Have you ever wanted to travel without leaving the comfort of your home? At the very least, a lot of people have wished they could travel safely without breaching world-wide “lock-down” or “quarantine” restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I certainly have. How do I overcome the travel bans? Its simple. I become an armchair traveler.
How do you become an armchair traveler when you stay home?
You guessed it! By reading. If, like me, you love to read, then I’m sure you’ve experienced yourself being transported into the setting of your novel. Be it new and exotic places or an entirely different world or even a different time in the past or the future. We get sucked into the lives of our favourite characters and wish that everything works out for them. But, to be more specific, I feel that armchair travelling is most relevant to reading stories based in different locations that we would love to travel to in real life. What I love most about these stories is that they help us visualize places and understand different cultures. We experience what its like to be there through the characters. There is no better way to be an armchair traveler than with a lovely beach read!
What is considered a beach read?
Ah, so what exactly is a “beach read”? An article by Michelle Dean published in the Guardian explains that the term “Beach Read” first emerged around the 1990’s and was likely just a new way of marketing books. If we really think about it, we can hardly narrow down a particular genre of books that people would enjoy reading at the beach or while on holiday. This holds true for me. Although I like an easy-going chick-lit, I also like a variety of different genre of books that may be set in an exotic location that I may be visiting (or wishing to visit since the pandemic).
Armchair Traveler Beach Reads
On that note, here are 3 of my favourite beach reads for armchair travelling:
*Disclosure: We only recommend books which we love and would read ourselves. This post contains affiliate links, as we are part of the Amazon Services LCC Associate Program, which may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
Sex And Vanity by Kevin Kwan
If you like Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, you’ll like this one too. This is how the ridiculously rich people live, described in Kevin Kwan’s style, with decadent food, designer dresses, unimaginable jewelry and luxurious properties. This story is based on E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View.
Lucie Churchill is attending her friend Isabel’s destination wedding on the beautiful island of Capri. She develops a romance with George Zao, another wedding guest. After an embarrassing mishap, they part ways abruptly only to run into each other again 5 years later in New York. Lucie is now engaged to the most eligible bachelor in the city much to the envy of some family members.
Being half Chinese an half white, Lucie never felt that she fitted in on either side of her family. Marrying Cecil, her billionaire fiancé, will earn Lucie much respect in her family. But with George Zao appearing out of nowhere, Lucie’s dormant feelings for him are re-awakening.
The Moroccan Daughter by Deborah Rodriguez
From the author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul comes this story set in Morocco. This story centers around Amina Bennis who must go to Morocco for her sister’s wedding. She also needs to tell her strict traditionalist father a secret she has kept for over a year – her American husband, Max.
Amina ropes in her best friend Charlie, and Charlie’s grandmother Bea to go along with her for moral support. We learn that Charlie has secrets of her own – a mystery man from Casablanca.
There is also Samira, the Bennises’ housekeeper who is harboring the biggest secret of them all.
I really enjoyed reading and understanding the cultural aspects of the story along with the description of the atmosphere in the alleyways of the medina of Fes. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a little glimpse into Moroccan life.
Seven Ancient Wonders A Jack West Novel by Matthew Reilly
Captain Jack West Jr. and his team embark on a quest to find something that was hidden within the seven wonders of the ancient world two thousand years ago. This adventure takes them from the pyramids of Egypt to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and more. This book is very fast-paced and full of action. If you’re intrigued by ancient architecture and history, you’ll love this book based on the ancient wonders.
Benefits of Armchair Travel
To sum up, here is a list of 5 benefits of armchair travelling:
- Not having to leave the comfort of your home whether its by choice or because you’re not allowed to due to, say, a pandemic.
- More affordable than real life travelling. Essentially free if you’re borrowing books from the library. This is even better if your library has e-borrowing services.
- Provides the ability to learn about new people, places, and cultures.
- You always have a blanket or a cup of tea and snacks handy.
- You don’t have to limit your travels to new locations. You can choose to travel to a new fantasy world altogether like The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien. Or perhaps even to a different point in time by reading books set in the past like the Bridgerton collection by Julia Quinn, or books set in the future like the In Death series by J. D. Robb.
Armed with whatever beach read takes your fancy, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your armchair travels!
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