The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton: A journey to get in touch with the deepest feelings of our travels
The moment I read a review of The Art of Travel in Hellen Todd’s blog (Hellen’s Travel Corner), I was sure I had a new candidate for my summer reading list.
The Art of Travel is a brilliant work by Alain de Botton. Normally, when we travel to a destination, we tend to accumulate tonloads of information on where we should go and what we should do; rarely do we hear anything about the “why’s” and “how’s” of these trips. In his 254-page book, De Botton invites us to think about the real motivations people have when purchasing a plane ticket to places unknown.
Throughout The Art of Travel, we are treated to a philosophical approach to travel in an entertaining way via a perusal of some of the greatest thinkers, writers and artists. Icons of the caliber of Gustave Flaubert and Vincent van Gogh act as our guides in the journey to get in touch with the deepest feelings of our travels.
De Botton’s book has made me think and contemplate not only on the trips that i have taken to date, but also the most common day-to-day events that occur along the way.Often we travel imagining that we are going to discover and experience things which we could never find at home, but this is not necessarily true. Sometimes our daily routines blind and preclude us from enjoying all the beauty that surrounds us, small details that abound everywhere but are ignored. With that in mind, I’d like to finish my thoughts on this book with a sentence which Hellen Todd includes in her post;
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust