Top 10 Exotic Locations in Literature

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This week I’ll be wrapping up my A Story A Day in May stories for my mailing list, and I’ve been thinking about exotic locations.

Probably because I need a vacation!

So here are my Top 10 Exotic Locations in Literature where I’d like to escape this Memorial Day Weekend…

  1. Hawaii – As illustrated in Paul Theroux’s novel, Hotel Honolulu, I’d even be happy to work in a hotel on the Big Island… at least for a little while!
  2. France – While I haven’t yet read Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, I can already tell you I’m smitten with the idea of moving into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the south of France. Also, anything set in Paris is pretty much my jam, from David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day to Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London to Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, even at its most miserable, France always somehow seems like a great place to be.
  3. India – What privileged white person doesn’t want to go to India, am I right? But seriously, some of my favorite books are set in this country, so it’s definitely on my list of exotic locations to visit – even if a hell of a lot of those books are actually about earthly pain, suffering and strife, like the Bhagavad Gita, Siddhartha, Midnight’s Children, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and Memories of a Mombasa Gigolo.
  4. Japan – I went on a bit of a Japanese author kick during college, reading everything Banana Yoshimoto ever wrote, along with the infamously fetishistic Memoirs of a Geishaand some Haruki Murakami. I just added Dreaming Pachinko to my To Read pile, after reading this list of Fiona Campbell’s Top 10 Books Set in Japan, so I’d be delighted to explore this island country and learn even more about its people and culture.
  5. Australia – While I’ve seen quite a good number of movies set in Australia, which must have – at some point – been books… oddly enough, I have read exactly ZERO books set there. How is that even possible?! Here’s a list from Buzzfeed that will hopefully help me learn more about the mysterious and distant land Down Under.
  6. Los Angeles – Though this could be described as more of a staycation than a vacation, given my proximity to LA, there are plenty of books that have romanticized this SoCal city for me. The most important ones are undoubtedly Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat series, which painted LA as a magical place even in modern times. And, of course, we can’t forget Raymond Chandler’s novels, including The Big Sleep, nor Charles Bukowski’s books and poems, particularly Post Office and Ham on Rye.
  7. Tibet – While I’m not entirely sure I’d want to visit Tibet for an extended period of time, I did find the descriptions of the country’s remote beauty in Xue Xinran’s Sky Burial quite impressive. Wouldn’t it be nice to be someplace where you couldn’t access the internet 24/7? Kind of a spiritual retreat.
  8. Morocco – Equally, I don’t think I’d like to stay in Morocco too long, as I am not one for the heat, but Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky sure romanticizes the desert and the alienation of being a stranger in a strange land.
  9. Birmingham, UK – Even as an adult, I still want to visit Willy Wonka’s factory of wonders, as describe in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If all else fails, a trip to Cadbury World in Birmingham ought to suffice… at least until I can figure out how to make some Fizzy Lifting Drinks of my own!
  10. Mars – For when you really want to get away from it all, you can’t beat space travel. I still need to read Andy Weir’s The Martian, although I’ve already watched the movie. Sounds kind of like Ireland, if you ask me…

Bonus Destinations

Oh, and in case you still haven’t subscribed to my mailing list, here’s a list of the Top 10 Most Exotic Locations Featured in Mayday!

  1. Odessa, Texas
  2. El Paso, Texas
  3. Palm Springs, California
  4. Los Angeles, California
  5. New York City, aka Manhattan
  6. Loch Ness, Scotland
  7. London, England
  8. Paris, France
  9. Lima, Peru
  10. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
"bora bora" image by Flickr user Saïda

“bora bora” image by Flickr user Saïda

I could definitely use a bit of relaxing with a good book in a hammock by the sea, right about now…

What about you?

What’s the exotic literary location YOU’D most like to visit?

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