Annie & Iain Discuss The Art of Travel: How and Why People Travel

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? De Botton gives many reasons. Iain and I talk about escape, adventure, culture (art, food, historic sites) and curiosity as a few.
  • 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 FaceBook, Instagram and iPhone. We discuss the pros and cons of this technology when traveling.
  • How do artists and writers influence our traveling choices?
  • 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? 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.”
Watch a moving 49 minute Youtube video where Alain de Botton talks about the book:
Visit Alain de Button’s website:
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