So, I’ve been three quarters of the way around the world. I just have to close the gap between India and Europe and I’ll have it made. Not a bad milestone to have reached. Can I dream that I’ll make it ALL the way around the globe by the time I reach 60? Why not. Dream big, people say. Learn how to dance the flamenco. Take that course on sculpting. Write that book.
To be honest though, I prefer my globe-trotting through literature. I’m just happier curling up in front of my own fireplace with a good book. Much nicer than flying here and there and staying in hotels where mothballs deter ‘things’ from crawling up the drain. But then I may be slightly biased right now after that really, really long flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver, 11 ½ hours. Took me 2 weeks to get over the jet lag. And I only remember 2 of the 5 in-flight movies I watched.
But when I read, it’s countries outside of my North American home that interest me. I’m proud to say there is a hint of wanderlust in me. I’m just ashamed to say that I don’t want to leave the comfort of my home to experience it. One can get very attached to their pretty bathtub. Their bed and pillow. Their dog. And if you ‘read a journey’ you don’t have to worry about traveler’s—ahem—diarrhea.
Looking back, my literary journeys began to the Swiss Alps when I was 6 years old and had pneumonia. My mother read Heidi to me. When I was a teenager—and again sick in bed with pneumonia—she gave me some of those skinny romance novelettes from Britain. Later I graduated to thicker romances set in exotic locals like the Outback in Australia. If you looked at the back of the paper-backed book, it always gave the cost of the book in Canadian dollars, English sterling, and what it would cost in New Zealand or Australia.
In my later teens I devoured English mysteries, like Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart. It was Mary Stewart who lured me once again outside of the British Commonwealth with her romantic mysteries like 'Madame Will You Talk' set in Greece or 'Airs Above the Ground' set in Vienna. But it was the great M.M. Kaye with her heavy historical tomes set in the exotic land of India that has remained all these years as my very favorite author.
I still shiver with delight over the scene in 'Far Pavilions' of Ash driving his horse to a mad gallop with Anjuli behind him, her arms around his waist. Her long black hair flows out behind them like ribbons of silk as he rides the horse to a lather. Hordes of Anjuli’s jailers from the Rajah’s decrepit palace are right on their tail. And Ash and Anjuli are heading straight for what looks like a solid wall of rock. GASP!!!
It was M.M. Kaye who also took me around Asia as well as Europe in her mysteries—'Death in Zanzibar', 'Death in Berlin', 'Death in the Andaman’s', 'Death in . . . well you get the picture.
Lately it’s been Christian authors like Tricia Goyer, and Jack Cavanaugh with his 'Songs of the Night Series' set in Germany during WW2, who have taken me out of my North American comfort zone. Very recently it’s been Roseanna White with her brilliant 'A Stray Drop of Blood' set in The Holy Land and Rome, and Linore Rose Burkard with her Regency novels.
Thank the Lord for wonderful authors like these. With them around I really don’t need to renew my passport.
But then again . . . I do having that yawning gap between Europe and India to close. Oh well, maybe like old Bilbo there's one more adventure left in me. Maybe two?
To read more about my adventure in India or about my journey as a mother who gave up her child to adoption and subsequent reunion, check out my blog www.christinelindsay.com