August 9, 2012

Travel Tales: From Here to There

I was thinking yesterday about what to post about this week for Travel Tales, when all of a sudden, it hit me. Though the destination you choose is always important, how you get there may be just as significant a choice. There are plenty of ways to travel - airplanes, buses, trains, cars and boats being the ones I've personally experienced - and there are some great ways to travel highlighted in some really awesome books. Though these definitely aren't all the ways you can get from one spot to another, these are certainly some of my favorites!

1. Time Travel

I think it would be incredibly interesting to travel through time, if only because I'm a sucker for Regency England and the Victorian era. Though I wouldn't want to travel to any sensitive situations (like wars or trials or executions), I think it would be fun to pop into and out of the fun times like balls and tea parties.

  • experience things that already happened and see them firsthand
  • meeting famous historical figures
  • good for research for school and writing 
  • fun for playing dress-up
  • possibility of getting stuck in the past
  • get persecuted or in trouble for looking/acting/being different
  • possibility of messing up history with one action, encounter or word
Books featuring time travel:
Tempest by Julie Cross (Review)
A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner (Review)

2. Magical Travel

Magical travel is fairly popular in the books I read. There are so many different types of magic and different ways to travel that I think it would be interesting just to experience them all in person. And not only are there different types of magic, there are different kinds of magical creatures. Personally, I'm fascinated by the idea of apparating or using the Floo network in the Harry Potter series.

  • unique, because there's just not many people who know how to do these things!
  • fun, because it's so different
  • variety, because there are many different options
  • means you have magical abilities OR own a magical creature
  • magic can go awry
  • magical creature can turn on you
  • trapped or put in a compromising position
Books featuring magical travel:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Floo network, brooms, apparating, Hagrid's bike, Buckbeak)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (a magical wardrobe)
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (fairy paths) (Review)
Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini (dragons)

3. Boats

I've never been on a boat for longer than half a day (which obviously means I have yet to be on a cruise, and man, do I want to do that right now). But I've always enjoyed the feeling of going up on deck and seeing that you're surrounded by an endless expanse of water. There's something private and beautiful about a view like that, and it certainly makes you feel cut off from the rest of the world.

  • the view from the deck of the boat, at all different times of the day
  • the philosophical mood you may find yourself in
  • the feeling like you're in a different world
  • the privacy, when it's just you and the people you're with
  • the sea breeze
  • feeling trapped or cut off from the rest of the world
  • seasickness
  • possibility of drowning
  • sea legs when getting off the boat
Books featuring travel by boat:
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker (Loved this book. Review out next week!)
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Review)
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian (Enjoyed this one too. Review closer to release date!)

4. Trains

The first time I traveled by train (in a long time, anyway) was last, last year, when I took the Amtrak down to to Washington DC. I have to say - I absolutely loved it. It's a lot like being on a plane, though there's more room and it's much more comfortable. I also take the subway to get around New York, and that's fun too because it's convenient, easy and I see the most interesting people while I'm commuting.

  • fast 
  • convenient
  • comfortable, in that it's almost similar to a car
  • land travel, so not nearly as intimidating as boats or planes
  • train delays or changes in schedule or destination
  • not in control of speed or destination
  • carsickness
  • may not go straight to your actual destination, but instead stop somewhere close by
Books featuring travel by train:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Review)

5. Planes

I love going to the airport and getting on a plane, because it usually means I'm headed somewhere new or somewhere I've been but loved. Planes have always been my main mode of travel during vacations, and despite the cramped seats and teeny bathrooms, I love them. 

  • easiest & fastest way to travel far distances 
  • the powerful feeling of being up in the air, above the rest of the world
  • in flight movies and entertainment
  • flight attendants to cater to most of your whims
  • air sickness and cramps
  • not-so-good food
  • uncomfortable seats in economy class
  • no personal space
  • luggage limitations
  • long lines to check in, board & pick up luggage
Books featuring travel by plane:
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (Review)
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (Review)
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (Review)

6. Cars

Of course, I saved the best for last. I love taking long car trips, especially when there's good music, lots of things to snack on, a book or two to pass the time and great company. It makes my heart happy that there are so many books that feature road trips, and I'm of a mind to read them all!

