5 Unusual places to set your novel in:

Instead of the traditional western worlds, why not try these instead?

person holding terrestrial globe scale model taken
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com


Most of the books ever written have at least one thing in common: some shape or form of a western world. Be it kings, queens, dragons, knights or sword fights, it always provides the exact same feel. Personally, I love a good western world, however it might be slightly overdone.

That is why I’ve thought long and hard (and searched through many, many inspirational photos) for places that might provide a fresh take on things. Here are the 5 places I hope will spark your creativity:

1. Latvia

Latvia 1

  • Latvia’s capital, Riga, apparently houses 1 in 3 of Latvia’s two million residents.
  • Around 54% of Latvia is pure forest.
  • Latvia has a drink made from 24 different plants (flowers, buds, juices, roots, oils and berries) called Black Balsam. It is said to have healing properties for illnesses.
  • Apparently, they have a 3500 year-old oak tree which was excavated during work for a new town hall in Riga.



2. South Africa

SA 1

  • Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains in the world.
  • A meteor the size of a mountain once fell in South Africa, thus created the world’s largest crater.
  • Each year between May and July, millions of sliver fish travel along the coast of South Africa. This migration can be seen from space, apparently.
  • Fossils are constantly excavated in South Africa, supporting the theory that modern humans originated in Africa.
  • An astounding number of 3000 shipwrecks have been estimated around the coast of South Africa.




3. Bolivia

Bolivia 1

  • There is a certain road in Bolivia called the North Yungas Road, or also known as the Death Road. Nearly 200-300 people died there yearly, until recent improvements were made.
  • The San Pedro prison allows its inmates to live with their families, work, and also buy or rent property.
  • There is a hotel, The Hotel Luna Salad, which is built entirely from salt. The furniture, everything!
  • Apparently there are 5055 footprints from 8 different species of dinosaurs found in Bolivia.
  • I am shocked: dolphins in the Amazon in Bolivia are pink. PINK.



4. Nepal


Nepal 1

  • The 70 million year-old Himalaya mountains separates the Tibetan Plateau from India, and is spread across five countries: Nepal, Bhutan, India, China, and Pakistan. The word “Himalaya” means “abode of snow”.
  • Nepal is on the move! The Indo Australian plate under Nepal will travel 1,500 kilometres into Asia in the next 10 million years.
  • The Elephant polo game originated in Nepal. Nepal’s Tiger Tops is the site of the World Elephant Polo Championships.
  • The Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in the 6th century BC near Lumbini, and is considered a sacred sight today. He embarked on a path of meditation that led him to enlightenment as the Buddha.
  • Public displays of affection are not only discouraged, but illegal. Kissing in public will get you arrested.



5. Lebanon
Lebanon 1

  • Lebanon’s famous ‘Cedar’ trees appear 75 times in the Old Testament. It’s believed that these trees were planted by God Himself, and are thus called ‘The Cedars of God’.
  • The only remaining temple of Jupiter – the god – is in Baalbeck, Lebanon.
  • They say King Solomon’s temple was built with Lebanon’s cedars.
  • Our Lady of Lebanon is a shrine site in Lebanon. It honours Mary, Mother of Jesus. The shrine is highlighted by a bronze statue, and is 8.5 meters high. The Virgin Mary stretches her hands towards Beirut.
  • The national beverage is arak, a strong anise-flavoured liquor made from fermented grape juice.



Well, those are the places!

To be honest, my own mind stirred a bit while researching this. Some of these places are definitely at the top of my must-travel-to list. (And maybe on my must-write-about list as well…)

If any of these places sparked your interest, or if you have any more fun facts to share about them, please comment down below!

Thanks for reading  ; )








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