Traveling immerses us in the world, but sometimes in the less eventful moments in between destinations, we just need to escape. “The Layover” is a weekly roundup of books, music, podcasts, and other forms of entertainment brought to you by your favorite world travelers.
This week, we reached out to Tara Povey, an award-winning travel blogger and photographer from Ireland. Born in New Zealand and raised halfway around the world Tara caught the travel bug at a young age. Today, she discusses the entertainment she turns to during travel’s quieter moments.
The “Charlie Parker” detective series” by John Connolly
My mom recommended these books to me years ago. The series is about a tormented detective who seems to constantly end up in the wrong place at the right time, pursuing justice for the dead. There is an undercurrent of the supernatural, though it’s subtle in the first few books.
I’ve been obsessed with the idea of justice since I was a little kid, and, though the books can be very dark at times,t justice is usually served. The books are set in Maine and have made me add the state to my travel bucket list. It’s funny — every time I find a book exchange, the next book in the series is sitting there staring up at me. It’s a bit spooky. I’ve traveled from the Maldives to Helsinki, and the books seem to always be waiting for me when I arrive. No matter how full my bag is, I always manage to fit Charlie Parker and his dark adventures in. I think I’m on book number seven of 18 at the moment. Guess I’ll have to visit a few more countries before I can get to the end!
The “Divergent” trilogy by Veronica Roth
I first read this series when I was in the U.K., and it was around the time when I decided to quit my job and travel. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more connected to a lead character than I have with Tris. At the time I read it, I knew that I would be letting my family down in one sense, going against what society expected of me, and I was trying to figure out who I really was. Tris has to deal with all of this in the books, but in a more extreme environment.
She’s born into a post-apocalyptic society that separates people, depending on their personality traits, into one of five factions. Nobody is allowed to be different. Tris decides to leave her family behind and choose a faction that is bold and adventurous. She tries to discover who she is, what she believes in, and what she is capable of. I remember being home in Ireland for Christmas, reading the final book and crying my heart out. It was the first book that ever really broke my heart.
I’m a giant sci-fi/fantasy nerd, especially when it can be classified as “teen fiction.” I’ll read or watch anything with angels, vampires, aliens, demons, you name it. Like travel, it’s a form of escapism.
I started reading the series on a road trip across Canada, then watched the film adaptation in a cinema in the U.K. and a second time in a hotel room in Egypt. Now here I am with the TV series, which I first discovered in Edmonton in 2016. I’ve watched episodes of “Shadow Hunters” in all sorts of locations: on the train to the airport, waiting for my flight to Rwanda, in a hotel room in the south of France.. With two seasons of 20 episodes each, you can pass a lot of time if your flight is delayed or you have a long layover. Thank God it’s confirmed for a third season! That’ll keep me entertained for my next few adventures.