Did any of our recommendations from the previous installments make it to your must-visit list? If you’re looking for more literature-inspired locations to fly off to, we’re delighted to share another installment with five more destinations for a novel travel!
If you’ve ever watched the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet and got inspired by it, you’d most likely be delighted to learn that it was based from the autobiographical travel book of the same title by Heinrich Harrer. If you’ve never been to the fascinating region of Tibet, make the experience even more exciting by visualizing the true story of the Austrian mountaineer and traveler which happened between 1944 and 1951.
Sa Dec and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam
French writer and film director Marguerite Duras bares her unforgettable affair as a teenager in a 1984 autobiographical novel entitled The Lover (French: L’Amant). Set in Vietnam’s French colonial days, the novel begins with the 15-year-old protagonist traveling by ferry across the Mekong Delta, returning to her boarding school in Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City) after a vacation with her family in Sa Dec. There, she meets a wealthy but much older man, and their affair starts soon after, with Duras sneaking off every night to her lover’s “bachelor’s pad” in Cholon (the capital’s Chinatown).
If you enjoyed the novel enough to decide to relive the clandestine romance between Duras and her Lover, you might want to follow the lead of Matt Gross, who traced their footsteps around Sa Dec and Saigon for the New York Times.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Remember The Rum Diary, the 2011 film where we spotted Johnny Depp wielding a beautiful Kiev 2A for his role as American author Paul Kemp? If the film made you want to head to sunny South America for a beach holiday, fly to San Juan in Puerto Rico and bring along a copy of Hunter S. Thompson's novel of the same title. Who knows, you may also find a story worth writing about while roaming around the coastal town and following Paul Kemp’s footsteps!
Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain
A spiritual destination for the Catholic faithful, pilgrims from all over the world head to Santiago de Compostela in the autonomous Spanish region of Galicia each year to do the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago). In 1986, famed Brazilian author Paulo Coelho also did the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (where tradition states that the remains of the apostle Saint James are interred) and wrote about his experiences in an aptly titled novel called The Pilgrimage. Should you decide to embark on this journey yourself, consider taking with you Coelho’s story of adventure and self-discovery.
If you’ve ever wondered where we got our fascination for getting “a room with a view,” the answer lies in the 1908 novel of the same name by English writer E.M. Forster. While Forster’s classic work was set in Edwardian Era England, much of the city’s historic sites, monuments, and places of interest seen by the novel’s protagonist Lucy Honeychurch are still there for us to explore. Staying at Room 414 of the Hotel degli Orafi, where Lucy (played by Helena Bonham Carter) and her chaperone-slash-cousin finally got their view of the Arno River, would be lovely, but optional.
Missed the previous installments? Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to see if your favorite literary destination has already made it to this ongoing list! If not, why don’t you give us your book + destination recommendation by leaving a comment below!