Twelve books in twelve months – that’s twelve months of travel from the comfort of my sofa. Along with the other members of #travelbookclub I’ve travelled the length of America, hitchhiked through Japan and sailed across the Channel in a canal boat.
#travelbookclub was an idea that came to me in February 2013 after a late-night chat on Twitter about books and travel, and all of the joy that comes with discussing the two things with friends.
When I took my career break to go on my grown up gap year, my monthly book club which met at the local library was one of the things I really missed. Because no matter how much we all love to travel and do our own thing, everyone likes to find their tribe. The people we can talk to, share our opinions with and debate our viewpoints back and forth. You only need to look at Twitter to see how important that is to travellers who may not have a permanent base elsewhere.
And that’s what I wanted #travelbookclub to be about. I wanted it to be a place on Twitter where people could meet once a month to talk about a book. A club where members knew that no matter where they were in the world someone else would be reading the same book, getting ready to discuss it with them. A place for them to belong, no matter how far away from home they are.
Over the years this is what #travelbookclub has become to me. It’s not a book club in the traditional sense, in that we don’t physically meet up in a place. But every month we choose a book and read it wherever we are. And that may be in different countries where we live, while travelling to exotic destinations, or simply on the daily commute. But no matter where we are, it brings us together.
Now that I’m back in the ‘real world’ working and commuting, while fitting in travel where I can, I like that this is my regular travel-fix. I love the commitment of some members who get up in the middle of the night in Australia (sorry guys!) or desperately try to sneak onto the free Wifi in a fancy hotel just so that they can take part.
As I go about my day-to-day business I like the knowledge that once a month I’m going to ‘meet’ with a little group of like-minded people. Some of them have been with me since the beginning of #travelbookclub, some dip in and out depending on their commitments and others are new to the group. We don’t always agree – and we don’t have to – that’s the beauty of a book club.
So here’s to another year of #travelbookclub. Thanks for the great company and many laughs. For the book recommendations and the holiday recommendations and most of all, for your friendship.
#travelbookclub is taking a break over Christmas but I’ll be announcing a new book in January so keep your eyes peeled on Twitter!