I’ve done a lot of travelling as a young person. Quite often in my life I have felt a bit nomadic, on a bus from here to there, a train, a car, a plane. Hotel rooms. Service stations. Travel has always been about imagination to me, of discovering something new and seeing something amazing, in much the same way as reading a good book lets me discover an adventure and new world. Neil Gaiman said that those of us that read lots live lots. Live many lives. I agree, we’ve explored, fought, died, loved, learnt magic, ridden dragons, crossed space, crossed time, been through salt deserts, attended magical schools and met all manner of intriguing, wonderful, cruel, evil and brave people.
Do you know what I have always loved about travel, no matter where I was, no matter where I was going? I can carry where I want to be in my backpack. A book. A journal. Fiction has been my constant throughout, a ‘safe’ world I can dive into wherever I am.
A new love of mine has been discovering the real places written about in fiction I like. I’ve been to Stockholm and walked in Lisbeth Salander’s shoes, I’ve been to Meiji Castle and trod in Mori’s shadow, I’ve rowed across Loch Shiel and stared at the spot my muggle eyes can’t see past, I’ve wandered down Tottenham Court Road and glanced into the pub where Robin watched her mark. Do you know why I like it so much? It teaches you, I think, that a mundane street or office block can be something else, a part of a story, and that really can bring the world to life. Nothing is really that mundane. Let your imagination run riot.