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“The Cuban Affair” by Nelson DeMille, “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque and “The Proud Highway” by Hunter S. Thompson are all books that transport the reader away from the stress of quarantine. Photo by Hunter O. Lyle 

Forget the Plane — Flip The Page Instead

Travel
The portrayal of romanticized travel and wanderlust, written by one of the greatest authors of all time, is more than enough to lift the spirits dampened by the quarantine blues.

Autumn is typically a time when we dive back into books, after a summer spent, ideally, on vacation. But with the world in disarray as it is now, summer travel was nearly impossible, — and if you’re anything like me, five months of being cooped up have left you looking for any way out.

While you cannot hop on a plane and skip town just yet, a safe alternative would be to let the written word take you away from the stress and struggles of quarantine.

Some books take you to a different country. Some take you to a different time, and some even take you to another world. Whatever, wherever or whenever you are looking to go, there is most likely a book that can transport you there, and it will not cost you a fraction as much as a plane ticket. 

While I have never been to Puerto Rico, the words of Hunter S. Thompson in the novel “The Rum Diary” have brought the sandy beaches and palm trees to me. Known for his crazy antics and wild thoughts, Thompson delivers the story of Paul Kemp, a journalist in the 1960s who travels to the Caribbean island for work, and finds adventure, romance and, of course, a lot of rum along the way.

 The absurdity that ensues will help readers forget about the insanity that is continuing to unfold in reality.

If tropical islands don’t do it for you, maybe a trip through France and Spain would. That is what you get in the 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway. Join Jake Barnes as he and his group of fast-living, hard-drinking expatriates travel from Paris, France, to Pamplona, Spain, to watch the traditional running of the bulls.

“On the Road” by Jack Kerouac is a 1957 novel that describes the author’s effort to make it across the United States by any means necessary. It’s one of many books that may offer a solution to the stuck-in-lockdown gloom.

“The Cuban Affair” by Nelson DeMille, “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque and “The Proud Highway” (also by Hunter S. Thompson) are three other books that transport the reader away from the stress of quarantine.

The portrayal of romanticized travel and wanderlust, written by some of the greatest authors of all time, is enough to lift the spirits dampened by the quarantine blues.

Life has started to return somewhat to what it was like in the days before COVID-19. Businesses are starting to reopen, school is back in session and people seem to have found comfort in leaving their homes again, even if only for a brisk walk around the block.

But leaving the house is one thing; leaving the state or even the country is another thing entirely. While there are still limitations and restrictions on travel in this world, the ones crafted by the great writers and authors throughout time are still untouched by the pandemic.

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