Travelers prefer taking a trip to any other pleasure. They may love their families and friends. They may even love their work. But the idea of a journey inhabits them so fully that they can seem as giddy before a trip as a bride before a wedding.
The archetypal Traveler has various reasons for the passion. He might associate a trip with freedom—complete detachment and separation from the mundane realities of life. He might associate it with learning. But if he finds travel educational, it is in an experiential way.
The great Travelers and travel writers—and there have been many, including Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, John Steinbeck, M.F.K. Fisher, Paul Theroux, Bruce Chatwin and Paul Bowles—find that travel sharpens the senses and allows them to see everyday life in a new way.
Even in the harshest of circumstances, true Travelers thrive on the sights and sounds of other worlds that ultimately remind them of who they are at home. And they are open to detours. Anthony Bourdain is a contemporary traveler who has let his love of food and adventure—along with his affinity for hosting reality TV—drive his career away from cooking to voyaging. “Travel changes you,” he once said.
For the greatest Travelers, a trip is as physical as it is metaphysical, and is always treated with the respect given to study, the making of art or a good relationship. “A journey is like a marriage,” writes John Steinbeck, who published many travel books and articles in his lifetime. “The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
Marco Polo, Charles Kuralt, James Cook, Eugene Fodor, D.H. Lawrence
Travelers are always game to go someplace new. Enthusiastic, worldly and adventurous without being danger junkies, they can be trusted to advise about destinations that are off the beaten track.
They can be distracted about daily life, even from its pleasures, when they hear the call of the open road. And they cannot always be relied upon because the chance to take a trip trumps any responsibility or long-standing invitation.
Maps, guidebooks and travel memoirs, photography, and foreign languages, food, and customs
- Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
- The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
- The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux
- A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
- Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least-Heat Moon
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” -Lao Tzu