My Review | The Art of Travel

The Art of TravelThe Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a contemplative, philosophical series of essays about why we travel and what we get out of the experience. The author discusses the rituals of travel. How he can be transported completely to a new experience, or be completely removed from his travel experience by not staying present in the moment, thinking of problems back home. This book is about the little details. The feeling that you get when you see signage in a different language, different font. The departure board in the Frankfurt airport.

“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.” — from the author’s website.

He also looks at the art of travel through the eyes of artists throughout history like Edward Hopper, Baudelaire, Wordsworth and Van Gogh. And the book discusses the anticipation of travel and how the expectations or dreams are many times better than the reality. I liked this book because it helped me spend a minute reflecting on my years of travel and re-appreciate the little things … something that might have been mundane to a local, but to me was exotic, exciting and new.

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