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Travel Books I've Read

Here is a list of travel books that I've read over the years. Many of these books manage to capture the spirit and reality of travel in a way that is sublime, while others aim more towards humor and curmudgeonliness, but all of them possess some value. Some of these may not be strictly about travel, but may be about the history and culture of other countries, memoirs of foreign correspondents, or travel anecdotes, excluding travel guides. For the most part, I just really like good travelogues or diary-like accounts of travel, with a good bit of history, culture and personal experience thrown in. Be sure to read the quotes by famous travel writers I've included at the bottom. Carpe Libris!


Currently Reading:

Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News, by A. Brad Schwartz

Recently Completed:

If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, by Eric Metaxas
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance
Kingdom Come: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of David Lipscomb and James Harding, by John Mark Hicks & Bobby Valentine
The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain, by Bill Bryson
Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism, by Judy Wajcman
Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation, by James N. Druckman and Lawrence R. Jacobs
Why the Right went Wrong: Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond, by E.J. Dionne Jr.
Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, by Robert B. Reich
Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia, by Anne Garrels
The Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads, by Paul Theroux
Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement, by Thomas Geoghegan
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, by Sarah Vowell
The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power, by Steve Fraser
The Distance Between: A Travel Memior, by Mike McIntyre
Trinidad's Doctor's Office: the Amusing Diary of a Scottish Physician in Trinidad in the 1920s, by Vincent Tothill
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World, by Mark Miodownik
The Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America, by Brian Kevin (Kindle version)
What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class...And What Other Countries Got Right, by George R. Tyler
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren (Kindle version)
Capital in the Twenty-first Century, by Thomas Piketty (Kindle version sample)
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers: the Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell
Cornered: the New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Distribution, by Barry C. Lynn
The Turk Who Loved Apples: and Other Tales of Losing My Way around the World, by Matt Gross (Kindle version)
Tullahoma: The 1863 Campaign for the Control of Middle Tennessee, by Michael R. Bradley
The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers our Future, by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Better than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers, edited by Don George
The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse, by Steven D. Smith
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, by Pamela Druckerman
Crusoe: Daniel DeFoe, Robert Knox, and the Creation of a Myth, by Katherine Frank
What's the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was, by Joan Walsh
Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold, by Michael Benanav
Second that Emotion: How Decisions, Trends, & Movements are Shaped, by Jeremy D. Holden
Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent , by E.J. Dionne
The Political Centrist, by John Lawrence Hill
The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, by Andrew McCarthy (Kindle version)
Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it, by Robert B. Reich (Kindle version)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond
The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity, by Jeffrey D. Sachs
Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War, by Tony Horwitz
American Nations: a History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely
Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us, by Susan T. Fiske
A Nation Seized: How Karl Rove and the Political Right Stole Reality, Beginning with the News, by Bill Israel
Pity the Billionaire, by Thomas Frank
You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways Your're Deluding Yourself, by David McRaney
