I think of myself as having traveled a lot and used all the means I could use, from a television, to books, to daytime dreaming , cinemas to my favorite way now sitting on our coffeetable looking at clouds nearby while sipping a yergacheffe cup.
Planes, buses and trains are just the obvious choice but I did not disregard them because they brought me to fabled lands and probably the places where I really experienced disorientation.
I am saying this because I think that it is all about the attitude and the will to explore. Travel would be pointless if we were not trying to listen to our human fellow being, if we were not trying to revolve in the glory of this earth.
The best tales of travel I have written and posted are about Tibet here and the quest for perfect Satay in Kuala Lumpur or the dazzling beauty of jiannian in Malacca, and east coast Malaysia. I have also tried to retell my adventure in China without speaking mandarin and meeting love in this travel journal.
However other have spoken better than me about travel. There is one wonderful article I came across recently that was investigating about so many questions on why we travel. You can find it here or on Orion magazine. I felt touched, concerned, moved reading it and I decided to open this page to think about how and why we travel.
On travel, other have written captivating, inspiring tales, so I take this little space also to recommend not to deprive yourself to read as a minimum these guys below:
the “Road to Oxiana” by Robert Byron, to travel to Afghanisthan, Iran : Robert Byron pen lashes and praises with a freedom rarely encountered in modern writers. His views are deeply insightful (he was a writer for art books) and full of irony and wit. And it is terribly well written, one of the books that thanks to its content would have never needed to be such beautifully crafted, and yet it is.
Chatwin is so much praised that i do not think it needs to add recommendation. However be original and read “The Songlines” , it is a musical story about wanderers in Australia that recreate the world at each turn following their ancient paths. What more beautiful motivation and quest?
You cannot (properly ) travel to India without reading a number of books, but I trust India that they will fall into your hands without needing anyone recommending them. Just not to take any chance if you want to go to Bombay, try to read Arun Kolatkar (especially the Kala Ghoda poems). Arun died few years ago almost unknown except to his circle in Bombay and yet through his poetry he recreates Bombay, his people, his history, his buildings. His poems are tales told with a contagious rhythm, true ballads.