Girls Who Travel: A Conversation with Nicole Trilivas
Nicole Trilivas is an author, traveler, and lover of books. Her debut novel Girls Who Travel soon to be your new favorite vacation read. The book is laced with Trilivas’ humor and passion for seeing the world. She spoke with us about her writing process, favorite vacations, and more.
You wrote, “there are many reasons why girls should not travel alone, and I won’t list them. Because there are more reasons why girls should.” How do you aim to use your book to combat the mindset that solo female travel is too dangerous?
I think the book “shows” rather than “tells.” The fact is, solo female travel can be dangerous, but by focusing on all the ways that it makes you grow, and learn, and evolve, it’s easy to see the good.
Given her wandering spirit, what made you decide to tell Kika’s story while she was mainly in one place?
In real life, very few people—even those who identify as travelers—get the pleasure of spending their whole lives on the road. In this way, I wanted to make the story of a die-hard traveler true to life: it’s not just about the trip you’re on; it’s about your last trip and your next trip, and the one after that. It’s not linear or neat, but it felt more messy and lifelike to me.
Your depiction of Au Pair life was pretty realistic, as living with another family can definitely have its ups and downs, especially when you’re abroad. Was that based on a personal experience?
No, it wasn’t. I never got to be an au pair—especially not for a super rich family abroad! But I always thought it would be a really interesting job! I still kind of regret never being an au pair or a bartender—both of those jobs would give you such good stories!
Anyone who has had a fling on the road can probably relate to Kika and Lochlan’s struggle, especially their hesitation to DTR. How did you approach bringing backpacker romances to life?
“Roadmances” are so bittersweet. By nature they’re transitory (as are the people involved), but they show what’s beautiful about humankind: we can’t help our feelings, our hearts, our desire to be with each other. I tried to stay authentic to the duality of love on the road—the fact that’s hard but terribly romantic, and like any relationship, the success comes down to the people involved.
Nicole Trilivas is an author, traveler, and lover of books. Her debut novel Girls Who Travel was published in December 2015 and is soon to be your new favorite vacation read. The book is laced with Trilivas’ humor and passion for seeing the world. She spoke with us about her writing process, favorite vacations, and more.
Kika is always planning her next trip, but seems to struggle with budgeting. Is your traveling mindset at all different than hers? If so, how?
You know, it’s not all that different. Travel is still pretty much my biggest expense in life and I have no qualms about spending a lot of money on a trip. But I like to think I’m more fiscally responsible than Kika is at the beginning of the book!
Kika says, “Technically, I was far from home, but I already felt closer to who I really was.” How have your personal travels helped you find your center?
Travel has afforded me so much—including my personality. It gave me something to be passionate about, a compass. It helped shaped my goals and helped me to decide what person I want to be. I am not yet that person, but travel also taught me that it’s about the journey. I am on my way.
You’ve been to over 30 countries. If you can bear to pick just one, what’s the best trip you’ve been on?
Oh no, don’t make me pick! I guess if I had to choose, it would be going to the Czech Republic after the fall of communism. The country was so alive with creativity and optimism. It was really special.
You are great at orienting the reader when Kika visits a new place. Did you do any traveling to do research for the book?
I wrote the book as an homage to London, as I was desperate to return at the time. I knew London so well that I didn’t do much research, but I did for Positano. I feel like I earned myself a trip there!
Kika has had some amazing adventures. Are any of them based on your own?
Like Kika, I had an epic skip through Europe, but very sadly, I never had the type of epic romance she did.
What inspired you to write Girls Who Travel?
I wanted to pay tribute to all the girls out there who choose travel. Because travel is a choice. And it’s not always easy or fun. But we choose it, again and again. And that’s to be admired.