The Art of Travel
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” –Mark Twain
Changing the way you perceive.
We returned last week from a trip to Barcelona, Spain where we celebrated our 40th Anniversary. This romantic city provided an endlessly rich visual and culinary treat. We ate pig snout cannelloni, smoked reindeer meat, and tapas, tapas, tapas! Miro, Dali, Picasso, Museum of Contemporary Art, what a feast.
Travel broadens your perspective; something that is critically needed to fight the tunnel vision and a me-first mentality that is so prevalent in our culture today. I love learning about the customs and traditions of other countries. Spanish siestas, dinner at 10 pm, Gaudi’s nature-inspired architecture, and a full orchestra playing to an enormous crowd at a flea market! Almost without fail, when we boarded the (excellent) metro in Barcelona I was offered a seat from a young man. Was it because I was a senior, a woman, a visitor? No matter. I was always moved by that courtesy (even though the feminist in me said, huh?!, my 65-year-old knees said, thank you!).
We are forever changed.
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton was our travel guidebook for a trip to Paris in 2011. It wasn’t a compilation of where to go and what to see; it was about the how and why of traveling and it greatly enriched our experience. Here is a single copy self-published book with excerpts from The Art of Travel that I paired with photographs and artwork from the trip.
From the Amazon website:
Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.
Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom. The Art of Travel is a wise and utterly original book.