Hannah Turner is a London-born writer who now resides in Amsterdam. Her work often focuses on disability and chronic illness, and the way they intersect with everyday life. She is an editor of Bookish Magazine, an online book space, and she discusses her reading habits in a monthly newsletter, Sunday Bookmarks. Her time is spent between her bed, and the city bookstores – Scheltema is her favourite.
What does a journey mean to you?
In many ways it is purely conceptual. I spend a lot of time inside my home, often horizontal in my bed, and yet I manage to take myself back to places I have been before, or journey to places I want to visit in the future. Looking through my own old photography, reading books set in new destinations or watching videos of landscapes I have never been to – those all let me journey somewhere without leaving my own four walls.
Which country or location most inspires you?
I took for granted the varied landscapes of the UK growing up. The moody Lochs of Scotland, The lush green of Northern Ireland and the various seasides too – I will always be drawn to bodies of water. The Netherlands is notoriously flat, which makes it excellent for cycling, but far less interesting to look at. So returning to the UK and making a Road trip up north into Scotland brings me so much peace. It is also quite conveniently, a place that looks better in the rain.
Where would you go back to and why?
During the pandemic my mother, my partner and I lost a trip we had planned to Vietnam. They are my favourite travel companions. It was going to be 2 and a half weeks, 6 stops and a lot of train rides. I spent a month travelling North to South of the country when I was 18 and was so desperate to show them why it is such a brilliant place. However, in the time that has lapsed, my health has declined quite rapidly and a trip of that pace is no longer feasible, but I am wishing for a moment to reconfigure the itinerary and put it back in our diaries.
Top insider tip for Amsterdam?
Stop trying to do the things on the tourist lists, even if they claim to be new and trending. Take it slow instead, have a drink: beer, wine, coffee, whatever – and watch the Amsterdammers doing their thing instead.
What journey would you most like to go on?
I am craving a trip far far away but like I said, I am much sicker now than I once was and big adventures no longer feel viable. My partner and I met a long time ago, hiking Machu Picchu (how cliche I know). We fell in love adventuring, and I would like to plan something big, but slower paced to show him somewhere I have loved before – I am hoping for Japan or Mexico.