Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Art of Travel

Just wish to share some excerpts from one of my favourite books. An illuminating read on travel. Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel shares a philosophical and erudite take on travel and inspired me to view travel in fresh ways.

Picture of the book, as taken off Alain de Botton's website: http://www.alaindebotton.com

"If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal much about the dynamics of this quest ... than our travels. They express ... an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival."

"Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train.

Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape."

"In the more fugitive, trivial association of the word exotic, the charm of a foreign place arises from the simple idea of novelty and change ... we may value foreign elements not only because they are new, but because they seem to accord more faithfully with our identity and commitments than anything our homeland could provide.

What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home."

"If drawing had value even when it was practised by people with no talent, it was ... because drawing could teach us to see: to notice rather than to look. In the process of re-creating with our own hand what lies before our eyes, we seem naturally to move from a position of observing beauty in a loose way to one where we acquire a deep understanding of its constituent parts and hence more secure memories of it."

1 comment:

laradunston said...

These are some of my favorite excerpts too. We spend a lot of time in cars driving around different countries we're writing about and I find that introspection provoked by the landscape around me and the process of travelling forms some of my most profound thoughts. I kick myself that I don't write them down enough.