Intrigued by all the hype around The Lonely Hearts Travel Club trilogy and still pining for Thailand, a trip that has definitely left its mark, I was drawn to Destination: Thailand by Katy Colins. Not because I am a lonely heart myself, or because I particularly favour chick-lit as a genre, but I wanted to read more about the country that I have recently fallen in love with.
Inspired by a bad breakup Katy has created a series that any female determined to prove themselves would be proud of. Nicknamed the backpacking Bridget Jones, Katy’s first novel is full of heartbreaking moments, cringe-worthy incidents and female angst and if movie rights were ever discussed it would be easy to see Renee Zellweger as the leading character Georgia.
Destination Thailand (The Lonely Hearts Travel Club)
Jilted just weeks before her wedding, Georgia Green, is both homeless and an emotional wreck. Having never lived on her own, she seems to struggle with the idea of being alone with only herself to look after.
To try and take her mind off of the what-would-have-been wedding day, best friend Marie, whisks her away on an all-inclusive trip to Turkey in the hope that the sun, alcohol and semi-naked, nicely toned beach bodies would help to pull her out of her stupor.
Whilst lounging on a sun-bed one sweltering afternoon, after many hours of crying and feeling sorry for herself, Georgia attempts to sort her life out and creates a list of things she would like to achieve highlighting to Marie that she has always wanted to travel but Alex, her now ex-fiancé, had always insisted they put their money towards better things.
However, back home in Manchester, doubt sets in. The list that included skinny dipping in a moonlit ocean, tasting exotic foods, visiting historic temples and doing something wild, was swiftly discarded when a discussion with her parents led to her mother suggesting that she had become irresponsible and selfish.
That is until she finds out that Alex has kept a secret from her that completely tips her world upside down, loses her job and gives up caring what others think.
Within hours, she has grown a backbone, wandered into a travel agent and booked a holiday to Thailand in the hope that this trip will help her to discover who she really is.
If only life was that easy.
Landing in Bangkok, Georgia is suddenly overwhelmed and glad that she has booked herself onto a solo traveller’s tour rather than opting to travel on her own. Hunting down her driver, happy to see that he has arrived on time, the butterflies in her stomach start to quell. That is until she heads outside away from the air-conditioning and into the humid air only to be faced with a rust-bucket that is in desperate need of a good clean and a remodel.
Having never backpacked before, Georgia had of course lowered her expectations slightly. She knew that the hostels in Bangkok especially would be less than desirable but had hoped that the good company would make up for the lacklustre surroundings. Unfortunately, things just never seem to go right for this girl and she ends up on a horrific tour with a group of mismatched people whom, she would never normally associate with.
Before long Georgia finds herself in some precarious situations – getting paralytic on cheap drinks down the famous Khao San Road, eating cockroaches for a dare and blindly falling for a guy that is completely wrong for her. Things go from bad to worse for the intrepid explorer and before she knows what she is doing she has quite the tour, agreed to work on a fishing boat for a free ride and landed on an island that on first impressions looks completely deserted.
Unsure whether she has done the right thing, Georgia sets off in search of the Blue Butterfly, a backpackers resort mentioned to her at the time of booking. Although unsure what to expect she tries to convince herself that it couldn’t possibly be as bad as the tour she has just left behind.
Has Georgia made the right decision? Is this the island where she will finally be able to relax and find her? Or does bad luck follow this rookie backpacker?
Would We Recommend Destination Thailand?
Whilst not an informative guide per say Destination Thailand will open your eyes to both the good and bad that Thailand has to offer. Katy Colins has beautifully captured an experience that I am sure many have had when they hit this wonderful South East Asian country.
It is a novel that females across the world will be able to relate to, even if you are not a traveller. The underlying struggles that Georgia faces are mirrored by women across the globe on a daily basis and for that reason alone it will make you read on. As a reader, you want to know what will happen, will this confused young lady actually come to terms with everything she has lost? Will she grow into the person she wants to become? Will she find what she has been searching for?
This is a book that will have you laughing and cringing, shaking your head and willing Georgia on. It is a story of one young woman’s travels as she searches for whatever it is she should be doing with her life.
Destination Thailand is one of those books that will entertain you on a long flight, inspire you while relaxing on a sun-lounger, or make you think of tropical destinations whilst you are wrapped up warm slumping on your comfy sofa during the wintry months.
Have you read Destination Thailand? Perhaps you have read a title similar in story-line to this book that you think our readers will enjoy. If so, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.