Anthony Bourdain wrote about his best travel tips and one of them was absolutely genius…
On the plane, read a fiction book set in the place you are going to visit. Here is his quote:
On the plane, I like to read fiction set in the location I’m going to. Fiction is in many ways more useful than a guidebook, because it gives you those little details, a sense of the way a place smells, an emotional sense of the place. So, I’ll bring Graham Greene’s The Quiet American if I’m going to Vietnam. It’s good to feel romantic about a destination before you arrive.
It’s so true and I am absolutely going to do this the next time I go somewhere. It could even be fun to read books set in the place I live so I can feel romantic about it as well. If fact, I just happened to pick up Jeannette Walls’ book Half Broke Horses at the library.
If you are travelling to New Orleans, I would suggest The Feast of All Saints written by Anne Rice. It is not about vampires, it is one of her books that is not about the supernatural. I think it really conveys the mood and mystery and dark magic of the city. You will get a whole new education on the history of racial relationships as well.
While you are at it, watch A Love Song for Bobby Long which will give you a new perspective on Scarlett Johansson, John Travolta and Gabriel Macht (of the show Suits) and lure you seductively into the musical and boozy ambiance of the Big Easy. There is a beautiful song by Theresa Andersson in the movie called “Lorraine’s Song” and it always takes me right back there with the first note.
The next trip I plan to take is to Big Bear, California, and the only book I found set there so far is Gold Mountain Girl. I’m going to give this a whirl!
Have a glorious weekend!