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Why We Travel is a classic essay from the world’s greatest living travel writer, Pico Iyer. recently republished one of my favorite essays – Why We Travel by Pico Iyer – as part of their 8th anniversary celebration.

The essay is an absolute masterwork.

Why We Travel elucidates the inner journey of travel in Iyer’s classic style of lyrical juxtaposition.

Here’s an excerpt:

The sovereign freedom of traveling comes from the fact that it whirls you around and turns you upside down, and stands everything you took for granted on its head. If a diploma can famously be a passport (to a journey through hard realism), a passport can be a diploma (for a crash course in cultural relativism). And the first lesson we learn on the road, whether we like it or not, is how provisional and provincial are the things we imagine to be universal.

Isn’t that a fabulous quote? The whole essay is even better.

For years, some Where There Be Dragons programs have used Why We Travel as the first reading assignment, simply because it captures the magic of exploration so well.

If you haven’t read Why We Travel yet, read it now. If you have read it, read it again.

And while you’re at Worldhum, make sure to say congrats to Jim and Mike for eight – !!! 8 !!! – years of publishing fantastic travel stories.



About The Author

Tim Patterson

Tim Patterson is a long-time contributor and former contributing editor at Matador Network.

  • Carlo

    Maybe I should be ashamed of myself…but I haven’t read this. But will now! Thanks Tim.

  • Tim Patterson

    No need to be ashamed Carlo – you’re lucky to read it for the first time!

  • Carlo

    Lucky indeed. What a great piece of writing! As I commented at World Hum, it’s everything I know in my heart but can’t come close to expressing. Beautiful.

  • Shreya

    Fabulous. thank you so much for sharing this.

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