The Art of Travel

The Art of Travel

Book - 2002 | 1st American ed.
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Aside from love, few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going traveling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs, and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel, few people seem to talk about why we should go and how we can become more fulfilled by doing so. In The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, explores what the point of travel might be and modestly suggests how we can learn to be a little happier in our travels.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon, 2002.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780375420825
Branch Call Number: 910.01 DE BOTTON
Characteristics: 255 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.


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Oct 04, 2018

Good, not great writing. Some of the chapters (which seem unrelated) are about travel, others not oo much. The author can't compare to a public intellectual like Rebecca Solnit. And the subject is very UK-centred.

LPL_TriciaK Jan 24, 2017

If you like to travel, or read about traveling, try this! The author has a wry sense of humor which I enjoyed, but the real benefit of this book is that he offers you the opportunity to reexamine your thinking about travel. E.g. in the chapter "Anticipation" de Botton examines how we create high expectations for our trips (Look at that perfect beach! My cabin will have a gorgeous view! I'll be so relaxed and mellow!) , but our natural personalities - our worries, our habits, our anxieties - always shape the reality to contrast with that initial expectation of perfection. He expresses this humorously as he recounts his trip to Barbados: “A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making itself apparent: I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island.” The chapter "City and Country" includes an account of his trip to the Lake District in England, where he draws upon Woodsworth's poetry about nature in an exploration of the restorative value of open spaces. Other excursions - to Madrid, Amsterdam, Provence - entitled respectively "Curiosity", "Exotic Places", and "The Sublime", similarly pair the place with an artist or writer's perspective on that topic, which takes the book beyond a mere travelogue. It's short - and it has photographs! - so it's a fairly quick read.

Jan 10, 2009

This is wonderful book, with flowing prose and lots of insights about why we travel. The author combines his own experiences with the experiences of famous literary authors to explore various destinations. Highly recommended


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