A few years ago, a friend (I use that term loosely) asked me: ‘Instead of travelling so much, why don’t you create a life that you don’t feel the need to constantly escape from?’
I deliberated this question for a long time. Was that what was happening? Was I trying to escape? If so, what was I trying to escape from?
Besides, is travelling solely a means of escapism? And what’s so bad about escapism anyway?
I asked some readers what they thought, and while escapism was mentioned a few times, it wasn’t the only reason people said they loved to travel. They also said travel was an opportunity to explore new places and learn about different cultures. This resonated with me—over the last decade of my teaching career (my life away from writing books), I’ve been working with newly arrived migrant and refugee students in Australia. Meeting new families and learning about cultures different to my own, whether in Australia or while travelling abroad, has always been interesting to me, and allows me to see the world in different ways.
And isn’t the same true for reading? People use both books and travel to escape, to get a different perspective and to learn new things. Every time you read a book, you are getting into the mind of somebody else; seeing something from a different and unique perspective. And who doesn’t have challenges in their own life they’d like to escape from time to time?
On top of that, how great is it when you pick up a brand-new romance with a gorgeous, colourful cover design featuring a holiday destination? You know you’re about to be transported somewhere far, far away.
I think most of us found ourselves seeking more uplifting books and tv shows during the doom and gloom of the pandemic, a time when travelling wasn’t possible. We know that book sales soared (particularly in the romance genre!) and book clubs grew exponentially.
I agree with those who say that reading and travelling feed the soul. And while travelling may be a privilege only available to select groups of people, reading (or listening to) books is not. When people ask me why I wrote my second book, All’s Fair in Love and Tequila, it’s safe to say that during the cold and lonely lockdown periods, I was looking for escapism myself, and craving a tropical seaside getaway. I wanted the setting to be a beautiful place in which I could ‘live’ for the length of time it took me to write the book, and warm, sunny Mexico was just the place. Revisiting this beautiful country in my mind while writing was great—and I truly hope that it provides the same kind of escapism for anybody who reads it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gabriella Margo
Gabriella Margo is a Sydney-based author who adores a good romance story with a happily ever after. She believes that love is love, no matter what that may look like.
Don’t miss Gabriella’s new book All’s Fair in Love and Tequila!
Salty air. Flowing margaritas. Beach sunsets … and one annoying holiday crasher.
Luisa Edmonds doesn’t have time for bad dates and guys who don’t take life seriously. And she certainly has no time for men like Ed Garcia, a womanising divorcé who parties too hard.
When Luisa is sent to a lavish, all-inclusive resort in Mexico on a marketing project, she’s ecstatic — until she finds out that Ed is the award-winning photographer who has been hand-picked to go with her.
But when she leaves the icy Melbourne winter behind, it’s not just her extremities that begin to thaw. Here, among the golden sands, tropical waters and salty air of Playa del Carmen, Luisa starts to get to know the real Ed — a sweet, animal-loving environmentalist who’s kept his crush on her a secret for years.
And in all honesty, he is damn sexy without a shirt on.
Unfortunately, their relationship would be bad news back in Australia, and Ed is a no-go for Luisa. But as his secrets are slowly uncovered, Luisa finds it harder and harder to ignore her feelings, and she is faced with an ultimatum. Will she jeopardise her future for a steamy, beach holiday fling?