Lately I’ve been devouring travel memoirs. And they’re fueling my wanderlust.

From a trip to Scotland last year. A very rare bird in Loch Lomond.

I love that about books. The ability to influence and inspire.

I was around eleven when I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The chocolate river. The candy (side note: twenty years later a made up story about a candy store would be my kids most requested bedtime story).

The story hooked me. Oh, and the chocolate bar that you could grab right out of your tv?

Magical. And I wanted some of that magic.

At the time we lived on a Coast Guard base in New Orleans and there was a tiny convenience store on the corner. They had candy bars.

I scraped together some money (sorry dad, I dipped into that change jar in your armoire).

And then, naturally, I sent my nine year old sister to get me the candy bar. I had a book to finish. (Thank you, B!)

I love that I can immerse in another world via a book, but it really does feel like magic when you nurture the opportunity to bring some of that story world into your real life.

And then those new memories inspire your own creative work…

And so on. Ad infinitum.

Bird is waving hello (there is a chocolate bar behind that other wing, I’m sure of it.


If you like travel memoirs, I enjoyed these:

At Home in the World, by Tsh Oxenreider

My Part-Time Paris Life by Lisa Anselmo

The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World by Torre DeRoche

Where I’m off to next: 

A cabin in the woods. For real. I’m doing a short–solo– writing, hiking trip. I’ll keep you posted! Follow me on Instagram for real(er) time updates.

Then this summer, we’re off to ALASKA. We’ll be stopping in all the usual places so if you have a favorite coffee shop, hike or food must eat, let me know!

Also, if you have a must read, perhaps one that  inspired you to action, I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Spring (and reading) friends!!

22 thoughts on “Travel and Chocolate: When Books Inspire

  1. Patricia

    I love your creativity. I too had visions of chocolate rivers and golden tickets when I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Good stuff. Those oompa loopma dudes were kind of creepy though.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Hey, Patricia! Thanks and yeah I thought about mentioning the Oompas a couple of times, but then, no, because they creep me out too. At least in the movie version!

  2. Sheila

    Books and chocolate are truly magical. I haven’t read many travel books but I did like Eat, Pray, Love. Some people didn’t like it all that much because it seemed narcissistic but it’s a memoir after all. I thought it was fun to travel along with the author. Alaska will be a great adventure – enjoy!

  3. Meghan

    Hi Coleen! I didn’t know you had a blog! I can’t wait to see your adventures this summer on IG – especially your trip to Alaska!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Hey, Meghan! Thanks for stopping by! I’m so looking forward to my trips. But it’s fun to also get travel fix from IG. Always enjoy your pics!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      No, but I have considered the “scary” level on any books I plan on reading while there. No need to taunt my overactive imagination. Ha ha.
      Thanks, Carrie!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Yes! It’s fascinating to read (and when lucky, experience first hand) about norms–food, mannerisms, etc–in other places. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kari.

  4. Patricia Tilton

    Nice to see you back. I always enjoy your posts. Don’t read many travel posts, because I don’t travel like I did, but I dream. I’ve been to Alaska, but did a land tour (rained and was cold the entire time) and took a Princess cruise on the inner passage. Much has changed since 2012 environmentally, so I’d really be interested in seeing what has happened to the glaciers and perma frost. It was so rainy we didn’t see much wildlife. Hope you do better.

  5. Kate

    Sounds like you have been busy!! A cabin in the woods is a great place for inspired creativity! Enjoy!

  6. Inion N. Mathair

    I can remember twice a year waiting for Willy Wonka and The Wizard of Oz to come on t.v. Every time I bought a candy bar I’d open it slow waiting to see that golden wrapper. I’ve always wanted to see Alaska. One of my favorite movies takes place there. Sandra Bullock in The Proposal. Good journey our friend. Can’t wait to see the pics.

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