A quirky, delightful meditation on why we go where we go… O Magazine

Alain De Botton in his book The Art of Travel, “relates even the most disappointing experiences with delightful wit, graceful prose and surprising insight.” Los Angeles Times. Here to walk through this with me is Iain Baird, a friend, frequent guest on the show and a man who loves a good discussion.

Show Notes:

  • Overview of the book and 5 sections: Departures, Motives, Landscape, Art and Return.
  • Why does one travel. Alain De Botton gives many reasons. Iain and I talk about escape, adventure, culture (art, food, historic sites) and curiosity as a few.
  • Alain De Botton uses artists and writers like Wordsworth, Van Gogh, Hopper and Ruskin to make his points. However, in the 21st century we rely on Face Book, Instagram and iPhone. We discuss the pros and cons of this technology when traveling.
  • How do artists and writers influence our traveling choices.
  • The author spends a chapter “On Possessing Beauty.” Iain and I talk about this quote from the book. “A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, possess it and give it weight in one’s life. There is an urge to say ‘I was there, I saw this, and it mattered to me.’
  • Dreams of travel are often quite different from actual trips, in part because you can’t travel away from yourself.” I ask Iain, is it more fun to plan the trip or actually go on the trip?
  • Travel styles can vary from one person to the next and may depend on the actual reasons for the travel. Choices are made between a destination of country or city—that is solitude vs community.
  • Finally, the return home. Lessons learned and what did you leave and what did you return to? Alain De Botton says, “I returned to London from Barbados to find that the city had stubbornly refused to change.” And a quote from Pascal, “The sole cause of a man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.”


Links:
You can purchase the book with Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Travel-Alain-Botton/dp/0375725342
You can find a moving 49 minute video YouTube where Alain De Botton talks about the book.
You can go to the website: http://alaindebotton.com/travel


Annie Collins is a true Travel Architect–passionate about custom-designing unique and seamless travel experiences.  If you would like to have a conversation with Annie about planning your next trip, head on over to freedomtravelllc.com to arrange a convenient time.

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