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Zusammenfassung von The Art of Travel

Alain De Botton

Learn how to get the most out of your next travel adventure

4.1 (114 Bewertungen)
22 Min.

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The Art of Travel by Alain De Botton is a philosophical exploration of why we travel and what we hope to gain from it. The book encourages us to look at travel as a means of self-discovery and personal growth.

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    Dreams of travel are often quite different from actual trips, in part because you can't travel away from yourself.

    Human life is often one long quest for happiness, and the means to this often elusive end are myriad. Some turn to money; others, to love. Still others seek happiness and meaning in travel.

    But the reality of travel often has little in common with the vague fantasies that first inspire one to hit the road, a disparity that’s nicely captured in A Rebours, a French novel written by Joris-Karl Huysmans in 1884.

    The book’s protagonist, the Duke of Esseintes, is a recluse and a misanthrope; he despises the society of his local village and spends his days holed up in his room, reading classic literature.

    But his reading inspires him to reenter the world. The duke reads Charles Dickens, whose vivid descriptions of foggy London fill him with a longing to see the famous city. Soon, he packs his bags and sets forth.

    While still in Paris, to kill time before his train leaves for the first leg of the trip to London, the protagonist enters an English bookstore and purchases a London guidebook. Still full of his London enthusiasm, he then goes to an English tavern, teeming with swarthy British maids and smelling of beer and meat.  

    But all this premature Britishness takes the wind out of the duke’s sails. When the time comes to board the train to London, he is utterly worn out. So, instead of facing the inconveniences of train travel – dashing to the station, finding a porter, sleeping in a compartment, standing in lines – he returns home, never to embark on another journey again for the rest of his days.

    The disappointments of travel certainly aren’t limited to fiction, and they affect people in the twenty-first century as much as they did those in the nineteenth.

    For starters, travel isn’t the best way to escape from your problems, because wherever you go – well, there you’ll be.

    The author once went to Barbados. He’d been looking forward to an escape from his day-to-day routine, some time to relax and release. But when he got there, he couldn’t simply relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery or the scrumptious fresh fruit; rather, he felt melancholic and anxious, just as he had back home in London.

    Actual travel is usually far less glamorous than the dreams one has of it. But traveling still has a world of wonders to reveal – it’s just about adjusting our modern approach to it.

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    Worum geht es in The Art of Travel?

    The Art of Travel (2002) is an unorthodox guide to traveling. Unlike conventional travel guides, Alain de Botton’s book is more of a philosophical globe-trotter’s handbook, exploring the reasons behind our urge to discover new places and offering some general tips for making travel more enjoyable.

    Bewertung von The Art of Travel

    The Art of Travel (2002) by Alain De Botton offers insightful reflections on the nature of travel and why we embark on journeys. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It explores the powerful connection between travel and self-discovery, revealing how our inner thoughts and emotions shape our experiences in unfamiliar places.
    • Taking inspiration from history, art, and literature, the book provides a fresh perspective on famous landmarks and encourages readers to see beyond the surface of tourist attractions.
    • With its thought-provoking ideas and unique blend of philosophy and travel narratives, the book captivates readers, making the exploration of new destinations anything but boring.

    Bestes Zitat aus The Art of Travel

    It seems we may best be able to inhabit a place when we are not faced with the additional challenge of having to be there.

    —Alain De Botton
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    Wer The Art of Travel lesen sollte

    • Avid travelers
    • Culture vultures
    • Aspiring authors and freelance journalists eager to work while on the move

    Über den Autor

    Alain de Botton is a philosopher of the everyday. The author of numerous best-selling books, he’s tackled subjects from love to architecture, and from Proust to travel. He is also a cofounder of The School of Life, a London-based institution that strives to develop new forms of education.

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    The Art of Travel FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Art of Travel?

    The main message of The Art of Travel is to find beauty and meaning in our journeys, both physical and mental.

    How long does it take to read The Art of Travel?

    The reading time for The Art of Travel varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Art of Travel a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Art of Travel is worth reading because it offers insightful reflections on travel and our perception of the world.

    Who is the author of The Art of Travel?

    The author of The Art of Travel is Alain de Botton.