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Publisher's Summary

Aside from love, few actvities seem to promise us as much happiness as going traveling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs, and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel, few people seem to talk about why we should go and how we can become more fulfilled by doing so.

©2002 Alain de Botton (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about The Art of Travel

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  • quiltbrain
  • 10-12-2017

Hard to read

I m glad I read it because it opened my eyes to traveling with intention, but I can’t say I liked it. I would not have read this except for school. Wouldn’t recommend it either.

6 people found this helpful

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  • jean
  • 05-04-2019

A different sort of guide

Travel guides: not the Fodor's or Lonely Planet, but a different perspective: the perspective of poets and writers against the background of what is personal, immediate. I enjoyed listening to this in the audio format.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J. Natael
  • 07-08-2013

Dull, suggestions for better alternatives

I listened to about forty-five minutes of this book (almost a fifth of it) only to hear several long lists of what various characters ordered in restaurants and a long description of the basis of the opinion that imagination is better than travel. After that I gave up.

If you were drawn in by the title, like I was, I would recommend skipping this actual book and instead going for The Art of Pilgrimage or Vagabonding, either of which delivers much better what this one's title promised than it does.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • 07-10-2021

An antidote to travel bloggers

Alain de Botton takes us through his theory on travel using the words and works of the some of the best artists of all time. It’s so refreshing to have his reminder that travel is what Instagram makes it looking to be. It’s often hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. The white sand beaches tend to have garbage littered about. The hike up to Macchu Picchu is a traffic jam of bodies. However, Botton then reminds us why we still love it so much. The idea of voyaging to different places excites us endlessly, especially 2 years into a pandemic.

He gives great ideas about appreciating a place, or a feeling to a view. Don’t simply glance and remark on its prettiness, but stop and tell yourself what exactly you find pretty about it.

The best moments are often those when you’re most uncomfortable, or totally lost or out of money, not the picture perfect viewpoints or glasses of wine.

After years of too-good-to-be-true images filling up my feed, I’m really glad to have come across this book and a fresh way of looking about traveling.

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  • Jeffrey A Brueggemann
  • 29-01-2021

not bad, artsy theory of travel.

a few good lines but fairly drab. I did like the part about everyone should draw or tell a story even if not talented.

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  • dana
  • 25-04-2016

a terrible book

if you want to waste your money and time, buy this book. i like alan de botton's speaks and already had seen a lot on youtube. so instead of buying this book and wasting your money and time, go to youtube and see his speaks for free. this book is about everything, but the art of travel.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 21-11-2016

Great book... better to read than listen though.

Great book... better to read than listen though. The pace is just a little quick for an audio book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-2021

Not suited to audio format

Having both the paperback and the audio versions, I have to say that, while this is a stunning book that I would recommend to all, it doesn't quite fit as an audiobook. While the narration is very good, the book does exactly what it says on the tin - it is a philosophical look into travel, with many comparisons to art. He therefore mentions many art works, or describes scenery on his own travels, all of which are featured as images in the paperback version. While of course you can google certain famous art works, such as Van Gogh's Cypresses, this book just doesn't have the same feel when experienced as an audiobook I'm afraid.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Phoebe
  • 29-06-2015

Good for room travel

Insightful and beautifully read, with some moments of gentle humour. Sometimes seemed to wander off the topic of travel but always came back to the point eventually - often in a thought-provoking way.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mauro CALO'
  • 19-03-2019

thought provoking lucid analysis

through his elegant prose, the author analyses the drivers of our usually superficial travel choices and makes us ponder on the deeper motives that move our lives.

1 person found this helpful

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