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Ernest Hemingway, one of the most celebrated American writers of the 20th century, was not only known for his literary prowess but also for his insatiable thirst for adventure. Hemingway’s love for exploration and his desire to experience life to the fullest are evident in his works, which often depict his own adventures in various corners of the world.

Hemingway has been a personal literary hero of mine for most of my life.  Though his personal life left a lot to be desired, his writing, I think is unmatched during this and the last century.  I loved his stories of adventure, but most of all it was the humanistic side that has captivated me.  He transports us to another time and place and allows us to get to know the characters he writes about.  He truly was masterful when he wrote.

For those seeking to follow in Hemingway’s footsteps and embrace the spirit of adventure, this guide will take you on a journey through some of his favorite destinations and provide insights into his travel philosophy.

Hemingway’s Favorite Destinations: A Global Overview

Hemingway’s travels took him to numerous destinations across the globe, each leaving an indelible mark on his writing and personal life. From the bustling streets of Paris to the wild plains of Africa, Hemingway sought out experiences that would challenge and inspire him. Let’s explore some of his favorite destinations and the adventures that awaited him there.


The Parisian Experience: Hemingway’s Literary Playground

Paris, often referred to as the “City of Light,” played a significant role in Hemingway’s life and writing. It was in the cafes and bookstores of Paris that Hemingway found inspiration and camaraderie with fellow writers and artists. The city’s vibrant literary scene and bohemian atmosphere fueled his creativity, and it was here that he penned some of his most iconic works, including “The Sun Also Rises” and “A Moveable Feast.” Exploring the streets of Paris, visiting the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and indulging in the city’s culinary delights are essential experiences for any Hemingway enthusiast.


The Spanish Connection: Bullfighting and Beyond

Spain held a special place in Hemingway’s heart, particularly because of his fascination with bullfighting. Hemingway’s love for the sport was evident in his novel “The Sun Also Rises,” where he vividly described the intensity and drama of the bullring. Pamplona, the capital of the Navarre region, became synonymous with the running of the bulls, an event that Hemingway himself participated in. Exploring the streets of Pamplona during the San Fermín festival, witnessing a bullfight, and immersing oneself in the rich Spanish culture are experiences that will transport you to Hemingway’s world.

Traveling the Hemingway Way: A Guide to Adventurous Exploration

To travel like Hemingway is not necessarily going to the same places, though we love to do that, It is embracing the attitude of adventure and seeking that human connection.


African Safari: Hemingway’s Wild Side

Hemingway’s love for adventure reached its pinnacle during his African safaris. The vast landscapes, exotic wildlife, and the thrill of the hunt captivated his imagination and provided fodder for his novels such as “The Green Hills of Africa” and “True at First Light.” Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda were among the countries he explored, seeking encounters with lions, elephants, and other majestic creatures. Embarking on a safari in the Serengeti, visiting the Maasai Mara, and witnessing the Great Migration are experiences that will allow you to connect with Hemingway’s wild side and appreciate the beauty of the African continent.

The Cuban Connection: Hemingway’s Tropical Paradise

Cuba held a special allure for Hemingway, who spent many years living on the island. The vibrant culture, warm climate, and the allure of deep-sea fishing drew him to Cuba, where he wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Old Man and the Sea.” Exploring the streets of Havana, visiting Hemingway’s favorite haunts such as La Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita, and embarking on a fishing expedition in the Gulf Stream are experiences that will transport you to Hemingway’s tropical paradise.

If you are hesitant in going to Cuba (though I loved my travel to this island nation) head to the Florida Keys another of Hemingway’s haunts.

Hemingway’s Travel Philosophy: Embracing the Unknown

Hemingway’s approach to travel was rooted in his belief in embracing the unknown and immersing oneself in the local culture. He once said, “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” This philosophy is reflected in his writing, where he often emphasized the importance of experiencing life firsthand and seeking out new adventures. To travel the Hemingway way is to step out of your comfort zone, interact with locals, and embrace the unexpected. Whether it’s trying new cuisines, engaging in local customs, or venturing off the beaten path, Hemingway’s travel philosophy encourages us to fully immerse ourselves in the destinations we visit.

Our Final Word: How to Incorporate Hemingway’s Adventurous Spirit into Your Travels

There are many other places that Hemingway visited and made famous by doing so including Venice, Italy; Key West, Florida and Ketchum, Idaho.  All of those places are special and we have enjoyed visiting them all.

Traveling the Hemingway way is not just about visiting the destinations he loved but also about embracing the spirit of adventure and exploration. By immersing ourselves in the local culture, seeking out unique experiences, and stepping out of our comfort zones, we can channel Hemingway’s adventurous spirit and create our own unforgettable travel stories. As Hemingway once said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” So, embark on your own journey, inspired by Hemingway, and let the world be your playground of adventure.


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