Alain de Botton: The Art of Travel

THE ART OF TRAVEL, presented by Alain de Botton (and based on his bestselling book of the same name), looks into the philosophical impulses behind travelling and in doing so offers a profound and often witty view of some of the deeper issues underlying travel and our desire for it.

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  1. A great tour is the underground passages of Naples. Best if you speak Italian but you can hire a guide if your group is nbig enough. You must be in decent physical shape and not very fat – there are very narrow tunnels and only one way through.

  2. I love travel. Generally with a camera in my hand, walking 8 hours a day around a new city looking at all the buildings. Love architecture. No guide books. That said, I think de Botton is right when he says it's about getting away from ourselves, and that we can holiday close to where we live. For the past decade, I try to treat the place I'm living as a tourist destination! It works for me. :

  3. All journeys have secret reasons, and destinations, of which the traveler is unaware.
    We do not know, and in many cases can't know, our subconscious reasons why we go for that vacation or another one. Maybe whether these reasons are fulfilled determines how we eventually feel about out journey….

  4. Ok i have to say I am so frustrated with this. I feel so sad for anyone who relates to suffocating under a life of "furniture that never moves…dictating who we essentially are", et'c. Who would ever want to be that person?! And the concept of "Holiday" is so repugnant to me in the first place. Having a mindset that even ACCEPTS the structure of work/routine life, then holiday, then work/routine again is so sad. I am glad that I was forced to travel as a kid and that I am comfortable "sitting quietly in (my) own room" so that I am not dependent on having to physically change my location/ immediate environment in order to experience this sort of freedom or "take stock of (my) life in a way that (we) could not during a typical workday week."

    AH! A journey around my bedroom. yes! sort of like "know thyself"
    …know thine own territory and don't always be trying to get away.
     so modern a thought process, "get away, if only I could get away"..sad.

    and if people realized 41:00 I think the tourist industry would not diminish, but quadruple.

    This also made me think of that scene in Room With A View where the tourists are all standing around, mostly looking directly at the guide, (before the scandalous interruption), and everyone is so focused, hoping to memorize salient facts, probably so that they can say the socially acceptable thing to guests at tea when they return from their trip. so orderly, so controlled…
    I hate the idea of a guide, too because it's as if you need a guide because you can't think or observe or find out about things or ask questions on your own. i say that knowing that there are time constraints, safety issues, especially in a foreign country , all that is true, still…

    How cute is that – that he got the Japanese tourists to draw? they were so into the experience. That rocks. They'll possibly remember that part more than any other of the trip.

    I want to go back overseas now lol god I miss military life.

  5. "Wherever we choose to go, perhaps the underlying wish, is simply for me to get away from me… The greatest holiday of all is one where we can float free from the tyranny of being conscious, one where we don't have to come along."

  6. Alain de Botton… u r insane. But…Ur insanity is unusually attractive. it's contagious madness that is kept hidden in many of us… it's seeping within us but yours one is having insomnia 🙂

  7. This fascinating 49 minute video explores the question of why we vacation. It is filmed in England, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and on the high seas, but is about none of these. Rather it is about expectations, attitudes and enjoyment. Alain De Botton is a British-based philosopher who weaves into this essay, works of painters and authors to illustrate his thesis.

  8. "What do you do when you find yourself imprisoned in your room for 6 weeks? Xavier de Maistre, a 27-year-old Frenchman found himself in this uneasy situation when he was arrested in Turin after a duel, in the Spring of 1790. But with only a butler and a dog for company, Xavier de Maistre managed to fill his time by embarking on a journey around his bedroom, later writing an account of what he had seen. "

  9. 46:35 min "Xavier de Maistre wrote 'A Journey Around My Bedroom'??
    Are you sure it wasn't Paris Hilton who wrote this book? They do have travel hotels you know…
    Anyway Allain said 'bedroom' the book is actuall 'around my room'

  10. Paulo Coelho in his best seller book "The Alchemist" refers to the protagonist young shepherd who leaves his home in search for hidden treasures and after travelling around facing all kinds of hardships and challenges returns home to find the treasure in his backyard….The idea is to find happiness with what we have in all its limited form and to find it now…

  11. The whole idea in Mr. Botton video could be this: The art of travell is not about distance but curiosity and attitud so whatever happens to us become an adventure.

    I like Mr. Botton idea of drawing what we see instead of taking photos as he did with the japanese tourists. It helps us to better remember what we see. That's what educated people used to do centuries ago. I knew about this but thought it was more about drawing that looking and seeing. Truly like the idea and I'll give it a try.

Alain de Botton: The Art of Travel

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