$14.95A Daily Book of Journeys, Meditations, and Adventures
ISBN 1-885211-67-8 389 pages
I could travel every day of the year. Waking up exhilarated in a new unexplored city; finding a restaurant known only to locals; starting a conversation with someone simply to share a common connection; having no plan for the day except to possibly get lost and find the real essence of the place. These are only a few of the reasons that I yearn to travel. There is something about taking a journey — crossing and expanding both geographical and personal boundaries — that has ingrained itself so completely in me that it can never fully be sated. So what’s my antidote for not being on the road all the time? I open a book to soothe my wanderlust.
And yet I almost never read while traveling. Most people use their vacations and trips to catch up on the latest novel or book that’s been collecting dust on the nightstand. While on a three-month solo journey through Europe a couple of years ago, I couldn’t bring myself to read a book. Was this something to worry about? As an editor, avid reader, and collector of books, I felt as if I’d been stricken with a fatal disease. A book couldn’t sustain my attention for more than a page, let alone a chapter or the full book. Other travelers were exchanging paperbacks—no one dare carry a hardcover—but the book I brought with me for the plane ride over stayed with me for the entire trip. Was it the book or me? I searched out English language bookstores to try to find another book, and the travelers to whom I explained my dilemma tried to convince me their latest read would surely hold my attention. But nothing worked.
Then on the AVE high-speed train from Madrid to Seville, all alone in a train car with a Spanish-dubbed version of Goldie Hawn’s Overboard playing, I finally realized what was happening. I had enjoyed so many other travel narratives that I was terrified of missing my own. I didn’t want to miss the breadth of landscape as it changed outside my train window. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity of meeting someone new. I didn’t want to get lost in a book. I wanted to revel in my journey. And the only way to do that was to be present and conscious on my trip. I still had the desire to read but only short passages that would inspire me on the journey I was on. I didn’t need the full narrative.
This explains in part the genesis of 365 Travel, a book that is an essential companion—a talisman to turn to day or night to find comfort, wisdom, and inspiration, whether at home or on the road. We all have snapshots in our photo albums and images that linger in our minds of trips we’ve taken. When something sparks a travel memory in you-the sun on the drive home reminds you of the light slanting over a vineyard in Tuscany; the smell of curry in your kitchen takes you back to an extraordinary meal you had in New Delhi; you stumble and remember the vertigo you felt after climbing to the top of the Pyramid of Kukulcan of Chichen Itzá in the Yucatan—-you have a brief glimpse of the many reasons you are passionate about travel.
From well-known travel writers to everyday travelers, the passages collected in 365 Travelgive you the full spectrum of travel experiences, as well as evocative portraits of places all over the world. Harriet Martineau describes what a sunset in Egypt was like in 1848. Kathleen Norris reveals the spiritual geography of North Dakota. Alex Shoumatoff paints the Southwest as an old sea floor. Mary Morris uncovers how you know when you are officially addicted to travel. And Frances Mayes tells how memory can be a trickster that only keeping a travel journal can help outwit. There are hundreds of other adventures and observations that will remind you of your own travel experiences, teach you a tip or two, open you up to fully experience the world around you, or perhaps encourage and inspire you to plan your next journey.
365 Travel provides you with travel wisdom for every day of the year. Throughout my reading and research, I was astonished by the diversity and the extent of literature available. I encourage you to refer to the bibliography at the end of the book and to use it as a roadmap through the rich and varied literary travel landscape. And remember, each day offers you a journey without ever leaving your home. Your imagination is your ticket to the world, and 365 Travel can be your inspiration.