Travel literature includes guide books, travel memoirs and the curious experiences that happen when you seek adventure.
Bertha Watt could hardly believe her luck. She was currently enjoying a delicious pastry and sipping tea on the Queen of the Ocean- the aptly named Titanic! In 2nd class, none the less! She was traveling with her mother to move to the far west coast of America, where her father currently was. He, of course, had gone ahead to set up a home for his "ladies", as he called them. Father simply sung the praises of their new home, a beautiful town called Portland.
From Mountains to the Sea
I look at the mountains standing tall behind me for the last time. Somehow, they look different today. They look pretty with the sunlight falling upon their icy cold peaks. But they also look sad. They look betrayed. I would know that feeling anywhere, after everything the feeling of betrayal is fresh in my memories and is running down my cheeks in the form of tears. I wonder if this is how those mountains felt when I said “I wish I could see the seas, the vast blue deep oceans”. I clutch the homemade yak cheese packet in my hand. I had refused to keep it in the luggage. The lady hands me new pair of mittens. I remember she gave me new pair of mittens when she first came to our village. I was excited back then but not now. All kinds of emotions are swirling inside my head.
Paris, Coffee, and Vices
A short anecdote on the history of Paris' coffeehouses has left me in a state of reflection. The amount of things one fine bean is capable of doing to humanity is mesmerizing. Coffee's impact in our civilization belongs in the same category as alcohol and herbal spices, and our behavior under its consumption has been the focus of constant speculations about the true purpose of its use ever since we started figuring out the basic chemical components of its composition.
Reading and the Road
I am stationed somewhere along the coast of northern California, a late September snow having stolen any glimpse of Crater Lake, pushing me on down the line sooner than anticipated to meander the winding, stomach-churning forest roads running deep through the shadows of towering Redwoods. At a scenic overlook perched above a picturesque beach, I’d taken to a secluded spot of pavement at the far end of the lot. The van had been backed up tight to the concrete barrier, a hefty glass of red wine poured, doors swung open, bench seat flipped down, and pillows organized to provide suitable comfort. It was then when I’d gotten to work. The town of Salinas sits no more than a handful of hours to the south from here. I glide over the final few pages of Steinbeck’s classic while lifting my head to sneak intrepid gazes of a burning sun as it falls into slumber beyond the horizontal clip of the Pacific. There is significant recognition as to how my eyes are feasting upon a similar scene and story to so many of those who’ve come before me. To the author himself. To the cast of characters. How all of them had either, in the flesh or on account of their creation, watched this same star crash into this very ocean.
United Kingdom: Places that Inspired Shakespeare and his History
Be sure to check part one out first. Shakespeare was a genius of the English language, and his legacy is still celebrated today. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, famously known as the birthplace of Shakespeare, but he travelled all around England to write his plays. In this blog post we will share with you some places that inspired him from across the country so you can learn more about where he lived and what he experienced while writing some of his most famous works!
Larry McMurtry’s Book Town Dream: Booked Up in Archer City, Texas
Small-town West Texas is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about books, and even less so when thinking about a Mecca of books. But thanks to native son Larry McMurtry (author of such novels as The Last Picture Show and Lonesome Dove who passed away earlier this year), that is exactly what Archer City, Texas became.
Italy: Places the Inspired Shakespeare and his History
Italy is known for its colourful history and culture. It has been said that if Shakespeare had ever visited, he would have found it hard to resist the temptation to write about the country. As a matter of fact, many believe that he did – in his stories such as Romeo and Juliet and Two Gentlemen of Verona! While Shakespeare never travelled there himself, Italy’s rich history can be seen in his work, one third of his plays were set in this country after all.
Virtual Reality, Venus, & Venice Venetia
Venice was more magical than I had ever imagined. In truth, I had never imagined it much. I just knew it was a place that I wanted to go. That it was special, and unique- interwoven with water and gothic architecture unlike anywhere else in the world.
The Gallery of Birds
Her white shadow overhead, like an angel across the canopy, Tyto Alba held the sky aloft on her wings. But here, in the gallery, she shared the air with a tired grey quail and a hoary flock of geese, all drawn up like puppets with string.
Listening to the Snow
“My country cannot be found” the narrator announces in “Dancing in Odessa,” the title poem of a collection by the Russian-born American poet Ilya Kaminsky, published in 2004. For Kaminsky, language conjures memory, and memory creates a country for the exiled and otherwise displaced.
"The Internal Gates"
“CRACK,” The rock hit the ground, “ CRAACCKK”, another rock hit the flat bed of gravel in the dusk, splitting in two as a pair of birds flew to escape the debris. Throwing rocks across the hillside was the only thing left for Iris to find his way back to the Godsland.
Lubbock by night, Amarillo by mid-day
Something about being on the road just makes me care less. I think I have a carnal desire to potentially lose everything. I guess that's why Phil and I had completely different reactions when an encounter with bonafide lunatics led to a prolonged, highspeed car chase down a Texas highway somewhere between Lubbock and Amarillo. See, I already knew what the stakes were as soon as they pulled up beside us on the curb. I've been through way shittier situations just dating women with mood disorders that were compatible with my own. I didn't even mind the gun; that was just part of the experience for me. Most of my focus was bent towards trying to calm Phil down during those crucial moments where his ability to drive was directly proportional to our survivability, sometimes on a second-by-second basis. The monks call that the "fourth moment" by the way; it's somewhere between the present and the future, where we dictate the flow. That harrowing chase sequence was Phil's rock bottom; for me it was a gratifying experience. I felt the weight of every infinitesimal choice that resulted in just one more moment, just one more chance to care less. I appreciate that things can be intense. If anything, I require as much intensity as possible. I would have absolutely loved it if I still had just a little bit of blow left over from the night before, so that I could have licked a bump of it right as we hit the highway with those two strange cars in hot pursuit.