It’s hard to describe my feelings towards Wanderlove. It’s a book I related with intensely. I loved that the trip Bria took didn’t transform her wholly but simply changed her (she wasn’t a new Bria. She was just a more open-minded, less-hesitant Bria). It made the story all the more real.
It’s deftly woven. And the rich descriptions of Central America (you can tell the author is a travel writer) made me feel like I was right there with her the whole time (which is exactly what I was hoping for).
But beyond the travelogue (that made me want to book a ticket to Central America immediately), Wanderlove cracks open important discussions (especially in the latter half of the book). Kirsten Hubbard uses the narrative as a space to discuss travel superiority and travel privilege.
Eden Travel Book Club Rules: Discussion posts (like this one) will have a series of ten questions as starting points. But honestly, you can talk about whatever you want regarding the books (or questions)! You don’t have to answer all (or any) of the questions. If you see a question you’d like to discuss (and you haven’t read the book), go for it! I’d love to hear your thoughts regardless.
Wanderlove Discussion Questions
- “It’s the really that gets me. She doesn’t believe me. And why should she? It’s not like I look particularly well-traveled. Or talented. Whatever that looks like.” (Chapter One) We all have a preconceived notion of well-traveled. What defines well-traveled? What does well-traveled look like in your eyes?
- In the early stages of the novel, Bria ditches a group trip in exchange for non-itinerary based travel. Do you like planning trips (I love trip planning to a fault) or do you prefer a more spontaneous approach?
- Rowan talks about how memories and dreams are interconnected. Do you believe that memories are “subject to interpretation”? (Chapter Six)
- Bria calls out Rowan’s travel superiority. Have you ever encountered travel superiority? How do you deal with travel superiority while traveling? (Chapter Eighteen)
- Travel is a matter of perspective. This is Bria’s first travel rule and I absolutely love it. How has travel shaped your perspective on what’s “offbeat” and what’s “touristy”?
- What role does money play in travel? Do you feel like you need to be rich to travel? (Chapter Twenty Seven)
- Bria, Rowan, and Starling all lie and keep secrets throughout the course of the book. Do you feel like travel provides a mechanism of dealing with skeletons of the past?
- Bria records most of her trip through art (and I love that the book was peppered with sketches). Do you record your travels?
- Throughout the novel, Rowan is caught reading different books, from classics to philosophy. Do you enjoy reading whilst traveling? (I struggle reading on sightseeing days. But I can read in an airport or car without a problem).
- “Wanderlust is like itchy feet. It’s when you can’t settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that . . . it’s a compulsion. It’s the difference between lust and love.” How do you feel about the concept of wanderlove? Would you use it in place of wanderlust?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Of course, these are just starter questions. There are no right or wrong answers. Feel 100% free to discuss anything regarding the book (or otherwise). I’ll be jumping in and responding as well throughout the course of the week!