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Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux

I'm reading a most wonderful book: The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux. He is one of my favorite travel writers. His memoir Sir Vidia's Shadow is my favorite memoir and one of my favorite books, period. In many ways, Theroux has lived the kind of life I wished I had lived, and I have managed to live in small doses. (Pico Iyer is another one of my favorite travel writers. Actually, there are many.)

I've done a little travel writing and would like to post the articles sometime. I just don't know if I should do it as a part of this blog or set up a separate blog devoted to travel writing. For now, it'll be here. How many blogs can I maintain anyway?

I relish reading travel writing. It always conjures up memories of my own travels. Sometimes it summarizes better than I can what I've been through, too, and sometimes I fill in from my own experiences what that writer missed. So, reading travel writing is a shared journey with the author.

Some of the most wonderful results of traveling are the anecdotes, the stories inspired by our travel experiences. They are more interesting than the places we've traveled to. After all, a travel story is the essence of travel. That's why we travel--to bring back our stories.

8 comments:

Jeff Hargett said...

One blog is more than enough for me to handle.

I hadn't really considered the perspective toward travel writing that you raised here. (Although I remember from one of your earliest comments on my blog that you enjoyed it.) The anecdotes would be, for me, the highlight of travel-based writing. But then, that's pretty much what our fiction does too, right?

Jon said...

I think the first travel book I ever read was "The Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain, when I was about thirteen. I've liked travel books ever since. I'm not familiar with Paul Theroux's works but I'll definitely look into them.

Richard Hughes said...

Jon, Paul Theroux has an encyclopedic memory. He is one of the most entertaining and educated travel writers.

Jeff, I like Theroux's quote: The difference between travel writing and fiction is the difference between recording what the eye sees and discovering what the imagination knows.

Julia Hones said...

I look forward to reading your travel stories.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

The first travel book I read was Fodor's Travel Guide to Australia...does that count? :)

Emily R. King said...

So true! I'm becoming more of a traveler. I like the adventure!

Tanya Reimer said...

Writing travel stories isn't something I ever thought about. I often think while travelling about how sharing some of these emotions in the moment might come off... thanks for giving me something else to think about.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I have just read one travel book and I liked it a lot.