Annoying: the Science of What Bugs Us, by Joe Palca
The Global Auction: the Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes, by Phillip Brown
The Return of Depression Economics: and the Crisis of 2008, by Paul Krugman
Winning: Reflections on an Americn Obsession, by Francesco Duina
Our Patchwork Nation: the Surprising Truth About the Real America, by Dante Chinni and James Gimpel
Daily Scoldings: A Bracing Tonic of Criticism, Rebuke, and Punitive Inspiration for Better Living, by Beryl Barclay
Deer Hunting with Jesus, by Joe Bageant
When London was Capital of America, by Julie Flavell
Best West Indian Stories, by Kenneth Ramchand
The Secret Life of the Seine, by Mort Rosenblum
Were You Born on the Wrong Contenent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life, by Thomas Geoghegan
Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell
The Partly Cloudy Patriot, by Sarah Vowell (Kindle Version)
The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell
The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How America and Europe are Alike, by Peter Baldwin
Lost London 1870-1945, by Philip Davies
A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi": The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English, by Chloe Rhodes
Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer (Kindle version)
American Notes, by Rudyard Kipling (Kindle version)
The Routes of Man: How Roads are Changing the World and How We Live Today, by Ted Conover (Kindle version)
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir, by Bill Bryson (Kindle version)
Icons of England, by Bill Bryson (Kindle version)
Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland's Present, by Norman Davies (selected parts)
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before, by Tony Horwitz (Kindle version)
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World, by Eric Weiner (Kindle version)
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: the Untold History of English, by John McWhorter
Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer, by Chuck Thompson (Kindle version)
Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics & Professional Hedonism, by Thomas Kohnstamm (Kindle version)
The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton (Kindle version)
A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World, by Tony Horwitz (Kindle version)
Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne (Kindle version)
Marco Polo Didn't Go There, by Rolf Potts (Kindle version)
Travel as a Political Act, by Rick Steves (Kindle version)
The world's First Superpower: from Empire to Commonwealth, 1901-Present (Great Britain), by Dennis Judd (e-audiobook)
Great tales from English history: Captain Cook, Samuel Johnson, Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, Edward the Abdicator, and more, by Robert Lacey (Kindle version)
A Man Without a Country, by Kurt Vonnegut (e-audiobook)
Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, by Rafe Esquith (e-audiobook)
Amazon Extreme: Three Ordinary Guys, One Rubber Raft, and the Most Dangerous River on Earth, by Colin Angus; Ian Mulgrew (on my new Kindle)
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: on the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux
A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Traveler, by Thomas Swick
The Middle Passage: A Caribbean Journey, by V.S. Naipaul
The Handsomest Man in Cuba: An Escapade, by Lynette Chiang
Lois on the Loose: One Woman, One Motorcycle, 20,000 Miles Across the Americas, by Lois Pryce
The Enigma of Arrival, by V.S. Naipaul
On the Loose, by Terry & Renny Russell
Between the Woods and the Water, by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Lost In Mongolia: Rafting the World's Last Unchallenged River, by Colin Angus
Four Quarters of Light: An Alaskan Journey, by Brian Keenan
Amazing Tennessee: Fascinating Facts, Entertaining Tales..., by T. Jensen Lacey
A Year in the World, by Frances Mayes
What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the World, by M.L. Rossi,
When the Going was Good, by Evelyn Waugh
A Sense of the World: How A Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler, by Jason Roberts
The Size of the World, by Jeff Greenwald
A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration, by Michael Shapiro
Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell
The Clumsiest People in Europe, or: Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World, edited by Todd Pruzan
The Water is Wide, by Pat Conroy (audio book)
How to Be a Canadian, by Will Ferguson
Bono: in Conversation with Michka Assayas, by Bono & Assayas


