RichardJames' Travel Journals

RichardJames

 
What do you want to do the next time you travel abroad?

learn a language, study abroad, work with the environment, experience a new culture through studying

  • From Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Currently in Manchester, United Kingdom

Travel Books #1

Articles from Thailand Chiang Mai, Thailand | May 20, 2011

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  So I figured for this blog I would start writing about books. For me reading and travelling compliment each other really well and I know a lot people feel the same. But saying that they have to be the right kind of books!  

So I figured for this blog I would start writing about books. For me reading and travelling compliment each other really well and I know a lot people feel the same.  But saying that they have to be the right kind of books! I tried reading loads of Charles Dickens in South America. Everyone loves a bit of Charlie D, but reading about smokey Victorian London in a hammock was too much of a contrast. Plus, I think next time I’ll try and match up the books that I read when I’m away with the kinds of things I’ll be thinking about when I’m abroad.

One book that I always remember having a big impact on my way of thinking was East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I read it while in Thailand when I was 19 and it addressed a lot of the things I was thinking about at the time.  Being a young man away from home properly for the first time, this book with long narratives about the intertwining fortunes of two families made me think about my past and also where I was going next. I thought about my past behaviour, what kind of son I had been and what kind of person I wanted to be when I got back.  I don’t know how much I would have enjoyed East of Eden if I read it today, because it is a pretty macho book. But when you are 19 you think you are pretty macho. So I guess what I am saying is a book can have a very different impact depending on what setting it is read in. So next time you are planning a trip away, think about your travel itinerary while packing those books in your bag.

Tags: volunteering abroad with Kaya

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