School’s back in session, so here’s what I did on my summer vacation: I took a fabulous trip to Europe and called it “Book Research.” Oh, I’m not going to write it off as a business expense. I enjoyed too much Radler for that. But, I learned a few things during my travels that every writer should know.
First: Pack only the essentials. One journal capable of holding all kinds of stray papers, two writing pens for when one mysteriously disappears, and an electronic copy of your manuscript for that long plane ride. Oh, and a few changes of clothes and all that other junk experienced travelers tell you to pack.
Second: You’re the only one who will be journalling at breakfast. Just sip your coffee and pretend indifference. Or better yet, don a scarf and find a nice sidewalk cafe. You’ll blend in with the locals.
Third: Gaze out the window and enjoy the plane/train/gondola ride. Even if you’re terrified of heights. Some day, your MC will appreciate the view, even if it leaves you a little nauseous.
Fourth: iPads are better for editing than pens. Especially when the person next to you prefers to take up half of your seat in addition to his own. I recommend Pages.
And Fifth: The internet is a fine way to travel, especially on a budget like mine. But it’s a poor substitute for experience. Travel when you can and drink in the world around you. And by drink, I don’t necessarily mean the Radler. Although, it’s pretty darn tasty if you get the chance. Your MC may enjoy it.