Welcome to the Weekend Wanderer series! Once or twice a month, I will feature an interview with a traveler who is doing something unique or exciting in their adventures across the globe. Have an exciting adventure you’d like to share? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
As you guys know, my travels are often inspired by books. So when fellow wanderer, Nicole Trilivas reached out and offered me a copy of her new novel Girls Who Travel, I jumped at the chance to learn about her inspiration with a quick interview. I was absolutely captivated by the book and found I couldn’t put it down. I found myself identifying a lot with Kika, the main character, and her struggles as a traveler trying to merge back into ordinary life. Definitely suggest checking it out!
Read on to learn a little bit about Nicole and her novel!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your travels.
I am a life-long traveller and traveling will always be my deepest love. My travel addiction started before my little feet ever touched foreign soil—personally, I blame the Indiana Jones movie franchise and the DuckTales TV series for getting me all starry-eyed for exotic destinations and infusing my blood with an irresistible sense of adventure. I used to be a backpacker, but now I’m a grown-up backpacker: I have the same backpacking spirit; I’ve just grown out of staying in hostels. I’ve been to nearly 40 countries and every continent except Antarctica, but of course it’s on my list!
In addition to traveling, I also write about travel.
You recently published your debut novel, Girls Who Travel. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?
My novel is a travel-themed romantic comedy about a free-spirited serial backpacker named Kika, who is a bit lost—but she’s lost in the right direction.
Ever since she returned from her last trip, Kika has been stuck in corporate America and steeped in misery, so when she’s offered a nannying job in London, she’s thrilled at the prospect. But as Kika’s about to discover, exhilarating adventures can happen when you stay in one place . . .
What made you want to write travel fiction? What was your inspiration for Girls Who Travel?
I’m a novelist of travel-themed fiction basically because I felt like there was a real need and gap in the market for it. Travel writing tends to be nonfiction—memoirs and essays, but I think that travel (with all of its magic) lends itself well as a backdrop for nonfiction too. I was really inspired by all those amazing girls out there who go out and tackle the world on their own terms despite the backlash.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring travel writers?
Just keep at it! I wrote a bunch of books before getting this one published. Set yourself deadlines and stick to them. You can do it—don’t forget that. There’s no secret trick; just put in the hard work.
Kika, the book’s main character, is a sassy and confident women whose insatiable wanderlust is relatable to any traveler. What was your inspiration for her character?
Kika is inspired by every girl who loves to travel. She is the eternal optimist and believes the world is a good place. She’s the girl you meet at the hostel who you want to be more like; the girl who rocks market fashion and makes it look unimaginably chic. She’s an “every girl”—but an every girl on her best day.
Girls Who Travel features a strong and independent solo female traveler as its protagonist. Do you prefer to travel solo? Do you have any advice for women who want to travel the world alone?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I prefer solo travel, but I would say that it’s important and it’s the quickest way to grow as person. When you travel alone, you learn so much about yourself. It’s not always easy, but that’s how it builds confidence, and I truly believe it’s good for your soul. In terms of advice, I would say bring along a security blanket like a working phone or an old-fashioned guidebook (I love the Let’s Go guides). Everything you need to know like where to go, what to see, how to get there, where to sleep and eat, etc. is in your pocket.
What’s the next adventure for you? Do you have plans for any new books?
I am off to my 36th country soon: Sweden! Can’t wait! Also, I am writing more travel-themed romantic comedies—stay tuned!
I received a copy of Girls Who Travel for review. As always, all opinions are my own.