Travel by proxy
One of the great things about writing is how much I get to travel. This year alone I’ve been to Luxembourg, Ireland, Morocco, Egypt, Italy, Greece and Mongolia. Currently I am in Ushuaia, located in Argentina, generally considered to be the southernmost city in the world. It’s a key access point to many islands and the major point of departure for expeditions heading to Antarctica.
I haven’t physically been there, of course. My characters have. Through their eyes I have been to the ruins under the city of (check) in Luxembourg and spent time in Morocco. I have been to outer space and seen a Mongolian Death Worm (ugly thing, that). I have gone to more modest places as well. Cedar Rapids. San Francisco. A character is currently in Tarpon Springs and I am having fun learning about that city.
Growing up I wasn’t much for traveling. I am still not particularly fond of it, preferring to travel in my imagination while staying safely in the comforts of home. Through the Internet I can find the most interesting places and write them into my stories, making the countryside part of the story as it would be in your own life. I look around me and see how the influence of my Southern California residence permeate the things that I do. So it is with my characters. They get to live underwater. They get to experience the incredible vistas of Iceland and it affects how they behave and dictates their actions.
Some of this has been easy. I’ve been to Santorini. I love Santorini. But I’d never even heard of Ushuaia until I started researching different interesting places. Same with the locations I researched in Luxembourg. I want to use Gibraltar in a story (such an interesting airport). I get to see the world through my characters and that is a blast. Now I want to see the places that I write about. Writing has expanded my world view and I hope that some of that will shine through.
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