I attended the Hay Festival Winter Weekend. I was reading a poem as part of Poetry In Ocean – a talk by poet Susan Richardson and Marine Conservation Society UK (MCSUK) on the 30 Threatened Species Campaign. Of course, when in Hay On Wye I had to pop into a bookshop! I wandered around Richard Booths Bookshop, the first second-hand bookshop to be opened in Hay.
I fortuitously came across The Art of Travel Book by Alain de Botton. It appealed to me as the author explores through artists, writers and thinkers the reasons why we travel in the first place and how we can maybe have a more fulfilling experience through this understanding.
I’m only on Chapter Three and already feel better equipped psychologically to embark on any forthcoming travel. Alain de Botton writes in a humorous way which highlights the complexity of human contradictions, making for a light-hearted read whilst absorbing deeper concepts.
There are many reasons why, when we reach a point of being able to try, we want to travel whilst recovering from long-term hidden illness. Travel represents the antitheses of the enforced limitations we have and are going through. Also, it reminds us there is a world out there beyond the restricted one we have been forced to live. In fact the concept of travel has to be completely re-examined in light of changed circumstances. A short car journey can now be considered travel to some as much as a UK train trip or overseas long haul aeroplane flight is to others.