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Today's quote:

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Wherever we go, we take ourselves with us


Few things are as exciting as the idea of travelling somewhere else. But the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams. The tragi-comic disappointments are well-known: the disorientation, the mid-afternoon despair, the lethargy before ancient ruins. And yet the reasons behind such disappointments are rarely explored.

We are inundated with advice on where to travel to; we hear little of why we should go and how we could be more fulfilled doing so. "The Art of Travel" is a philosophical look at the ubiquitous but peculiar activity of travelling ‘for pleasure’, with thoughts on airports, landscapes, museums, holiday romances, photographs, exotic carpets and the contents of hotel mini-bars. The book mixes personal thought with insights drawn from some of the great figures of the past. Unlike existing guidebooks on travel, it dares to ask what the point of travel might be – and modestly suggests how we could learn to be less silently and guiltily miserable on our journeys.



All my extensive travels before retirement were footed by my numerous employers who sent me from Germany to South Africa, from Australia to Papua New Guinea, from Papua New Guinea all over Australia, and then to the Solomon Islands, to Burma, to Iran, to Samoa, to Malaysia, to Singapore, to Saudi Arabia, to Zurich, to London, to Greece ...

No more free air travel in retirement, no more lounging in VIP lounges, no more "turning left" on big jumbos, no more stays in five-star hotels, no more free mini-bars, no more same-day laundry service with a cute cardboard bow tie in every starched and ironed shirt left at the bottom of the bed in a sealed plastic bag, and so I take consolation in Alain de Botton's audiobook "The Art of Travel", read by the author himself:


You may also read it for free on www.archive.org


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