The world is not as small as Google Earth depicts it

“The world is not as small as Google Earth depicts it. I think of the Lower River district in Malawi, the hinterland of Angola, the unwritten-about north of Burma and its border with Nagaland. Nearer home, the urban areas of Europe and the United States. I do not know of a book that recounts the daily life in a ghetto in, say, Chicago; the secret life of a slum, or for that matter, the anthropology of Muslims on a depressed “sink estate” in the British Midlands. The world is full of jolly places but these do not interest me at all. I hate vacations and luxurious hotels are no fun to read about. I want to read about the miserable, or difficult, or inhospitable places; the forbidden cities and the back roads: as long as they exist the travel book will have value.”
–Paul Theroux, “The places in betweenFinancial Times, May 27 2011

Posted by | Comments (3)  | May 7, 2012
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

3 Responses to “The world is not as small as Google Earth depicts it”

  1. GypsyGirl Says:

    The first line hits the nail on the head! And I sure hope Theroux is right; I’ve got an off kilter/back road travel book idea, and plan on following it through to the end!

  2. Matt Says:

    Agreed. It’s sort of the whole point of travel, finding new perspectives to give a little more depth to our existence. Certainty is the stage to stay clear of, :).

  3. Paul Says:

    If the author wants to read an account of miserable and inhospitable, then read George Orwell – ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ or ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ – they may be about people and places which existed 50 years ago but what was true in Wigan 50 years ago is still true about many places today.