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The armchair traveller: exploring the world through books

The armchair traveller: exploring the world through books

The armchair traveller: exploring the world through books

'Reading is a passport to distant lands. From the comfort of your armchair – or your bed, or your window seat, or your garden bench – you can visit the Himalayas or the Grand Canyon or the Pyramids...'

Across the world, so many of us are stuck at home at the moment. But that needn’t mean we can’t travel to wonderful, exotic places!

Growing up in Egypt, I longed to travel. My best friends moved to Africa, and their weekly letters depicted another world, exciting, colourful and wild. In addition, each year my father, who was in cotton, held a meeting attended by spinners from all over the world – Italians, Spaniards, Frenchmen – and these men would tell me fascinating stories of their homelands. I dreamt of seeing the world for myself, yet my family could not travel due to the political situation in Egypt, so instead I had to content myself with books.

And what wonderful books!

Reading really is a passport to distant lands. From the comfort of your armchair – or your bed, or your window seat, or your garden bench – you can visit the Himalayas or the Grand Canyon or the Pyramids.

My own novels will transport you to Kenya (Burning Embers), Italy (The Echoes of Love and Concerto), France (Concerto), the Greek islands (Aphrodite’s Tears) and Spain (Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy).

Through my stories, you can visit Cadiz, city of watchtowers, and Venice, city of love. You can roam through the ancient ruins of the island of Delos and sit in La Plaza de Toros in Ronda. You can sail past the iconic villas of Lake Como and climb to the highest point in Oia, Santorini, to watch the sun set. You can dive in the depths of the Aegean Sea and soar through the African skies in a hot-air balloon. You can tour the French Riviera and the vineyards of Tuscany; you can visit the Alhambra palace in Granada and the Masai Mara in Kenya.

There are so many more places to explore too. The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye is one of my favourite books, and this epic novel is set in India. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is another great read, taking you back in time to 18th-century Scotland.

In fact, how about taking a trip around the world in 80 books? On Goodreads, you’ll find a group devoted to exploring the world through literature. Both Wordery and Book Riot offer their own ‘Around the world in 80 books’ ideas.

Do you have any suggestions for books to inspire the armchair traveller? I would love to hear your recommendations.

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