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March 12, 2012

Paul Theroux on the merits on overland travel

“Travel is a transition, and at its best is a journey that begins with setting forth from home. I hated parachuting in to a place. I needed to be able to link one place to another. One of the problems I had with travel in general was the ease with which a person could be transported so swiftly from the familiar to the strange, the moon shot whereby the New York office worker, say, is insinuated overnight into the middle of Africa to gape at gorillas. That was just a way of feeling foreign. The other way, going slowly, crossing national frontiers, scuttling past razor wire with my bag and my passport, was the best way of being reminded that there was a relationship between Here and There, and that a travel narrative was the story of There and Back.
–Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown (2003)

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