Travel Book List by Title: A - Z

Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris, by Sarah Turnbull
Amazon Extreme: Three Ordinary Guys, One Rubber Raft, and the Most Dangerous River on Earth, by Colin Angus; Ian Mulgrew
American Notes, by Charles Dickens
American Notes, by Rudyard Kipling
Among the Russians, by Colin Thubron
An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India, by V.S. Naipaul
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Around the World in 80 Days, by Michael Palin
The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton
Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell
Berlin Diary: the Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941, by William L. Shirer
Berlin to Bucharest: Travels in Eastern Europe, by Anton Gill
Better than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers, edited by Don George
Between the Woods and the Water, by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne
Black Earth: A Journey through Russia after the Fall, by Andrew Meier
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before, by Tony Horwitz
Book of Traveller's Tales, by Eric Newby
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi, by William Dalrymple
The Clumsiest People in Europe, or: Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World, edited by Todd Pruzan
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town, by Paul Theroux
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads, by Paul Theroux
Dicken's London: An Imaginative Vision, by Peter Ackroyd
The Distance Between: A Travel Memior, by Mike McIntyre
Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics & Professional Hedonism, by Thomas Kohnstamm
The Elsewhere Community, by Hugh Kenner
The Enigma of Arrival, by V.S. Naipaul
Europe: A Tapistry of Nations, by Flora Lewis
Exit Into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe, by Eva Hoffman
The Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America, by Brian Kevin (Kindle version)
Four Quarters of Light: An Alaskan Journey, by Brian Keenan
Frugal Globetrotter, by Bruce T. Northam
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World, by Eric Weiner
Germany and the Germans: After the Wall, by Marc Fisher
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: on the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux
Great Railway Bazaar: by Train through Asia, by Paul Theroux
The Handsomest Man in Cuba: An Escapade, by Lynette Chiang
A House Somewhere: Tales of Life Abroad, Ed. by D. George & A. Sattin
How to Be a Canadian, by Will Ferguson
Icons of England, by Bill Bryson
In A Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson
In Another Europe: A Journey to Romania, by Georgina Harding
Innocents Abroad: Roughing It, by Mark Twain
In Search of Stones, by Scott Peck
Journey of an American, by Albion Ross
Kingdom By the Sea: A journey Around Great Britain, by Paul Theroux
Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of World History, by Richard Shenkman
Lois on the Loose: One Woman, One Motorcycle, 20,000 Miles Across the Americas, by Lois Pryce
The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, by Andew McCarthy
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America, by Bill Bryson
Lost In Mongolia: Rafting the World's Last Unchallenged River, by Colin Angus
Marco Polo Didn't Go There, by Rolf Potts
Martin Walker's Russia, by Martin Walker
Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold, by Michael Benanav
Mid-Century Journey, by William L. Shirer
Middle Passage: A Caribbean Journey, by V.S. Naipaul
Moscow! Moscow!, by Christopher Hope
Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson
Mr. Harty's Grand Tour, by Russel Harty
My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe, by Bill Bryson
Notes From A Small Island, by Bill Bryson
Orient Express, by Graham Greene
On the Loose, by Terry & Renny Russell
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik
Pictures From Italy, by Charles Dickens
Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean, by Paul Theroux
The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain, by Bill Bryson
The Routes of Man: How Roads are Changing the World and How We Live Today, by Ted Conover
The Secret Life of the Seine, by Mort Rosenblum
A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration, by Michael Shapiro
A Sense of the World: How A Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler, by Jason Roberts
Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer
Short Walks in English Towns, by Bryn Frank
Siberian Dawn: A Journey Across the New Russia, by Jeffrey Tayler
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France, But Not the French, by Jean-Benoit Nadeau & Julie Barlow
The Size of the World, by Jeff Greenwald
Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, by Washington Irving
Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer, by Chuck Thompson
Stasiland: True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, by Anna Funder
Streets of East London, by William J. Fishman
Sun after Dark: Flights into the Foreign, by Pico Iyer
Theory and Practice of Travel, by Keith Waterhouse
There are Other Rivers: on Foot Across India, by Alistair Humphreys (ebook Kindle version)
A Thousand-mile Walk to the Gulf, by John Muir
A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor
A Tramp Abroad, by Mark Twain
Travel as a Political Act, by Rick Steves
Travel With Great Writers: An Informal Literary Guide to Europe, Ed. by Robert Hector
Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Trinidad's Doctor's Office: the Amusing Diary of a Scottish Physician in Trinidad in the 1920s, by Vincent Tothill
Tourist, by Gerold Green
The Turk Who Loved Apples: and Other Tales of Losing My Way around the World, by Matt Gross
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, by Rolf Potts
Video Night in Kathmandu, by Pico Iyer
A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World, by Tony Horwitz
A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
A Walk Through Britain, by John Hillaby
Walking to Vermont: From Times Square into the Green Mountains..., by Christopher S. Wren
Wandering: Notes and Sketches, by Hermann Hesse
A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Traveler, by Thomas Swick
When the Going was Good, by Evelyn Waugh
Where They Lived In London, by Maurice Rickards
A Year in the World, by Frances Mayes
Young Americans Abroad, by Jane O'Reilly Jencks
Zoo Station: Adventures in East and West Berlin, by Ian Walker

My Travels | Where have I been? | My Blog


Misc. Travel Quotes that I Like

“There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.”
--Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886

