Try the new FT.com

Last updated: June 11, 2011 5:16 pm

The Tao of Travel

  • Share
  • Print
  • Clip
  • Gift Article
  • Comments

The Tao of Travel, Paul Theroux, Hamish Hamilton, RRP£16.99, 304 pages

 

“To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive,” Robert Louis Stevenson famously wrote. Paul Theroux has, in one way or another, been living out his maxim for decades, producing 14 travel books along the way.

The Tao of Travel is rather different; it is a “book of insights, a distillation of travellers’ visions and pleasures”. As such it takes on a slightly haphazard form. Theroux carves out genres and subspecies of travel and travellers: lone travel, the pleasure of railways, travel as an ordeal, food, walking and even imaginary journeys. Alongside these are sections on the wisdom of famous travellers such as Freya Stark, Paul Bowles and Samuel Johnson, with brief introductions followed by quotations from their works.

The book culminates in a second distillation: “The essential Tao of Travel” is a list of 10 things any self-respecting traveller should do. The first – “Leave Home” – is a challenge that many, after reading Theroux’s book, will be inspired to accept.

Related Topics

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

  • Share
  • Print
  • Clip
  • Gift Article
  • Comments
SHARE THIS QUOTE