  • control (over speed, destination, etc)
  • no strict luggage limitations
  • no limit to food or drinks or music or books (unless the driver is particular)
  • size & space
  • number of people that can ride together
  • money spent on gas and car maintenance
  • no immediate access to a bathroom

Books featuring travel by car:
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (Review)
Going Bovine by Libba Bray (Review)
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Review)
In Honor by Jessi Kirby (Currently reading this and really liking it!)
What's your favorite way to travel? And if you haven't experienced it yet, which way to travel would you like to try?
For more Travel Tales, check out Novel Sounds (where Elena tells us about the places in Harry Potter she'd love to visit) and Rather be Reading (where Magan & Estelle pick some of their favorite settings in books).

(Don't forget that you have the opportunity to enter my Travel Tales/Birthday giveaway till the month ends! Click here to enter.)

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Book Review Blogs.


  1. Love this post! I have a huge love of flying and airports, mainly because (like you said) it means I'm going somewhere new! I grew up on small boats (fishing, pontoon, etc), but the one time I went on a bigger boat (charter fishing boat) I got seasick; was not fun! Would love to go on a cruise though. I've never ridden on a train but that would be fun too. As for cars.... not my favorite form of travel. I get too antsy.

    Would love to have some of that floo powder though :)

  2. One thing that worries me about boats is the bathroom detail. In fact I thought of that this past weekend when I saw people out on the water in Pittsburgh. Like what if you are out there on a small boat and just don't have a bathroom? Doesn't that wreck the experience? haha.

    Great great post! :) You are such a smart cookie. xo

  3. Realistically, I prefer to travel by plane (if I'm going somewhere far). Though the idea of a road trip by car sounds awesome, I think I'd get bored after awhile. But then again - if I had the right snacks, fun people, and the perfect soundtrack, I may think differently.

    Time travel would be AWESOME. But I would be scared of getting stuck, like you mentioned, haha. I think I'd choose to go back to the 1930s. Something about a Speak Easy has always intrigued me. But as soon as the mob guys showed up, I'd be out of there!

  4. This is such a fun post! I think I'll stick to regular forms of travel but magical travel would come in handy ;)

  5. Oh, I love this idea of not looking at just where we travel but how we travel. I think it'd be so cool to time travel ! I really want to know what the past actually looked like. I mean, did the movies get it right ?

  6. I love, love, love this post, Alexa! And what a great post for your Travel Tales month! Personally, my favourite way to travel is by car ... or by boat! I love car trips -- even if it's just me & my audiobook. :) I've been on a few cruises, too, and they're pretty great. I love the feeling of being out on the water!

    Though, if I could try any of the ones listed, I think time traveling to another place and time would be AWESOME! Though, it could be dangerous -- but still, what an experience it would be! Or traveling by flue (sic?) powder ... it would be very cool!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Favorite way to travel? Either by car or by plane. I LOVE driving, and I love road trips with people I enjoy spending time with. Planes are just plain fun! (See what I did there? Haha!) I love the feeling of flying and seeing the earth from so high up.

    How I want to travel: Dragon. Or Griffin. Or Unicorn. I'm not picky. ;)

  8. This is a great, great post, Alexa! I love how you split everything up! For Time Travel, have you read Myra McEntire's books? You totally should!

  9. Great list! I love car, plane, and train travel. While I love flying, I prefer car or train so I can see the scenery better and enjoy the journey (I always get stuck sitting behind someone who wants to lean their seat ALL the way back on planes!). I wish there were more trains in the US like there are in the UK and Europe. We road trip by car every year from the Midwest to New England and I love just being on the road, listening to good music, eating junk food, and reading.

    Though I'd love to try magical travel. ;)

    Randi @ Cardigans, Coffee and Bookmarks

  10. I LOVE THIS POST! So creative! I would def love to travel by MAGIC because it's maaagic. I also like trains! Planes are cool too if there aren't any screaming babies. I've yet to be on a cruise either but I'd love to.


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