“These first hours of the day are my favorite. Coursing through me is the drug that fuels my journeys, the feeling that keeps me coming back for more…It’s a fresh morning. I am someplace new on the far side of the planet. I am lean and very fit. The road stretches enticingly ahead of me. My legs ask to be tested and I lengthen my stride, accelerating with the glow of well-being. I’m eager to tackle the miles ahead and intrigued by what the day will offer.” --Alistair Humphreys, There are other rivers: on foot across India (ebook, Kindle version)

“…I ponder the aspect of travel that is time, that is once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wonder about those who say you can never return, wonder if I’ve returned somewhere or simply come to a new place. Because I was there, and have the picture. I lived it. I was there and I am here, and I’ll live something else; and that’s travel, that’s life.” --DBC Pierre

"Here's a thought: You'll never survive the running of the bulls unless you attend the running of the bulls. Go and smell the roses." --Travelocity Roaming Gnome

"The Traveler’s Creed
The traveler is expectant and open and sees the beauty in things when others do not. The traveler is good natured to strangers, because he understands our fundamental interdependence with each other. The traveler operates in deep karmic debt and repays what he can when he can, joyfully. The traveler eats heartily, because he understands each meal is a gift. The traveler knows that it is the people that he will remember long after he has stopped moving. The traveler believes in the kindness of strangers and walks through crowds with a smile. The traveler knows that enough is plenty and the quest for perfection leads to suffering. The traveler has dined with kings and knaves and has found joy and sadness in both. The traveler knows that moments of exhaulted pleasure and suffering will pass in due course and he is richer for both. The traveler knows he will never be in the same place with the same mind ever again. The traveler sees each day as ripe with possibility and chance encounters. The traveler knows that it is because his journey must one day end, that it has meaning. The travelers’ curiosity trumps his fear. The traveler is thankful for every day he is on the road." --Traveler’s Creed from PathLessPedaled.com

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” --Pico Iyer, Why We Travel

“For me, travel has rarely been about escape; it’s often not even about a particular destination. The motivation is to go—to meet life, and myself, head-on along the road. There’s something in the act of setting out that renews me, that fills me with a feeling of possibility. On the road, I’m forced to rely on instinct and intuition, on the kindness of strangers, in ways that illuminate who I am, ways that shed light on my motivations, my fears. Because I spend so much time alone when I travel, those fears, my first companions in life, are confronted, resulting in a liberation that I’m convinced never would have happened had I not ventured out. Often, the farther afield I go, the more at home I feel.” --Andrew McCarthy, The Longest Way Home...

"Travel is taking an active stance. Society funnels people from school to career to family. However, when you travel, you’re making a conscious decision to stop following the script that you’re given. Instead, you start to write your own script for life." --Marcus Sortijas

"I have an existential map. It has 'you are here' written all over it." --Steven Wright

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float
To gain all while you give
To roam the roads of lands remote
To travel is to live
--Hans Christian Anderson

“Coming back from [a trip overseas] means re-entering a world you have known and lived in, but doing so without feeling the charm you might expect at returning to a former life. You had left that world behind in the hope it might be thoroughly transformed in your absence, but nothing of the sort has occurred. It got along quite nicely without you and it adjusts quite smoothly to your return. People and things conspire to make it seem as if you had not been away. … People are a thousand times more preoccupied with their own little lives than with the strangeness of another world. You are best advised, then, to land discreetly, to come back politely into this world keeping anything you may have to say — along with the few sights still gleaming in your memory — strictly to yourself.” --Jean Baudrillard, America (1986)

"Young people in developed nations have a tremendous abundance of personal choice--a luxury, to be certain. But given the freedom to blaze our own paths, which direction are we supposed to take? Which combination of choices will leave us happiest? Once we leave college and enter the 'real world,' we find ourselves with no road map, no compass. And, unfortunately, there’s no time in our fast-paced, success-driven lives to pause, reflect and determine who we are as individuals--or what we really want. Many of us end up feeling lost in our 20s, and in our 30s and beyond simply because we’ve never had a definitive stretch of time that’s earmarked solely for exploration, discovery and self-reflection...Travel--particularly extended travel--provides that opportunity. Once on the road, you re-learn life’s fundamentals: How people are different (and yet inherently the same), which basic needs must be met in order to feel comfortable and happy, and how to live fully within the simplest moments." --Amanda Pressner

