I read somewhere that watching a movie is almost like traveling, since it takes you into another “world.” I couldn’t quite agree because such a comparison would depend on the movie’s production value, casting, and screenplay. I’d agree more that the cheaper, less time-consuming, no need to approve leaves form of traveling would be reading a good book. Like a movie, it depends on the characterization, the plot, and the vivid and powerful descriptions. But there are more than enough books that have pulled thousands into another world. My word traveling journey began with Harry Potter–being a Muggle (read: non-magical folk, in case you haven’t seen the movies) has its perks (read: owl vs cellphone/email, cars/airplanes vs brooms) but it was like immersing myself into another culture as I read of Harry’s spells and the different creatures roaming Hogwart’s greener grounds.
Then there was the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Unlike Harry Potter, the starving, murderous dystopia was not where I’d go to unwind and forget the reality that is a 9-5. It felt like I was reading an investigative piece on another profit-hungry war, coupled with the sufferings of extreme poverty. But it still held that sense of an unfamiliarity partnered with a fascination of a place I’d never been to.
These days, it’s Westeros I pine for from 9 to 5, care of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (more popularly known as HBO’s Game of Thrones). Like the Hunger Games’ districts, it’s not a place I’d book the first horse out. High chance I’d get raped and robbed (two things I avoid on a daily basis as a commuter), then killed–and as a woman, my only ambition would be to marry a high lord (rolls eyes). Nonetheless, reading through each chapter and anticipating the next book always require one thing that a traveler needs: A MAP!
You can click on the image for a closer look into the different kingdoms of Westeros.
As one house wars with the other, and as characters move from north to south, east to west, it certainly feels like I’m traveling with them, navigating the difficult terrain and hoping to reach the next destination. The itineraries I join each character in aren’t ones I’d plan for myself, but the characters I root for and the surprising events that happen are more than enough to make me stay.
And with Typhoon Mina limiting any spontaneous lunches, dinners, or late nights, Westeros is clearly the destination of choice for this long weekend. Now I’m off, as I am to join Dany at the Free Cities. 😉