Book review: Girls Who Travel

I was immediately drawn by the title of this book, Girls Who Travel. Before reading the back cover, I thought it would be a story about girls on the road exploring the world, going from country to country. Wrong. It's not that at all. But in no way was I disappointed by the direction this book had taken.

This book follows the story of Kika, a young woman who has just returned to New York after a year of backpacking around the world. While in India, she fell in love with a charming Irish guy who continued his travel journey after she went home. She now works in an office, saving up for her next trip, but she doesn't really like it there. But then she gets to be an Au Pair for a wealthy American family in London, where she meets her mysterious next-door neighbour. And nothing goes quite as planned.

"Ever since she returned from traveling, serial backpacker Kika Shores has been steeped in misery. Getting back on the road is all she wants. 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 still happen when you stay in one place..."

First of all, I loved the fact that the chapters were only a few pages long. I hate stopping in the middle of a chapter, I'm the type of girl who can't stop reading until she reaches the next one (am I the only one like this?) So books with looong chapters that never end aren't my favourites.

However, every time I finished a chapter of Girls Who Travel, I wanted to keep reading to know what was going to happen next. I was like "okay one more chapter, it's a short one, and then I'll go to bed." But guess who ended up reading 10 more chapters before actually going to sleep... Me.

Okay back to the actual review of the book.

I loved the fact that Kika's past adventures were told through flashbacks. Though I'm not the backpacking type of person, I loved reading about her experiences on the road and the places she went to. I thought this was really well-written and the places were beautifully described. I just wished there were more flashback chapters - I really felt like I was there exploring the world with her.

Talking about Kika, I loved her character. Anyone in her twenties who has a deep passion for travel will relate to her. Travel is all she can think about, but she will soon realise that staying in one place is also quite the adventure.

The two little girls she cares for are hilarious (I actually laughed at loud at some of their lines!) and their relationship with Kika is so sweet. You can tell that she truly cares about them and that their happiness always comes first.

One thing that I regret though is that we didn't get more details about Kika's online shop. In the middle of everything that is going on in her life, she's trying to set up an online business that would allow her to travel more. I loved reading about the process of creating her business - she was so excited for it and really believed in her idea. But will she ever launch it? And will it work? I would have loved to know more about her future plans about this.

I really enjoyed reading Girls Who Travel. If you like romance, travel, and are after a fun, quick read about a girl on her journey to self-discovery... Then this is the book for you!

A conversation with Nicole Trilivas, author of Girls Who Travel

Girls Who Travel is your debut novel. What inspired you to write this book and why did you choose to write a travel fiction?

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 as well! I was really inspired by all those bad-ass girls out there who go out and tackle the world on their own terms, despite the protest. We’ve all heard the phase: "The world is your oyster,” but most people don’t know the whole line. It’s from Shakespeare: “The world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” Those girls out there traveling the world? They’re opening the oyster, they’re doing it! How admirable and cool is that?

So I've heard you have visited more than 30 countries. What are your 3 favourite places you've been to and can you tell us about your all-time favourite travel memory?

Fun question, but I can’t possibly pick just three favourites! The first three that come to mind are the following:

Venice in the winter: Venice is a totally different place in the misty cold months of the winter than it is in the tourists-saturated muggy summer. In the winter, it’s really spooky and atmospheric; every tiny, ancient street holds some new promise of mystery and adventure. It’s really magical! I also love the sleepy town of Antibes in the South of France. There’s nothing much to do besides swim in the sea and drink rosé, and I’m totally okay with that! Lastly, I love the American northeast in the autumn! The falling leaves in the wildest shades; the apple cider, and football - it’s really cosy and charming, and now that I’m in London (where autumn seems so quick and half-baked), I really miss it.

I think my all-time favourite travel memory is being 17 and abroad for the first time in Prague and walking across Charles Bridge in just straight-up awe, in blatant and uncool marvel at the beauty before me. I always knew I was a traveller - even before I stepped foot out of my hometown - but that trip proved to me that yes, this, this is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I loved the characters, especially the main one, Kika. She's confident, sassy, foul-mouthed, and she's not afraid to say what she truly thinks. Do you and Kika have anything in common apart from your love of travel? What character trait of Kika do you wish you had?

Kika is way cooler than me! Beside the love of travel, we share a love of sugar and dare I say - British men! I think Kika is so optimistic and spirited - I’m like that too, but I wouldn’t mind those traits being cranked up a bit!

Whenever I read a book, I always imagine it as a movie and picture characters a certain way. If Girls Who Travel was made into a movie, which actress would you like to see playing Kika?

I do the same thing! I would just love to see Girls Who Travel turned into a movie! I think that British model Cara Delevingne would make an awesome Kika - if she can do an American accent.

What is the message in your novel that you hope your readers will grasp?

The journey doesn’t stop when you come home from your travels. Self-identifying as a traveller doesn’t mean you have to be on the road nonstop, but rather being a traveller is a mind-set, a way of living. (Editor's note: I 100% agree with this!!!)

What's next for you? Are you working on another book at the moment? Any trips planned?

I plan to write more travel-themed romantic comedies. I’m trying to have the first draft of one ready by early 2017. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!) In terms of trips, I’m going to Sweden soon and I cannot wait to see the snow and feel all wintery! 

Thank you Nicole for taking the time to answer a few questions!

I was sent a free copy of this book by Nicole Trilivas in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own, as always.

Have you guys read Girls Who Travel? I'd love to hear your opinion on this book!