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." –-Ed Abbey

"The thought of going abroad makes my heart leap." --Charles Sumner

"Regardless of how far we try to wander off the tourist trail (and no matter how long we try and stay off it) we are still outsiders and dilettantes, itinerant consumers in distant lands. This is often judged to be a bad thing, but in truth that’s just the way things are. Platonic ideals aside, the world remains a fascinating place for anyone with the awareness to appreciate its nuances. Social critics who proclaim that ‘real travel’ is dead are just too lazy to look for complexities within an interconnected planet—and travel writers who seek to diminish their own presence in the tourist matrix are simply not being honest.” --Rolf Potts, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There (2009)

"On this expidition to Nanga Parbat I succumbed to the magic of the Himalayas. The Beauty of these gigantic mountains, the immensity of the lands on which they look down, the strangeness of the people of India--all these worked on my mind like a spell.
Since then, many years have passed, but I have never been able to cut loose from Asia. How all this came about, and what it led to, I shall try to describe in this book, and as I have no experience as an author, I shall content myself with the unadorned facts." --Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet (1952)

"All good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the midst of terror and wonder." -–Pico Iyer

"I was tremendously excited by life and I didn’t think that I would find it where I was. I knew that leaving would be hard, but, like Candide, 'I should like to know which is worse, to be raped a hundred times by negro pirates, to have a buttock cut off, to run the gauntlet among the Bulgarians, to be whipped and flogged in an auto-da-fé, to be dissected, to row in a galley, in short to endure all the miseries through which we have passed, or to remain here doing nothing?'" --Alistair Humphreys, Moods of Future Joys: Riding into Africa Pt. 1: Round the World... (2006)

"I wanted to raise my arms and stare in wonder over waves of hazy blue mountains. I wanted to wake in my sleeping bag in the desert as the sun rose between my toes. To shiver in a frost rimed tent is to truly appreciate the next warm duvet. A parched desert teaches deep gratitude for running water. Clarion calls to be alive and to treasure life. On the road you learn to appreciate a simplification of life. There is no need to upgrade your phone, no porcelain ornaments, no need to look good to impress, no boring small talk." --Alistair Humphreys, Moods of Future Joys...

"There was no listening to iPods or iPhones – even the Sony Walkman was years away from being commonplace – and no tearful texting our mums from our mobiles. We didn't tweet and we didn't upload loads of digital pictures to our Facebook pages. We were going abroad, cut off utterly by the Channel, taking pictures with Kodak instamatic cameras that would take a month to develop. There was no nonsense about making sure we didn't get dehydrated, or giving us water bottles etc. We just sweated southward through Europe in those non-aircon coaches, got out, did some sightseeing and partied after-hours in our hotel-rooms — although using the word 'party' as an intransitive verb was something else no one did in 1980…This wasn't Life On Mars — it was Life On Alpha Centauri, Life On Betelgeuse. And not just in retrospect. Everything was richly, gloriously strange: each nation was madly different from the next: from France to Germany to Switzerland and then the extraordinary encounter with Venice. It was thrilling, fascinating. Touristy it may have been, but we were challenged to make sense of Europe, to understand it, to try the languages. It left me with a lifelong love of Italian and a contempt for Europhobes." --Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (2010)

"It is a truism that travel is an expansive experience. We hit the road in order to broaden our horizons, expand our minds, deepen ourselves. Choose your cliché. For me, though, the real appeal of travel is not how it expands my life but how it shrinks it. Contains it. At home, clutter—both the physical and mental variety—consumes me. Out there, I am free of all that. I am lighter." --Eric Weiner, World Hum (2010)

