Jennifer Lohman: When I lived in China, I took a trip to Tibet with some friends. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to use that information in a book, but it was inspiring. If someone is looking for a great book about Tibet (not a romance) the mystery novel The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison was fantastic. And, if you like it, it's the first in a long series.
|Mary the dogsledder!|
Pamela Hearon: My husband and I were vacationing in England, and I dragged him from Arthurian site to Authurian site. At some, we were the only people there. Lots of sheep...no people. A story started to come together in my mind. When we got home, that story became my first novel--The Timestone Key!
Cathryn Parry: This year, my husband and I traveled to Scotland, rented a car, and toured the Highlands. This has been a goal of mine since the third grade--and it was wonderful. I just wish my grandmother was still here so I could talk to her about it. She provided the sword and the inspiration for my childhood Highland dance lessons.
Vicki Essex: I went on a lovely 4-day vacation to Quebec City with my husband some years ago. I got so many ideas just studying the architecture and layout of the walled city, I wish I'd remembered to write that trip off!
Joan Kilby:The most inspiring *and* the most challenging trip I ever went on was trekking in the Himalayas. We started just outside Katmandu and walked to the Everest base camp. We trekked for four weeks, up and down soaring snow-capped mountains, through rhododendron forests, past terraced rice paddies, medieval villages and buddhist stupas fluttering with prayer flags beneath the bluest, most crystal clear sky I have ever seen. The trek was really hard at first, and also at the end when the air was so thin it was hard to breathe but by the end I was the fittest I've ever been in my life. The friendliness, generosity and physical toughness of the Nepalese people despite their poverty was inspiring and the beauty of the landscape was out of this world. It was an unexpectedly spiritual journey and afterward I felt changed inside, like a new person. I will never forget it.
Jeannie Watt: My family, including my (feisty) parents who are in their seventies and my brother and his family, hiked from the top of the Grand Canyon down to Supai Village the day after Christmas a few years ago. It was a fascinating experience, especially for a geologist. My mom led the way as we hiked back out a few days later. Since we are rarely able to get everyone together for a holiday, it was one of the best Christmas vacations ever. I'd love to go back.
Kris Fletcher: The two trips we did for our international adoptions were each memorable in
|The Astrakhan Kremlin|
Tara Taylor Quinn: I went to Italy with a girl friend a few years ago. We rented a car and I drove from Rome to Venice to Milan, down to Naples and then back up to Rome. It was the most incredible ten days in so many ways. We were car-jacked and I was calm and strong and gunned the motor and the guy fell out of the back of the car before he could get the door shut. This was on a one lane mountain road that was nothing but curves above high cliffs. It was a defining moment for me. I had the chance to see myself in a real crisis. To see my own strength. Where before I might have cowered, or hid, I now draw on my strength instead. And the wine… Mmmmm.
|Anna in an opal mine.|
The highlight for me was a visit to Coober Pedy – where they mine opals (my favourite gem) and where the temps in summer are so hot, they live underground! Our hotel room was underground – which doesn’t sound strange until you realize there is no window and it’s really dark when you turn the lights out! The trip to Coober Pedy also had special meaning as it was a Silhouette romance by Emilie Richards that got me into opals in the first place! And yes, I did buy at least one new opal ;). Funny how things go full circle. I’d love to set a book there one day – hmm wonder if I can wangle another trip … for research purposes, of course!
And now, readers, you tell us - what is the most challenging or inspiring trip YOU have ever taken?