Paul Theroux is one of the world’s great travel writers. The Medford, Massachusetts native is the author of riveting travel odysseys like The Great Railway Bazaar, Dark Star Safari, Riding the Iron Rooster and The Mosquito Coast, and has sold millions of copies worldwide.
Needless to say, Theroux is a wealth of knowledge in the field of traveling, and he has some interesting insights that many young travelers will find useful.
One of my favorite bits of insight from the great Theroux surrounds the importance of traveling slowly. That is, traveling on the ground, across borders, rather than injecting yourself into the developed heart of a country via the airport.
Here’s what Theroux had to say on the topic, as quoted from his book Black Star Safari.
“Travel is transition, and at its best it is a journey from home, a setting forth. I hated parachuting into a place. I needed to be able to link one place to another. One of the problems I had with travel in general was the ease and speed with which a person could be transported from the familiar to the strange, the moon shot whereby the New York office worker, say, is insinuated overnight into the middle of Africa to gape at gorillas. That was just a way of feeling foreign. The other way, going slowly, crossing national frontiers, scuttling past razor wire with my bag and my passport, was the best way of being reminded that there was a relationship between Here and There, and that a travel narrative was the story of There and Back.”
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This article debuted on WildLives.co on 3/6/2017.