“…I loved being caught up in the thrill of leaving the village behind, heading into the unknown…For me, the sight of unfamiliar landscape was like a drug. I would look forward to it all through the winter, and it spawned something in me which has never died—a compulsion to travel.” --Eric Clapton, Icons of England (2010)

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road…
--Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

“The more man knows of man, the better for the common brotherhood among men.” --Charles Dickens

"Writing should be testimony to the vast flow of life through us." --Victor Serge

"We should not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." --T.S. Eliot

“The practice of soulful travel is to discover the overlapping point between history and everyday life, the way to find the essence of every place, every day: in the markets, small chapels, out-of-the-way parks, craft shops. Curiosity about the extraordinary in the ordinary moves the heart of the traveler intent on seeing behind the veil of tourism.” --Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage (1998)

“Travel writers often approach their subjects with what’s known in Zen as beginner’s mind. They write about places from the perspective of an outsider. They’re students of the world. Ideally, they take readers on a journey—a real adventure—that is fun and entertaining and, yes, educational.” --Jim Benning, World Hum (2010)

“As we travel, we can feel that something important is happening, that we are taking part in something of which we are at once both witnesses and creators, that there is a duty incumbent upon us, and that we are responsible for something. And in fact we are responsible for the road we are traveling. We often feel sure that we are walking or driving down a particular road just this once in our lives, and that we shall never return to it again, so we must not miss anything from this journey, we cannot overlook or lose anything, because we are going to give an account of it all, write a report, a story — we are going to examine our conscience. And so, as we travel we concentrate, we focus our attention and sharpen our hearing. The road we are on is very important, because each step along it takes us nearer to an encounter with the Other, and that is exactly why we are there. Would we otherwise voluntarily expose ourselves to hardships and take on the risk of all sorts of discomfort and danger?” -–Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Other (2008)

“The simultaneous charm and risk of travel is it shakes up the paradigms and habits that help you simplify and interpret day-to-day life. Life on the road, for better or for worse, vivifies a muted aspect of reality: it makes you realize that random factors influence your life just as much as planned ones.” --Rolf Potts, Marco Polo Didn't Go There (2009)

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page.” --St. Augustine of Hippo

“Whether we go to London for the weekend or to a place that’s utterly alien, travel changes us, sometimes superficially, sometimes profoundly. It is a classroom without walls.” --Patricia Schultz, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (2003)

"I prefer all but the very worst travel books, to all but the very best novels." --Evelyn Waugh

“There’s no such thing as a bad trip, just good travel stories to tell back home. Always travel with a smile and remember that you’re the one with the strange customs visiting someone else’s country. Relying on the kindness of strangers isn’t naïve—there are good people wherever you go. And, finally, the more time you spend coming to understand the ways of others, the more you’ll understand yourself. The journey abroad reflects the one within—the most unknown and foreign and unmapped landscape of them all, the ultimate terra incognita. As Mr. Twain said, ‘twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails, explore. Dream. Discover.’” --Patricia Schultz, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (2003)

"To me, understanding people and their lives is what travel is about, no matter where you go...I have long held that travel can be a powerful force for peace. Travel promotes understanding at the expense of fear. And understanding bridges conflicts between nations." --Rick Steves, Travel as a Political Act (2009)

“' Wanderlust,' the very strong or irresistible impulse to travel, is a perfect word, adopted untouched from the German, presumably because it couldn’t be improved upon. Workarounds like the French 'passion du voyage' don’t quite capture the same meaning. Wanderlust is not a passion for travel exactly, it’s something more animal and more fickle—more like lust. We don’t lust after very many things in life. We don’t need words like 'worklust' or 'homemakinglust.' But travel? The essayist Anatole Broyard put it perfectly: 'Travel is like adultery: one is always tempted to be unfaithful to one’s own country.' To have imagination is inevitably to be dissatisfied with where you live ... in our wanderlust, we are lovers looking for consummation.” --Elisabeth Eaves, Wanderlust (2009)

