Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wanderlust: 5 Places To Go + Books To Read

“I'm in love with cities I've never been to and people I've never met. ”

Melody Truong

All I ever want to do in life is to travel the world, read the kind of books that enchant my heart & soul and create something amazing every once in a while. While I haven't had the opportunity to see the world yet, as a reader I have had many an adventure in beautiful and sometimes, strange places. My to-travel list is filled with so many gorgeous places to see and wonderful cultures to experience.

Today I've picked 5 destinations I want to visit and paired them with to-read books that are set in these great places.
#01: England: A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray

To see: 
Oxford, heaven to Harry Potter enthusiasts seems to be filled with awe-inspiring architecture. There is nothing more I'd love to do than walk along the same charming cobblestone streets walked by legendary authors and great poets.
I'd love to see Cambridge, Hever Castle, Chinatown, the Big Ben, The Globe, Durham Castle, York Minster, Westminster Abbey, The British Museum, Warwick Castle, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Natural History Museum and Jurassic Coast.

To do: See a sing-along film(preferably, Grease) at the Prince Charles Cinema, Soho. Join the Book Slam. Have afternoon tea. Buy a book and eat some cake at the London Review Bookshop. Take a ride on the London Eye.

To read: A Victorian boarding school. Historical fiction with a supernatural twist.

#02: Spain: Small Damages - Beth Kephart

To see: See the Sangrada Familia and Alhambra in Granada. Find out which ones better; Barcelona or Madrid. De-stress on a white-washed beach at Nerja.

To do: Enjoy a tapas. Experience the Flamenco and La Tomatina. Take a bazillion pictures at the Andalucía mountains. Stop by Camp Nou and take a dip at Ibiza. Stay out all night and have some café con leche at dawn.

To read: Beautiful prose. A powerful story on teen pregnancy. A picturesque and whimsical setting that will make you yearn for this beautiful country.

#03: South America: Wanderlove - Kirsten Hubbard

To see: Peru and Chile. Revel in the beauty of Machu Picchu. See the land and sky blend together in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. See the Milkyway over Lake Titicaca, Peru. Visit Galapagos Island for the seals and tortoises.

To do: Take a drive down the World’s Most Dangerous Road in Bolivia. Experience the rich local culture at Colombia. Photograph the Angel Falls, Venezuala. Scuba dive at Bayahibe, Dominican Republic. Trek through the Amazon Forest(wishful thinking?). Zip line in Ecuador.

To read: Backpacking across Central America. A journey of self-discovery that 
promises to awaken the wanderer in you.

#04: Japan: When You Were Here - Daisy Whitney

To see: Visit the temples in Kyoto. See Mount Fuji. Climb the Tokyo Tower. Got to an owl cafe. Geek out at Akihabara.

To do: Do some shopping at Shibuya. An onsen sounds relaxing expect for the part where you need to strip off! Try every imaginable flavor of Doritos and KitKat available. Eat Japan's best Ramen and tempura till I'm sick. Get some sushi, if only for the scrumptious pictures that I can upload to Instagram. ;) Say hello to a robot. Try the Matcha Brownie Frappuccino. Buy lots of cutesy accessories that I probably won't end up wearing. Watch a sumo match.

To read: Male POV. A heart wrenching story about one grieving son's journey to understand death, love and happiness.

#05: France: Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins 

To see: Princess turrets, rainbow-colored half-timber houses, a cathedral and romantic canals in Colmar. Stroll through Paris. See the Luxembourg Gardens. Relive history in St Germain des Pres, Places Georges Pompidou, Cathédrale de Notre Dame and Louvre.

To do: Eat all the macaroons, pretzels, croissants, baguettes and crepes! See the Eiffel Tower at night. Shop at Marché des Lices. Buy an Austen book at  Shakespeare & Company. Spend an evening at River Seine.

To read: An endearing and mildly angsty love story set in the city of romance. And of course, the swoon-worthy Étienne St. Clair.
Have you read any of these books or been to any of these places? What's on your travel bucket list?

I would love your travel + book recommendations! :)


  1. Yes to South America and Japan! Japan has been on my list for a while. I really want to go to the Gundam Cafe ( A Gundam is basically a giant Robot-think Transformers lol). I want to go to Harajuku as well. It seems like such a beautiful country and beautiful people. Also allll the manga and anime for me :). I'd love to visit Brazil-especially Sau Paulo since my Penpal lives there! Also England is on the list...well I fell like a visit is mandatory since I was born there and haven't been back since, except to the air port lol. Great list Nuz!!

  2. Wow,beautiful post Nuz!
    I love travelling and I yearn to travel around the world one day.I want to visit so many places.
    I can't wait to grow up:)

  3. hey! *-* I'm from Perú. My country is the most beautiful and delicious country of all. I hope you can come in soon!

  4. I absolutely love this idea - it's so creative! I've actually just come back from holiday, but now I feel I need to travel again... just with an updated bookshelf! Oh, and being and English gal, I feel the need to point out that not all literary-based things are in London. I live near Bath, so EVERYTHING is about Jane Austin here, but up north there are lots of tours and touristy things based on other famous authors (Whitby, Yorkshire and Stratford are all spectacularly famous for their celebrations of authors).
    Beth x

  5. I am completely in love with this idea and these beautiful graphics =D It's funny, I actually was in France, Paris actually, while reading Anna and the French Kiss it was an AMAZING experience!

  6. Oh Nuzaifa, you killed me with this post. Especially since I've read 4/5 of these books so I know the feeling of wanderlust as I got it too when I was reading them.

    So this post is perfection and I don't really have anything else to add because I definitely agree and would love to do all of these things/see all of these things so the day you go on these trips, I am expecting to be tagging along too! ;)


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