Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and full up my heart.Oprah Winfrey
I truly believe travel makes a person a better human being, but only if they allow themselves to relate to the people and places they’ve visited. In a time when we see less hope than hate it’s more important than ever to open our eyes and hearts to people and things that aren’t clones of ourselves.
I won’t be traveling until I’m vaccinated and it’s deemed safe to do so for everyone around me, so I’ve been traveling through books more and more. I challenged myself last year to diversify my reading as much as possible. Why wouldn’t I want to travel to Nigeria or experience Japan? The closest I came were several books and that took me a step closer to another destination.
This year I’m continuing to diversify my reading and I’m setting myself a challenge for what will probably take me many years to finish. I want to read a book by an author from every country in the world. I want to immerse myself in another culture’s perspective. I want to hear stories from non-American people. I want to grow as a person and be the best bipoc ally that I can.
I spent a very long time this week going through my list of books I’ve read to research where the authors were from. Then, I made a cool map! Check it out below.
Sadly, I spent most of my life reading books written solely by white American, Canadian, and British voices. Don’t get me wrong, these were AMAZING books and stories written that are incredible and I’ve loved reading them all for the most part. But… my mindset has grown. I want to learn about stories, histories, events, and cultures different from my own. That’s just part of the fun of travel, even if it is traveling across a page.
As of right now, I’ve read books by authors from 27 different countries and I’m totally geeking out about how far across the world reading has taken me. Clearly, I’ve been slacking certain parts of the world and I will be fixing that this year! Looking at you South America, sorry I’ve ignored you.
I know this post is a little bit different, but the election year brought out so much hate in society and the pandemic spurred even more racism. I just wanted to send some positivity out to my tiny corner of the internet and let people know that my blog is a safe space.
Hopefully, this inspires you to pick up a book from an author you’ve never read or to consider booking travel to somewhere different. There’s an entire world out there full of an endless “something different” and I can’t wait to share what I discover along the way!
Is this a challenge you think you might make!? Tell me in the comments below and what a dream book challenge for you would be. P.S there will be an official book review section that I’ll house book posts in too coming in the near future. Hopefully that makes you as excited as I am about it!
I case you were wondering here are the countries represented in my reads so far:
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- New Zealand