"The best kind of travel—the kind I wanted to experience—involves a particular state of mind, in which one is not merely open to the occurrence of the unexpected, but to deep involvement in the unexpected, indeed, open to the possibility of having one’s life changed forever by a chance encounter." --Elisabeth Eaves, Wanderlust (2009)

"Everywhere I go I end up thinking, I should spend more time here, I should live here... I should know what it's like to work in a cigar factory in Leon, fish in the Mekong, live in a floating house on Tonle Sap, sell hot dogs at Fenway Park, trade stocks in New York, wander the Thar Desert by camel, navigate the Danube, see the way Denali looks at sunset, to smell the Sonora Desert after a rain, taste the dust of a Juarez street, know how to make tortillas, what Mate tastes like, feel autumn in Paris, spend a winter in Moscow, a summer in Death Valley. I should be able to not just visit places, but inhabit them. There is, so far as I know, only one short life. And in this life I will do very few of these things. Sometimes I think that's very sad, but then the bus comes and you're on to the next town, free to start the dream over again." --Scott Gilbertson, vagablogging.net

"For the first time, it seemed clear to me that travel is not about finding something: It’s about getting lost -- that is, it is about losing yourself in a place and a moment. The little things that tether you to what’s familiar are gone, and you become a conduit through which the sensation of the place is felt. It’s nice to see the significant centers of civilization, the important buildings, the monumental landscapes, but what seems most extraordinary is feeling yourself lifted out of your ordinary life into something new." --Susan Orlean, A Lonely Heart in Bhutan

"I think travel just really wakes me up. It puts me in a state of hyper-awareness that’s hard to get to in daily life. I’m so intrigued by other cultures—when I’m traveling away from home I get more insight into my own life and culture as well, just by contrast, and by that alertness of mind that sort of comes to me like a drug when I’m out of the country. I find that the freedom of anonymity tends to propel me into interesting situations." --Tanya Shaffer

“Travel surprises us. A turn down the next street, right instead of left, and a new friend is created, a friend for life. Left instead of right, and we rediscover the charming little restaurant we’d visited years before and long forgotten…No matter our intended design or schedule, Chance is our ever-present travel partner in discovery. Fate and Destiny orchestrate our journey, map out our path. Fortune and Luck plot our course, serve as our compass. We applaud the happenstance of our ways, our happy accidents, our little miracles. We recognize and celebrate the Kismet in our travels, the synchronistic signposts of our soul.” --Steve Zikman, The Power of Travel (1999)

"One of the best-paying professions is getting ahold of pieces of country in your mind, learning their smell and their moods, sorting out the pieces of a view, deciding what grows there and there and why, how many steps that hill will take, where this creek winds and where it meets the other one below, what elevation timberline is now, whether yo can walk this reef at low tide or have to climb around, which contour lines on a map mean better cliffs or mountains. This is the best kind of ownership, and the most permanent...It feels good to say "I know the Sierra" or "I know Point Reyes." But of course you don't--what you know better is yourself, and Point Reyes and the Sierra have helped." --Terry & Renny Russell, On the Loose (1969)

"That is the charm of a map. It represents the other side of the horizon where everything is possible. It has the magic of anticipation without the toil and sweat of realization. The greatest romance ever written pales before the possibilities of adventure that lie in the faint blue trails from sea to sea. The perfect journey is never finished, the goal is always just across the next river, round the shoulder of the next mountain. There is always one more track to follow, one more mirage to explore. Achievement is the price which the wanderer pays for the right to venture." --Rosita Forbes, Red Sea to Blue Nile (1925)

"The need to travel is a mysterious force. A desire to go runs through me equally with an intense desire to stay at home. An equal and opposite thermodynamic principle. When I travel, I think of home and what it means. At home I'm dreaming of catching trains at night in the gray light of Old Europe, or pushing open shutters to see Florence awaken. The balance just slightly tips in the direction of the airport." --Frances Mayes, A Year in the World (2006)

