Her love for exploration and new cultures has led her to over 30 countries on 6 continents and inspired her fiction and non-fiction writing. The greatest adventure of her life, however, was writing the travel-inspired novel Girls Who Travel. Meet the traveler and author Nicole Trilivas.
Who are you and what do you dream of? I am the author of the travel-themed romantic comedy, Girls Who Travel. Though I’m originally from New York, these days I call London my home and right now writing is my full-time job though I have worked in the luxury travel industry and in advertising. My favorite thing to do (unsurprisingly) is to travel: I’ve been to nearly 40 countries and I have yet to find a place I wouldn’t want to go to. In fact, having to add pages to my passport is one of my greatest accomplishments in life!
Who is Kika Shores and what does she have in common with Nicole? Kika is a free-spirited serial backpacker: she’s a bit lost in life, but I like to say that she’s lost in the right direction. Like me, she is a romantic and an optimist, and both Kika and I share a love for the charming leafy streets of West London (where the book largely takes place). I decided to place Kika in London because while I was writing the book, I was in New York waiting for my British visa to come through so that I could return, so the book pays homage to one of my favorite places.
One thing I can say to all women to encourage them to travel solo… Traveling alone will teach you so much about yourself in such a short span of time. You will learn the spaces of your heart and head; your likes and dislikes; what moves you and what you can do without.
I chose London for the setting of my book because… West London is one of my favorite places and I could talk about it forever. That’s why I chose real streets (like Stanhope Gardens) and business (The Kensington Creperie) to put in my book—I wanted to reader to be able to walk in Kika’s footsteps.
The book shows that great adventures could happen while you are staying in one place too. The biggest adventure I’ve had while not traveling far away is… writing this book! I was in my hometown of New York at the time of writing it, and getting published swept me away on one of my life’s greatest adventures.
Three books I read while traveling… I just came back from a short vacation in Dubrovnik and I read the following: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (an amazingly well-written and gritty and gorgeous coming-of-age tale set in the New York City restaurant world); The Thing About Love by Julie James (a fun, silly, and simple romantic comedy about FBI agents falling in love); and Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnès Martin-Lugand, which I haven’t started reading yet, but OMG, how good is that title?!
The writers I think I could be friends with are… When I was a young backpacker, me and Hemingway would have hated/loved each other. I can totally see us having drinking competitions and waking up in different countries, being like, how did we ever get here? Now that I’m a bit older and more mature (we hope anyway), I think me and Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat Pray Love fame), would be great friends. We both love food and travel and honestly, that’s everything I want in a BFF!
The experience that influenced me the most as a person/as a writer is… It wasn’t really one single experience, but when I returned from my first real trip (when I was seventeen I went to the Czech Republic), I understood for the first time that I was so lucky to be able to travel and have that experience—because not everyone is so lucky. And that gratitude, that fizzy feeling like I won the lottery, has shaped me. It gave me the audaciousness, the hutzpah, and guts to go out and really live my life wildly and brightly, even to think, hey, I’m going to go out there and do what I want to do: write a book!
To all the people out there who want to write a book I would say… Do. Not. Give. Up. I had to write five books before finally getting published. Just keep at it. There’s this awesome rule of the universe that says if you keep working on something it’s actually impossible to not get better at it. Just keep at it, you’ll get better, I promise.
I never travel without… hand-sanitizer! (Seriously, it’s filthy out there and no one has time for that.)
The strangest thing that ever happened to me on the road was… meeting all the delightful weirdos of this planet!
The most challenging trip I’ve ever taken was…my first solo trip to Italy and Greece. I had taken many trips before so it did not occur to me that I would ever get homesick or find it challenging, but for the first week of the trip, I was so lonely! I did, however, wait it out and I am so glad that I did because homesickness and loneliness are fleeting. I was fine by the next week.
The most helpful thing I’ve learned on the road that could be used in everyday life… There’s no harm in asking.
One travel challenge for our readers…. Spend one whole day without your phone. It’s a horrifying prospect, oh I know, but afterward (that is, if you survive), you will feel so capable and accomplish and hopefully, it will help you really be present and live in the moment. (That’s what tell myself anyway!)
Girls Who Travel is available on Amazon (a special promotion runs from June 18 to July 2, 2017).