Girls who Travel by Nicole Trilivas alludes to “how far you have to travel to become the person you want to be”. In an age where women can ditch boring jobs, pack laptops and work almost anywhere on the planet, this is a lovely option if you happen to live in a First World country where such freedom of choice is the norm.
My attention is so occupied with the consequences of forced travel for Syrian refugees and the horror of the Paris attacks (not forgetting Mali, Turkey, Beirut, Sydney and everywhere else there’s been a recent terror atrocity) this privileged concept is far from my mind right now. The freedom might well become curtailed or at least more cautiously considered – but that’s another blog post.
Anyway, in the novel heroine Kika Shores jumps from living with mum in suburban Long Island to take up a nannying position in London. She had previously enjoyed a high-spirited solo backpacking adventure and became disenchanted with her commute and city job after she returned to the US. Golly!
Kika is thrilled about going to the UK to play Mary Poppins and rekindling a long-distance love affair. The problem is her snooty neighbour Aston Hyde Bettencourt keeps showing up everywhere she turns. But the more time Kika spends with Aston’s stuffed shirt, the less she seems to mind.
The point Trilivas makes is that sometimes the most exhilarating adventures can happen when you stay in one place. That’s something I agree with. Wanderlust doesn’t necessarily reveal soul-shattering experiences over every horizon. Trilivas’ breezy, humorous style of writing makes this an entertaining, frothy, if slightly predictable, holiday read.
Excerpt from Girls who Travel:
Ten thousand miles away, my mom was probably wondering why I hadn’t called her. But when you’re living inside a tropical screen saver and having knee-weakening sex with a professional Irish rogue, you tend to neglect mundane tasks.
Today. I will call her today.
I knew she was going to ask if I found out Lochlon’s secret yet, and I had no update for her. Somehow, not knowing was bothering her more than it was bothering me.
‘I don’t get it, Kika,’ she protested during our last phone call. ‘You’ve been gallivanting around South India with some guy who admitted that he’s hiding his past, and you still haven’t gotten any details?’
But after a year of travel through countries that had obligatory coffee breaks and nap times, I had been slow-cooked into a state of tender, fall-off-the-bone relaxation.
‘He’ll tell me when he’s ready,’ I downplayed to my mom and to myself. Still, she wasn’t buying it and was clamoring for more frequent updates from me.
I will definitely call her tomorrow, I decided as I got out of bed. I pushed the mosquito net aside, writhed into my clammy bikini, and left the beach hut. Feeling the sand against my soles brought up flashes of last night, when Lochlon convinced me that a midnight ‘swim’ was in order.
You get the picture.
The author has drawn on her own travel destinations for her debut novel.
“My love of exploration and new cultures has led me to over 30 countries on 6 continents and inspired my travel fiction and non-fiction writing,” Trilivas writes on her blog.
Girls who Travel
Looking for a holiday read or a last-minute Christmas pressie? Taste for Travel has copy of Girls who Travel to give away to one lucky reader. Simply Like the post and leave a comment on this blog on on my Facebook page. Or lob me a Tweet or message on Instagram. Too easy. I’ll pick a name at random on December 4, and you’ll receive it in time for Christmas! Open to readers in Australia only.
Girls who Travel by Nicole Trilivas, published by Penguin Random House, rrp $A 32.99