When I travel I usually keep am constantly taking notes. I want to have everything from the street names to the tablecloth colors right in case I someday write a story set in one of the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit.
On my recent trip, with my father, his wife, and my sister, I did not take these kinds of notes. You might think that I’m going say that I didn’t do this because I was finally able to travel in the moment or I was too busy enjoying family time. Or you might think that I was too tired. To be honest the idea that anyone is reading this post and thinking anything is a huge presumption on my part.
The reason I didn’t follow my usual pattern, is that I’m not writing a story set in Prague or Budapest of Vienna right now. I’m writing a story that primarily takes place on a planet I’ve made up. So instead of trying to imagine what kind of stories I could write about the cities I visited, my head was stuck in Somnus (my made up planet). In Budapest’s parliament building I thought about holes in my planet’s system of government. While at the Haus Der Musik in Vienna, I wondered what kind of music my characters enjoyed.
Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy my trip. I did. I fell in love with all three cities. I even liked Vienna, where I had food poisoning for half of our stay. I saw more beautiful churches and palaces and museums than I can count. I became immersed in two new favorite artists: Klimt and Mucha. I ate delicious meals, along with some not so delicious meals (i.e. two occasions when I ordered beef in the Czech Republic and it came out smothered in whipped cream). Also if you are a bath lover Budapest is definitely the city for you. Because of the plethora of bath houses it appears to be completely acceptable to spend all day just hanging out in different large tubs of water in varying temperatures.
Because of my (unusual) lack of notes, I can’t tell you every last thing that I did. And I think it would be pretty boring if I did. Although if anyone is planning a trip to any of these cities please let me know. I can definitely give you more specific recommendations. Even though I didn’t take copious notes, I did take a few pictures:
It feels special to have spent that amount of time with my sister and I am grateful that I got the chance to see all three cities. However, I am glad to be back in California, working on a new draft of my novel, and back on my imaginary planet. Who knows? Maybe someday I will be published and you will be able to join me there.