On Travel – from Melbourne University Press

by on 11/11/18 at 4:32 am

I’ve got a new book – On Travel – just out from Melbourne University Press and selling for all of A$14.99.

The ‘on something’ series are a handy little collection of essays on interesting topics ranging from Patriotism (Paul Daley), via Lust & Longing (Blanche d’Alpuget) and Sleep (Nikki Gemmel) to Beauty (Susan Johnson) or Privilege (Julian Burnside).

I’ve read quite a few of them and I think En Route, by Juliana Engberg, out this month like mine, will be next on my reading list.


In On Travel I tried to pinpoint what travel is all about from my perspective, kicking off each chapter with a handy quote like Yogi Berra’s ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it’ for the Wanderlust chapter, looking at where our travel addiction comes from. I also look at Distance – how we can be so close yet so far away at times, Beauty – why I always want a window seat, even Everywhere – what it means and where it is. After all, as Susan Sontag said, ‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.’

I don’t leave out Understanding because as Aldous Huxley suggested ‘To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries,’ or Damage, because travel is never harmless whether we’re worrying about its effect on climate change or the dangers of that current buzzword: ‘overtourism.’ Overall, however, I’m a firm believer that the world’s biggest business is also the world’s most important business.

I’ve been talking about On Travel on assorted radio and TV programs, click here to hear me talking (for 21 minutes) on Late Night Live with Phillip Adams in Australia.