Selected authors’ observations
on the “gifts of travel”
Part I – Dec 25, 2014
Part II – Jan 01, 2015
On this season’s Christmas and New Year’s Day, from a few of the “classic” travel books that I reviewed in 2014, I am asking, what do some of the best travel writers, past and present, have to say about the gifts of travel?
One of travel’s most valuable presents is “getting away from it all.” Observes acclaimed author Pico Iyer in Falling Off the Map:
every traveler seeks out places that every traveler has missed. Everyone longs at times to get away from it all. Finding a sanctuary, a place apart from time, is not so different from finding a faith.
“Getting way from it all’s” progyny or vice versa is “getting there,” the chance discoveries along the way, the surprises, the fluky, unexpected happenings. Phil Caputo comments in The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean
But it wasn’t getting there that mattered; it was the getting there [bold mine], what Kerouac called “the purity of movement.” On the road, I liked imagining what I would see at the next turn or over the hill just beyond, whom I would meet in the next town and what they would have to say and what their lives were like. The discovery, once made, did not always meet expectations. It was the unexpected that created the real magic, as when we’d come upon that herd of woods bison in the Yukon, the great shaggy beasts suddenly appearing, like a shaman’s vision come true.
Warmest wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!
Tucker Cox – Zeteo contributing writer
References – photos courtesy of Bing Images