Discover where world-know authors travelled to create their masterpieces
Favourite writers’ destinations to find inspiration
Sometimes every human being needs to rewind. And whether you are a PhD student stuck on the literature review, or a workaholic who suddenly feels tired, in any case travelling is one of the best solutions that mankind has discovered yet to reclaim your inspiration and level your spirits. You might be the type that gets motivated by a new challenge and adventure or just the one who seeks calm and rest to concentrate on your tasks, but either way, you can get an advice from famous writers, whose daily struggles are often so close to your own.
Pamplona, Spain – Hemingway
One of the most famous writers in the world, whose novels you definitely have read in school years, actually found a lot of time to travel while creating his masterpieces. Born in the USA, he moved to Paris with his first wife, went on a safari to Africa, visited many countries as a reporter, lived in Cuba and many more places before finally settling back in Idaho. However, Spain became one of the most inspirational places for him. When he happened to see the San-Fermin corrida festival for the first time in 1923 he was totally intrigued. Next year he went there again with his friends and continued visiting the festival for almost thirty years, and these trips inspired him to write on of his first successful novels “The Sun Also Rises”.
To catch a glimpse of this fascinating festival, you need to get to Pamplona in early July. But there is much more to see in the town to the running of the bulls. There you can find serenity under the roof of the Catedral de Pamplona or appreciate Moorish and Roman history in the Museo de Navarra. And here you can try to get an insight into Hemingway’s writing process and visit Café Bar Torino and the Casa Marceliano, where the writer spent many evenings and nights with his literary friends.
French Riviera – Fitzgerald
Most people know F. Scott Fitzerald as the author of “The Great Gatsby”, the novel greatly inspired by the vibrant life in Long Island and Manhattan. But New York was not the only and maybe even not the crucial place of inspiration for this writer. One of his most underrated novels, “Tender is the Night”, he created in France. This is a heartbreaking story loosely based on his autobiography where he depicted his complex relationships with his wife Zelda.
There are lots of things to see in French Riviera, and its magical luxurious charm opens up to each person in different ways. You might want to visit the mansion where Fitzerald stayed in, the Villa Picolette, and embrace the sophistication of its Art Deco style. The shores of French Rivera attract tourists with enigmatic charm of private villas and splendour of the casinos. The extravaganza that started in XVIII century never ends: celebrities and wealthy people still gather here to live their lives to the fullest. And while such lifestyle might be a bit too much for you, you still need such a jolt of fresh air now and then.
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Hunter S. Thompson
If your life suddenly went down the hill, don’t be desperate: remember that this might be exactly your chance to change and open to something completely new. Like Hunter S. Thompson who spent his office hours at Time copying “The Great Gatsby” and “A Farewell to Arms” on a typewriter. Then he finally got fired after breaking a candy machine and an argument with one of the paper’s advertisers. This led him to escape New York and settle at San Juan for a while, where he wrote two of his first novels, “The Rum Diary” and “Prince Jellyfish”.
Here you can try to escape from daily boredom to walk among the city’s rainbow-colored colonial buildings, taste authentic Carribean cuisine and just relax on a sandy beach. Walk the cobblestone of Old San Juan and give a try at local street food to feel the glimpse of this careless life. Or follow Thompson’s footsteps and discover the rich and fascinating history of rum at the Bacardi Rum Factory. But beware, the writer was a daredevil and was inclined to self-destruction after the fashion of his days.
Switzerland – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Some authors seek inspiration on to create new heroes but to kill the old ones. Such was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who grew so tired being defined only by his stories about Sherlock Holmes and wanted to get rid of the characters once and for all.
He had to travel to Reichenbach Falls to find the dramatic setting for the final battle between the detective Holmes and Professor Moriarty. The author was so impressed by this frantic nature’s creation that decided that it was the perfect grave for his own.
If you decide to visit Reichenbach Falls you will find a memorial plate at the funicular station that commemorates the favourite detective of so many. And do not forget to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen, where the parlour of the Victorian house where Holmes and Watson lived on Baker Street is accurately recreated. If you are lucky, you will feel the spark of genius puzzle solver, that would definitely be useful in daily struggles.
Do not hesitate to visit Lucern, which is only an hour away from there. As the legend goes, the city was established by the Lucifer himself. This is where the remains of Pontius Pilate, the one who convicted Jesus Christ to crucifixion, is thought to be buried. When the Lucern lake is covered with cold mysterious fog and every living being tries to get closer to the vividly burning fire, it is believed that Pilat escapes his mountain tomb to wash his bloody hands in the dark waters.
New York – J.D. Salinger
Sometimes you even do not need to travel far from home. One of the most famous literary hermits, Jerome David Salinger, found inspiration for his best-known novel “The Catcher in the Rye” in the city where he was born. Even if you have no time or no budget to spend on proper vacation, you can always find something completely new around and look at the ordinary things with completely new eyes. As for the never sleeping city, you might want to find quiet and eery peace at the abandoned City Hall station of NYC subway or reminiscent old times in the ruins of Gothic Smallpox Hospital, on Roosevelt Island. Dare yourself to find something new in your routine and find exciting places in your hometown. And if you are in New York by any chance, if nothing else works, it’s never late to finally find out where the ducks go in winter from the Central Park.