Rolf Potts is perhaps best known for his classic book “Vagabonding”, detailing how to get ready for long-term travel. But “Marco Polo Didn’t Go There” from 2008 is a fine collection of travel stories with an unusual twist, since each chapter has ending notes which describes the circumstances surrounding that particular story. This is a great concept and feels like the director’s commentary track on DVDs.
Entries in category Travel books
This little gem has unfortunately been collecting dust on my shelf for a decade since I found it by accident on a sunny morning in San Francisco. There was a time when I bought a lot of books and I shiver at the thought of all those books I’ve carried across the Atlantic ocean in excess baggage.
If you prefer to spend your vacation on a sunny beach instead of walking through crowded cities, this book is not for you. This is a love story about the big cities in the world.
Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize in 2006. He has lived in Istanbul for almost his entire life and this book is the tale of him growing up there, as well as an attempt to describe the mentality of the citizens in the ever-changing city.
In 2004 the actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman went on a four-month trip from London to New York. But to make things interesting they decided to go eastward. On motorbikes. At first things went pretty smooth and they reached the borders of Eastern Europe as planned.
Bruce Chatwin had a very unique touch to his storytelling. It often goes from simple dialog to pondering philosophy in less than a few sentences. As a result of this, his books can be both excellent and dry at the same time, even on the same page. But I still consider him to be my all-time favorite travel writer.
This is the story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri and why he lived in Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle airport for 16 years. The movie The Terminal from 2004 was based on his story but the movie script was a bit different.
This is the classic tale from 1957 where Jack Kerouac and his buddies from The Beat Generation travel in a haze of weed and caffeine across America. It’s considered to be one of the definitions of Beat literature and was a big influence on writers and artists.
The BBC travel shows with Michael Palin are among the most well-produced mainstream narratives out there. He has made several trips made into books and TV series. This one describes a lap around the Pacific Ocean, a quite original itinerary.
This is a collection of short stories by Swedish journalist Staffan Heimerson. He is a big jolly guy, like a Swedish version of Bill Bryson. Many of the episodes are downright hilarious, such as the hunt for Bin Ladin in Falun and his road trip on the Karakoram Highway which connects China and Pakistan. He also describes being taken prisoner in Zimbabwe, where they put classified documents in the outdoor toilet to avoid suspicion.