Eat, Pray, Travel

Bucket list destinations for lovers of literature

Literature can inspire wanderlust; the idea for many a grand journey began while reading a good book. That idea can work both ways, too – sometimes a destination can be a big part of a great work of literature.
The world’s libraries are filled with tomes that bring to mind iconic destinations, but there are a few books and authors that really stand apart. Here are a few of our favorites:

IcelandJourney to the Center of the EarthJules Verne
Iceland is a rugged northern wonderland home to otherworldly natural beauty. Perhaps that’s why Jules Verne chose Snaefellsnes as a key setting for his novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. On our Iceland adventure, you’ll visit this region – sometimes called “Iceland in Miniature” because of its diverse landscapes – and see the Snaefellsjökull Glacier, which sits atop a 700,000-year-old dormant volcano that was featured in Verne’s novel. While you won’t embark on a voyage to the core of the planet, your guide will take you up to 4,600 feet on a Snowcat excursion on this magnificent glacier.

 

ChinaThe Good EarthPearl S. Buck
This Pulitzer-prize winning, Pearl S. Buck-penned novel is set in rural 20th century China, following protagonists Wang Lung and O-lan as the young couple works to build a life in uncertain times. As you soak up the beauty of China and the culture of this timeless land on our China and China & Tibet adventures, remember this quote from Ms. Buck: “Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of the earth and the life upon it, that I cannot think of heaven and the angels.”

 

IndiaEat, Pray, LoveElizabeth Gilbert
This remarkable book took the world by storm, selling 10 million copies and resulting in a movie starring Julia Roberts. Author Elizabeth Gilbert visited India as part of her spiritual quest (the “Pray” portion of her journey), and her experiences there have inspired millions. There is no doubt that visiting India can have a transformative effect, and can rekindle the feeling that Gilbert wrote of in this bestseller: “Traveling,” she wrote, “is the great true love of my life.”

 
 

England & ScotlandKing Lear and MacBethWilliam Shakespeare
Universally acknowledged as the greatest writer in the history of Western literature, Shakespeare needs no introduction, and any added praise is gratuitous. His works speak for themselves. Two of his most popular plays, King Lear and MacBeth (which is known in acting circles as “The Scottish Play”), each described these storied lands, and the Bard surely drew inspiration from his time growing up in Stratford-upon-Avon, located 100 miles away of London. As you experience these two countries (and one more) on our Hidden Gems of Ireland & the British Isles, perhaps bring along a few of his sonnets to complement the pastoral and coastal beauty along the way.

 

IrelandThe poems of WB YeatsW.B. Yeats
“There are no strangers here,” wrote the beloved poet William Butler Yeats. “Only friends you haven’t met yet.” When traveling in Ireland, you’re sure to experience the unique warmth that the country’s first Nobel Laureate spoke of in that line. Imagine admiring the Emerald Isle while recalling some of the writer’s best lines, from the beautiful (“Happiness is… simply growth, We are happy when we are growing”) to the funny (“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy”). You can experience Yeats’ homeland and its famed hospitality – not to mention sights like Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher – on Ireland: A Deluxe Journey to the Emerald Isle.

 

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