Monday, 23 April 2012

T is for Travelling

Travelling is a real issue for me. I'm agoraphobic, which doesn't mean I can't go out in the open but is more to do with crowds and queues and people. I have a passport but I haven't been out of the country (except Ireland but that doesn't really count). Going to Winchester for my MA and walking into a classroom took some doing, and travelling to London to meet an agent was extra stressful because it meant a number of hours on a train. It follows that I haven't been anywhere, so either my settings have to be centred on the places near my home, or I have to do a lot of research. Thank the gods for the Internet!

Stef Penney wrote The Tenderness of Wolves, set in Canada, about a pioneer family trying to survive in a new wilderness. She, too, was agoraphobic, and her main character is as well. So, Stef did all her research from the security of the library, and created that snowy wilderness for her readers entirely from research.

I'm travelling, imaginatively, through the landscape of Transylvania, hundreds of years ago. There's no-one to tell me what life was exactly like back then, we only have historical snippets to work from, but I felt the book deserves the closest representation I can come up with. Provided it serves the story, of course. 

I still hope, one day, to travel further afield. I managed to get to the Lake District a couple of years ago, maybe Scotland would be fun but ultimately, I'd like to give that passport a run out, especially as it took me so long to get.

11 comments:

  1. I am slightly agoraphobic too, but my issue is going out alone. It's a really, really rubbish thing to deal with - hopefully I can get it under control one day!

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    1. Me too, I'm way better with someone! But I was at my most adventurous when I was a single Mum, because I had to make myself go out for the kids sake! Now it's too easy to let my partner do it...

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  2. I always wanted to travel, and always thought I would, and I managed a few trips and then nothing. In the last two years I have travelled 3 times now on my own. Its lonely and I don't like it. But I know I have to do it because the desire to see these places is stronger and I need to do it for myself. I don't regret my trips but it makes me fearful of taking more. But if you need me to do research for you! lol

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    1. I'm getting out more now, partly because I need to add settings to my books, so writing helps! If I can make it useful...Travelling is stressful,though, isn't it?

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    2. It has its moments, I think the hardest part is actually going but then its fun!

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  3. I was amazed how "right" The Tenderness of Wolves" sounded - the imagination is a wonderful thing!

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    1. It's brilliant, isn't it? And historical all has to be imagined anyway!

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  4. I love the idea of travel, but when the reality hits it's never as wonderful as I imagined. I'm just too anxious, I think. Still, I keep on trying. Travelling through books is one of my favorite ways.

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    1. Me too. I'm lost in a historical novel at the moment, The Mathematics of Love. Belgium, only 180 years ago. I can't just hop on a plane to there!

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  5. That must be so difficult to deal with. I have trouble in crowds, but not enough to stop me from going. Hope you overcome it so you can travel, if that's what you want. BTW, Scotland is very worth it. I fell in love with it.
    Karen

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    1. I do overcome it, but it puts me off travelling for fun, it just seems like hard work when I'm getting panicky! Scotland does look lovely...

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