‘Emmy and Oliver’: author Robin Benway chats about her fave holiday spots

Holidays are some of the best parts of summer. Even when they’re going wrong, and you are hopelessly lost or running late for that train or found out that braving the surprise seafood dish at that restaurant wasn’t the best idea, you come home with story after story.

Robin Benway, author of ‘Emmy and Oliver’ and storyteller extraordinaire, understands the need for travel. Check out some of her favourite holiday destinations, and what she got up to when she was there, in her article below:

The thing about being a writer is that you’re never really, truly on vacation. When you spend your life making up imaginary characters and then talking to them for months at a time, you’re sort of married to your job. Which is great, because it’s a very happy marriage, but sometimes your brain needs to decompress. In other words, you need to travel.

One of the best trips I ever took in my life was a two-week journey to Italy. I went with my mother and it was our first time out of the US, and it was an absolutely perfect trip. We still talk about it. “Remember that time we were in Italy?” one of us will say, and then the other will sigh happily. I cried when we left Rome to fly back to Los Angeles…but that also might have been because I had four espressos at the airport, which made me a wee bit emotional.

The food! Oh, the food. I was in heaven.


My mom and I at the Amalfi Coast. Our driver, Sábado, took this photo. Then he drank limoncello and made our car do “the cha-cha” all the way on the windy road. I feel grateful to be alive.

The gorgeous beach umbrellas of Sorrento. I miss you, beach umbrellas!

A couple of years later, my mom, brother, and I traveled to France and Spain. What a whirlwind trip, but so much fun. Our intrepid Paris guide even managed to get us into the Louvre ahead of the crowds so that we could be the first people to see the Mona Lisa. That was magical. I also learned that my Spanish is pretty great and that my French is abysmal, which makes things exciting when you’re crossing the border! But we eventually found our hotel, which is all that matters, right? Right.

My mom and I in San Sebástian, Spain. She’s so cute! I love my mom.


This is what I like to call my “OMG WE’RE IN PROVENCE!” face.


The only photo I have of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona because I got really hot and almost fainted in the church. Good times! (I was fine once I got some air. And some paella.)


It’s been a few years since my last big trip, but I have my eye on London next. I’ve flown over the city, but now I want to actually explore there. A few years ago, I found a Christmas tree ornament at Anthropologie, and I bought it as a talisman for my next trip. So look out, London! Maybe I’ll see you there soon. (I promise not to faint this time.)


Get ‘Emmy and Oliver’ for £6.99.

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Written by Laura Fulton

Book Channel Editor at MaxPop! Have a thing for the sea and pretty paperbacks. Saved by amazing grace.

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