As a writer, my travels have proved to be a valuable source of inspiration. This morning, when I was sitting at my desk looking out the window at all the snow, the urge to get on a plane and fly somewhere warm hit me once again. The travel bug is always buzzing around me and of late, the nibbling has progressed to biting. Suffice it to say, the time has come when I can no longer swat this little bug away—there will be a trip in 2019.
During my 20’s and 30’s it was all about my backpack. Although, I have not officially counted the number of countries I’ve traversed, I can say I’ve been privileged to have touched down in all the continents with the exception being Antarctica. Travel has been a BIG part of my life—I’m most happy when I’m exploring a new destination, feeding all the sensations. One of my favourite travel experiences was trekking the Annapurna Circuit, in Nepal. The trip was the perfect combination of culture, spectacular landscapes, athleticism and social interaction with both locals and fellow travellers.
The 2019 trip will be a similar experience—cycling in Morocco! Since the commitment has been made my spirit has had a much-needed boost. I quite like the slow build of knowing where your trip will be and then the count down to take-off. As I previously alluded, travel and inspiration are integral part of my creativity. Both of my novels have been inspired from experiences abroad.
Beauty Beneath the Banyan (BBTB) evolved from my time travelling through South East Asia. There were many things that struck me about this incredible region and its beautiful people. Up until this point, my knowledge about the Vietnam War was limited to movies that were driven by the American narrative. A trip to the Vietnam War Museum and the Cu Chi tunnels—which is a segment of the Ho Chi Minh Trail—exposed me to the Vietnam War from another perspective.
My curiosity about the impact of the War was further peaked during a trip to the Killing Fields, in Cambodia and the Plain of Jars, in Laos when I observed a landscape pierced by bomb craters, saw fences constructed with shell casings and walked on paths cleared of unexploded ordnance. It is important to mention—Laos was a neutral and is one of the most heavily bombed regions in the world—I’ll say it again--neutral. I walked away from this trip thinking…what the heck happened here? Upon my return to Canada, I researched and wrote about the aftermath of the Vietnam War 30+ years later.
My current project, Tears from the Sea similarly was inspired by my time in Asia. As one of many foreigners present in South East Asia when the December 26, 2004 tsunami struck, I was compelled to write about the plight of its victims—not from a tourist’s perspective, but a story about a local survivor and how the catastrophe altered their life.
I don’t know what Morocco will bring by way of inspiration, but I look forward to my senses being stimulated, the fire in my belly ignited and may the seed of a new story be planted. That’s the beauty of travel you never know what will arise but it's bound to be good. Until then I will continue to look out the window at all these lovely piles of snow and be thankful I can stop finally stop swatting at that little bug.
Thanks google images.
Activist, World traveller. Fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.