Quiz: Where Should You Travel Next?

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leah Rachel von Essen

Senior Contributor

Leah Rachel von Essen reviews genre-bending fiction for Booklist, and writes regularly as a senior contributor at Book Riot. Her blog While Reading and Walking has over 10,000 dedicated followers over several social media outlets, including Instagram. She writes passionately about books in translation, chronic illness and bias in healthcare, queer books, twisty SFF, and magical realism and folklore. She was one of a select few bookstagrammers named to NewCity’s Chicago Lit50 in 2022. She is an avid traveler, a passionate fan of women’s basketball and soccer, and a lifelong learner. Twitter: @reading_while

It’s summer, and the wanderlust in my soul is strong right now. I’m thinking of future destinations and their relationships to these warm days when all I want is to explore, to drink rich, sweet lemonade and sink deep into the sun, dive into the ocean and read in wide open, green parks.

So on one hand, I’d like to ask you all about your perfect summer day, and give you a travel destination to go with it. But that didn’t feel like enough this time around. Because, after all, too many of us can’t travel right now, or can’t travel safely, or are much too afraid to consider it any time soon. The pandemic has been difficult, and travel plans hardly seem like the most pressing thing on our plate.

So I decided to do you all one better. I will give you a travel destination. But I’ll also give you a book to pair with it! You could save these to do what I do — read a fantastic book from the country I’m traveling to, like reading some brilliant Catalan books in translation as I wander Barcelona — or you could use them now, dive into them, to get a small taste of that wandering, that need to travel, that too many of us can’t satisfy right now.

So read on: give me your perfect, relaxing summer day, and I’ll give you a travel destination to visit and a novel that will help transport you there.

Here are all the travel and book pairings:

Barcelona, Spain: Nada by Carmen Laforet, Edith Grossman

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enríquez, translated by Megan McDowell

Mexico City, Mexico: Leaving Tabasco by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Geoff Hargreaves

Lagos, Nigeria: The Famished Road by Ben Okri, translated by Syed Rashid Ashraf

Tokyo, Japan: Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd

Sydney, Australia: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Jakarta, Indonesia: Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, translated by Labodalih Sembiring

Bangalore, India: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

Want more travel reads? Check out these unconventional works of travel writing, or these feel-good road trip novels for fun travel vibes.