Memorable lines from my favorite travel books

One of the things I enjoy most in Australia are the libraries. During my first trip to Melbourne, I went through more than two dozen volumes of mangas. On my recent trip I stocked up on travel books instead.

They had a great selection of travel books, the Footscray Library. Though I looked for familiar names like Moore, Bryson and Mayle, I also picked a couple of books from authors I haven’t encountered yet, but had a catchy title.

Here are some snippets from my favorite travel books I read while in Australia.

Too Much Tuscan Sun by Dario Castagno

Today I am astonished to recall how innocently and naturally we did these things, but at the same time we felt that all Chianti was a bit ours. Indeed, it was this sense of proprietorship that kept us from anything as malicious as vandalism.

It’s easy – and perhaps natural – to make such generalizations. Who hasn’t, while traveling, made the mistake of judging an entire nation based on the behavior of a few individual citizens?

Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

I was reminded of something Nigel Walker had said: “There are two words I don’t want to find myself uttering as an old man, and they are “If only…” If only. We all have our ‘if onlys.’ If only I’d studied harder, if only I’d stuck with those piano lessons, if only I’d spoken to that girl at the bus stop, if only I’d remembered Alison Wilcox’s name in the morning.

Apart from the particularly crude joke which now adorned the fridge door, one other message caught my eye. On the back, just below ‘Stay Cool!! Luv Chris and Jean,’ it read, ‘Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.’

I had learned not to worry;to make my choice and allow things to happen. For most part they turned out to be good, and when they weren’t – like the night from hell in a hostel – then they were character building. There weren’t any wrong or right paths to choose, just different ones, and where they led was governed by the attitude adopted towards them.

Encore Provence by Peter Mayle

“Tourists, of course, are always other people; never us. We are different. We are travellers – intelligent, well-mannered and cultured, a blessing on our chosen destinations, a delight to have around. It’s a common attitude, and one that I have always found condescending and offensive, as well as inaccurate. If you travel away from home for pleasure, you’re a tourist, no matter how you like to dress it up.

Vroom by the sea by Peter Moore

I found an English translation of the first ‘Apple’ ad in a book Filippo had called “The Cult of Vespa.” It was written by Gilberto Filippetti and rather more poetic than the ads we’re used to today. It described how the ‘apple’ could be eaten alone or in company, at sunset, on the rocks or with your hard streaming in the wind. Just bite the apple, it said, rev up your Vespa and leave all those people devoid of imagination behind you.

There is a scene in the movie Il Postino, filmed on Salina, the island I’d visit next, where the young postman asks Don Pablo, the famous poet, how to become a poet. Don Pablo tells him ‘walk slowly along the shore as far as the bay and look around you.’ Nature would reveal the poetry. And the poetry would reveal what was important in life.

If you’re looking for a new travel book to read, why not try books by these four authors? They really are good.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 9 Comments
  1. […] lines from my favorite travel books Deeogee wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThere is a scene in the movie Il […]

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  3. Win $250 says:

    Nice lines indeed.

  4. dyanie says:

    ako naman meron din.. mga fave lines / quotes ko about travelling 🙂

    like:

    “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” –- Miriam Beard

    “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” — Jawaharal Nehru

    more lines here -> http://princessdyanie.blogspot.com/2007/07/busy-life.html

  5. nina says:

    Wow, nice lines Dyanie. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Ferdz says:

    I like that last quote from Tony Hawks and one by Peter Mayle.

  7. I just finished reading “Round Ireland With a Fridge,” by Tony Hawks, and was amused by his take on hostels:

    “Too many things were organic for my liking. Without a pair of sandals, a musty aroma of henna about me, or my hair in a ponytail, I felt that I wouldn’t be welcome here.”

    One thing has changed dramatically in the decade since Hawks made is circumnavigation of the Emerald Isle. “I caused at least three disapproving sharp intakes of breath… when I plugged my mobile phone into one of the power points to recharge it,” he says. Today you’d be hard-pressed to find a youthful “traveler,” organic or otherwise, not equipped with a mobile phone, mp3 player, and digital camera (and perhaps a laptop computer); these would be the self-absorbed gits who sprawl across the aisles in the airports on their gigantic Eddie Bauer knapsacks, monopolizing all the power outlets as they recharge their equipment. I imagine the competition for power outlets in hostels must be rather fierce these days.

  8. khursten says:

    God, I love peter mayle. I’ve been looking for other good travel writers like him, so I’m giving these other guys a shot. luffles. 🙂

  9. […] 1) What is traditionally served for lunch among the Portuguese? Answer: Cozido a Portuguesa Source: Day 4: Delving into Macau’s heritage and jumping off the Macau Tower We headed to the Macau Military Club for lunch. What was waiting for us was the traditional Portuguese Sunday fare: Cozido a Portuguesa. It’s basically a meal that combines different kinds of sausages and meats, chicken, pork and beef. It was a buffet so you can pick your choice of meat. It was our first encounter with Portuguese-style sausages. I couldn’t remember the names of the two other sausages served, but I took quite a liking to the Portuguese blood sausage. The cozido is quite a heavy meal. Traditionally, it is followed by a siesta. Thankfully, our itinerary allowed us to have a siesta — we had free time after lunch. 2) In which book can you find this paragraph: “Tourists, of course, are always other people; never us. We are different. We are travellers – intelligent, well-mannered and cultured, a blessing on our chosen destinations, a delight to have around. It’s a common attitude, and one that I have always found condescending and offensive, as well as inaccurate. If you travel away from home for pleasure, you’re a tourist, no matter how you like to dress it up.” Answer: Encore Provence by Peter Mayle Source: Memorable lines from my favorite travel books […]

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