Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Travel for Writing

By Kathryn Lane

For people with an appetite for travel, 2021 promises to be a better year. We’re already picking destinations and building itineraries to fulfill our yearnings.

Yeah, I’m one of those crazy, exuberant travelers anxiously waiting to renew my journeys!

Before becoming a writer, I jetted around the globe for work purposes. I’d managed to leverage a CPA and finance career into inspecting overseas affiliates experiencing financial issues or mismanagement. Traveling fulfilled my dream of visiting other countries and learning their cultures.

Yet I left the corporate world to write!

Since switching to writing mystery novels and short stories, my travel is even more purpose driven. My husband and I journey to foreign locations so I can research places where my female protagonist, Nikki Garcia, and other characters find themselves – usually in heaps of trouble.

Hong Kong, intended to be the next story site, had to be cancelled. The pandemic in March 2020 posed too big a risk in Asia. I rethought the plot and scheduled a May trip to Miami and Cuba. COVID had hit the US and Caribbean by then, so we cancelled that jaunt. Surely by October, we could travel. Barcelona beckoned us and we booked a trip to Spain. That too had to be cancelled.

Upon researching “pandemic safe” tours, swimming in the Aegean off the coast of Turkey offered a possibility. Except I’m not a swimmer. And it’d be difficult for Nikki to chase bad guys using a breaststroke!

Another option – “pretend to be in Paris from home.” Glancing at the itinerary, it suggested baking Circus Bakery’s cinnamon buns for breakfast. Turning on French music for atmosphere, adding a scarf and sunglasses while reading Le Monde’s website for French news, enjoying a leisurely luncheon of wine and cheese, and then taking a virtual tour of the Musée d’Orsay. By 5 p.m. it’s time to become your own bartender for aperitifs before dinner. And finally you cook your dinner pretending to be a famous French chef cooking Coq a Vin.

Cooking after all the wine from lunch and aperitifs before dinner? They must be kidding. Or maybe that’s the secret of famous French chefs – being plastered as they cook!

Seriously, I hope 2021 is a great year for all writers - and those of us who are also travel junkies - that we can once again hit the road, rails, oceans, and airways. Or even take hiking and cycling tours without concern of encountering closed hotels and restaurants.

Wherever your passion leads you, I’m lifting my glass of French wine to wish you a New Year of health, love, joy, peace, and happiness.


Kathryn’s books – The Nikki Garcia Mystery Series and her short story collection – Backyard Volcano. All available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082H96R11

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety countries.



Photo Credits:

Boat in Hong Kong Harbor, Swimmer, and Wine and Cheese – Public Domain

Kathryn’s books – designs by Bobbye Marrs


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm looking forward to traveling again as well. I have all this vacation time saved up.

  3. I don't know if you've ever made coq au vin, Kathryn. I tried cooking it one time, from Julia Child's recipe. A LOT of work. Good, but not good enough to try it again. Just saying, nothing wrong with only wine and cheese!

  4. Gay, that's so funny - yes I made it once, too. And the end result was so-so. A lot of other dishes are tastier and easier to prepare!


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