When it comes to travel, I’ve been truly lucky. My father was a college professor who took sabbatical years abroad, so during my childhood I got to live in Paris, London, Rome and one summer in Lebanon, and to travel extensively throughout Europe. I was horrendously shy, and credit those experiences with helping me learn to push through anxiety in new situations. That and a heightened appreciation for other cultures convinced me that travel is a lot more than self-indulgence.
When I had my own kids I kept waiting for a nice lucrative offer from a publisher to write my books abroad for a couple of years, so I could benefit them the same way. Strangely, that offer never showed up (ha ha). We made do with raucous road trips, covering way too much US territory in way too short a time, and having a blast, building extra closeness and memories along the way. It must have worked because both my children love to travel.
Later, I remarried a man who traveled for business, and who’d accumulated enough frequent flyer miles that we can fly free. Lucky again!
Covid-19 has cancelled two trips, one to London, Wales and Amsterdam, and another trip-of-a-lifetime to the Galapagos Islands. Given how many people are suffering so terribly, I can’t find it in me to feel more than mildly disappointed. But I do look forward to being able to reschedule!
Until then…my luck continues. In the 1950s, my maternal grandparents bought a house and property on the coast of Maine for about the price of our round trip airfare to Bangor. Staying socially distant on twenty acres doesn’t present much of a challenge, so we’re headed there next month.
Here’s to when we can all move freely again! In the meantime…books are the best way to armchair-travel. I just spent time on the moors and coasts of Cornwall during my umpteenth reading of Daphne DuMaurier’s Jamaica Inn. Next up, North Dakota and Washington DC with Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman. In book one of my Fortune’s Daughters trilogy, Private Lies, you can pay an autumn visit to my beautiful collegiate hometown of Princeton, New Jersey; in Hidden Truths, spend a few weeks on quirky, charming Washington Island, one of my favorite Wisconsin destinations; and in Honest Secrets, wrap up the series breathing the clear salty air of the glorious Maine coast.
Where will you go next?
To find out more about me and the Fortune’s Daughters trilogy, or follow me on social media, visit www.munashehadi.com.