produced many books about wildlife, which along with their beautiful photography cannot fail to invite you to visit these stunning landscapes and wildlife regions of the world. Who could forget David Attenborough in ‘Life on Earth’ decades ago sitting next to a group of Mountain Gorillas, something we had never before seen or heard of at the time. This event has been captured in the book of the series (which I am proud to have a signed copy by the man himself!), and of course if you love these gentle giants you must have read Dian Fossey’s true story set in Rwanda ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ (which has also been made into a film).
Films are often created from books of course and in recent years many travel guides double up with food programmes as TV chefs have taken to travelling the world in search of different cuisines and tastes. If you are inspired by cookery books to travel, get in touch and we can book a food and drink holiday to the same or similar locations that you have seen on TV or read about in the lovely collection of cookery books available today (hundreds of which are in my own kitchen!). Rick Stein has travelled through Spain, France, Germany, India, The Mediterranean and at the moment (2015) he is travelling from ‘Venice to Istanbul‘ sampling the local rural and authentic food and wine from these regions. Jamie Oliver visits some amazing foodie destinations in ‘Jamie’s Italy’. I have even visited a butchers shop in Ponzano in Tuscany and found a copy of this book and it turns out the butcher there is a friend of Jamie and features in the book! We can book food holidays to Tuscany and other areas of Italy on a tailor made basis.
So if you have been inspired by any literary tales or travel writing stories, please get in touch and let us get you on your way to your own dream holiday location! Contact us on 01728 748209, use the live chat or fill out the enquiry form.