"Travel pushes my boundaries. Seemingly self-indulgent, travel paradoxically obliterates me-me-me, because very quickly--prestissimo--the own-little-self is unlocked from the present and released to move through layers of time. It is not 2006 all over the world. So who are you in a place where 1950 or 1920 is about to arrive? Or where the guide says, "We're not talking about A.D. today. Everything from now on is B.C." --Frances Mayes, A Year in the World (2006)

"Non-travelers often warn the traveler of dangers, and the traveler dismisses such fears, but the presumption of hospitality is just as odd as the presumption of danger. You have to find out for yourself. Take the leap. Go as far as you can. Try staying out of touch. Become a stranger in a strange land. Acquire humility. Learn the language. Listen to what people are saying. It was as a solitary traveler that I began to discover who I was and what I stood for." --Paul Theroux, Fresh Air Fiend (2000)

"None but those who have traveled, can appreciate the delight experienced from recalling in this way the interesting points of an interesting journey, and fighting, as it were, their battles over again." --James Holman

"...travel may be viewed as a rebellious, even a subversive act, part of the process of self-actualization I travel to define and assert my existential identity. I travel. Therefore I am." --Michael Mewshaw, at the Key West Literary Seminar (2004)

"So much of American culture does not point toward the value and importance of getting outside of your own box. So much of it is centered on the United States as a self-sufficient entity in the world. We’re inculcated with the notion that we can go it alone and do it ourselves, and that really goes against learning about other cultures and the kind of vulnerability you experience when you travel. We need to grow and evolve as a country, I think." --Don George (Editor), Lonely Planet

"Travel is the best way we have of rescuing the humanity of places, and saving them from abstraction and ideology." --Pico Iyer, Why we travel

"The physical aspect of travel is, for me, the least interesting; what really draws me is the prospect of stepping out of the daylight of everything I know, into the shadows of what I don't know, and may never know. Confronted by the foreign, we grow newly attentive to the details of the world, even as we make out, sometimes, the larger outline that lies behind them...I know in my own case that a trip has really been successful if I come back sounding strange even to myself; if, in some sense, I never come back at all, but remain up at night unsettled by what I've seen. I bring back receipts, postcards, the jottings I have made, but none of them really tells the story of what I've encountered; that remains somewhere between what I can't say and what I can't know." --Pico Iyer, Sun After Dark: Flights into the Foreign (2004)

"Once a journey is designed, equiped, and put in process; a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys...A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us." --John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley (1962)

"Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected check in the mail, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homey restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city." --Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There (1992)

"I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you only have the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross the street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses." --Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There (1992)

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints." --Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." --Oscar Wilde

"Travel is glamorous only in retrospect." --Paul Theroux

"Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag." --Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"It is far easier to travel than to write about it." --David Livingstone

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." --Douglas Adams

"One of the gladdest moments of human life, me thinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unkown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of habit, the leaden weight of routine, the cloak of many cares and the slavery of home, man feels once more happy." --Sir Richard Burton

"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries." --Aldous Huxley

"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment." --Hilaire Belloc

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." --Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

"After being turned down by numerous Publishers, he decided to write for posterity." --George Ade

"I drove in the gloomy frame of mind that overtakes me at the end of every big trip. In another day or two I would be back in New Hampshire and all these experiences would march off as in a Disney film to the dusty attic of my brain and try to find space for themselves amid all the ridiculous accumulated clutter of half a century's disordered living." --Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country

"I drove in the gloomy frame of mind that overtakes me at the end of every big trip. In another day or two I would be back in New Hampshire and all these experiences would march off as in a Disney film to the dusty attic of my brain and try to find space for themselves amid all the ridiculous accumulated clutter of half a century's disordered living." --Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country

"A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity, and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon, and by moonlight." --Robertson Davies

"For me they go hand in hand. When I travel it makes me want to write, when I read it makes me want to travel." --William Dalrymple

"The person who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; the person to whom every soil is as a native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom every soil is as a foreign land." --Hugo of St.Victor 12th century monk

"Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a little book."
--Thomas A. Kempis (1380-1471), German monk, mystic. Inscribed on his picture at Zwoll, Holland, where he is buried.