Sunday, September 20, 2009

To travel without an itinerary - and Books

When I was younger, and was at that age and stage where I was convinced that I would one day hold the world in the palm of my hand, I dreamed of just setting out with a backpack and going around the world as my fancy took me. I would visit one place, and then go to the bus/railway station/airport, look at all the destinations, and take off to whichever destination caught my eye. And I would stay there as long as I wanted to before taking off yet again.

This dream hasn't died yet - it has just been put on the back burner, the die hard optimist that I am. I am now reading a travel book, by Bill Bryson, called "Neither here nor there" about his travels in Europe, in which this is exactly what he does. Goes where his impulse takes him. He starts off with going to the northernmost part of Norway to see the Northern Lights - one of my greatest ambitions too. And oh, I have been travelling with Bryson in a way that I hadn't employed before. When he talks about a city, or a building or a museum, I immediately look it up on Google, and view the pics and read more about it, and there you go - I am travelling too!

By the way, before reading this book, I read one more book of his, "Mother Tongue", where Bryson traces the development of the English language, what influenced it, and how it came to be as we know it now. And with that, I understand most of the idiosyncrasies of the language. The illogical spellings, the weird pronunciations, etc. Inspired, I asked my grandfather in Mysore for a similar book in Kannada, and he gave me one to read, a part of "Kannada Kaipidi" series by Kuvempu. That was fascinating too, but I had to stop in the middle. I am looking forward to continuing on my next visit to Mysore.

While on the subject of books, I was recently introduced to the works of L.M.Montgomery by my friend M, who also fed and fanned my urge to read more and more of them. I absolutely love discovering new (to me!) writers.

Another fascinating book I read was "Survival of the Sickest" by Sharon Moalem. I recommend it.

Ah, books and travelling - if only I had a million dollars......

7 comments:

Shyam said...

If Bill Bryson wrote a laundry list, I would read that too, because I'm absolutely certain he would make it funny and informative. One of my MOST FAVOURITE writers ever! :)

parijaatha said...

I was given the entire set of Anne series by Montgomery by my husband.He had told me that I remind him of Anne when we first became friends....and ever so often I go back to those books-I have read them a million times...and I never tire of them!

And when it comes to fanciful traveling,My friend and I spent many afternoons with an atlas where we would imagine traveling to exotic sounding places. Truth be told,there is no travel experience which remotely matches to those flights of fancy :)

Ravi Lobo said...

You may also like, (If you have not read already)
1. A short history of nearly everything
2. The lost continent

both are good.

I am reading War and Peace, since last 1 month. It's a great book too.

Nagesh.MVS said...

I am reading so many books regarding this.Fine post.

Work From Home

anoop said...

you don't need a million dollars for traveling in India... thankfully! :)

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lavanya said...

Looking forward to read "Neither here nor there" by Bill bryson . It's my wish too to travel all over the world ..

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