Traveling through Books

How do you learn about new places? I do the online research, look up houses on real estate sites, look at demographics and planting zones and images, but how I really learn about a new place in the world is through books.

We are visiting two different couples and traveling through Alabama for two weeks next month for vacation. From north to south, we are exploring. I have always loved the south. My family came through the south generations ago. I have always had an affinity for the southern states.

When I was fifteen, my family flew to Florida to visit my grandparents. I stayed outside practically the entire trip. Smelling the fresh aroma of damp soil and peering into the pond behind their house hoping to see an alligator. I helped the huge tortoise out of the lawn chair he got himself stuck in each morning and sent him facing the other way. I was enthralled by tiny frogs everywhere. The sight of water stretching as far as I could see as I stood looking at the ocean. Then fifteen years later watching my children stare out at the ocean as they splashed in the water.

On our honeymoon, we went to Louisiana where we were enamored by brightly colored wild birds and the best seafood we have ever had. Driving through Mississippi back to Louisiana after our cruise was diverted, the canopy of trees embraced my spirit like I was home. There isn’t much green here in Colorado. It is dry and golden. Oh sure, our mountains are gorgeous, but most of the state isn’t mountains! My spirit longs for that damp soil aroma and green canopies of trees near water.

So, we are off to Alabama next month for a lovely vacation. I will learn plenty when I get there, but I love to immerse myself in it before. Cookbooks are my form of learning about a place. You can learn so much about a place by its cooking and its local ingredients. Its traditions and values are transformed into food. Next, we look to memoirs, where people of all different times tell their stories with the backdrop of the desired area. The landscape comes alive through their tales and I can pretend to be there with them, traversing paths and seeing what they see. Books are a lovely way to travel from home. To learn cultures and landscapes and foods, it is all wonderful and freeing. Books are a ticket to anywhere.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh have a wonderful time, I look forward to hearing all about it. We’ve gone from very cold nights and only slightly warmer days to red hot both out here! Neither of which are normal for Murcia at this time of year! Not complaining, they have snow at home. Speak soon 😊

    1. Katie Lynn says:

      I will send you an email soon! Hope you are having fun!

  2. Theresa Bennett says:

    We are looking forward to your visit in South West Alabama. We have some beautiful trees, very green, pond out back. Talk soon Theresa

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