Image from No Foreign Lands.

Matador Publishes Its First Book, No Foreign Lands

by David Miller Dec 9, 2011

Title: No Foreign Lands
Price: $24.99 [buy]
Publisher: Matador Network Publishing
Designer: Linda Cobb of Bumpercrop studio.
Editor: David S. Miller
Pages: 100, full-color, with introduction, photographers’ notes, and bibliography
Size: 5.625″ x 8.75″ (able to tuck in a pocket)

A hybrid photo-book and travel quote anthology, No Foreign Lands is an inspirational meditation on how we travel.

NO FOREIGN LANDS takes 100 of the most memorable quotes ever spoken or written about journeys and places, and juxtaposes them over striking travel images from Matador’s extended community of photographers. Meant to accompany travelers on journeys, the book is small, packable, a little chunk of stoke.

In editing this book, I didn’t want a simple collection of travel “adages.” The idea was to create something diverse, literary, an arrangement of quotes creating an almost narrative-like experience for the reader. I wanted people to be able to return to No Foreign Lands again and again, particularly after reading the photographers’ notes, and find new frames of reference for their own experiences.

“The wilderness does not make you forget your normal life so much as it removes the distractions for proper remembering.”

-Jim Harrison

Some quotes are philosophical and have a feel of great distance from the journeys they describe, a kind of “summing up” of travel. Others are immediate, uttered spontaneously, and refer to specific places and moments. And still others are taken from novels, poems, songs, and speeches which develop new layers of meaning and inspiration in the context of travel.

Quote authors:

Reinhold Messner, Jim Harrison, Rumi, Willa Cather, Doug Peacock, Duke Kahanamoku, George Mallory, Jorge Luis Borges, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jack Kerouac, John Muir, Albert Einstein, and dozens more.

Photography by:

“. . .nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes common ground, and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.”

-Wendell Berry

Lola Akinmade Åkerström
Hal Amen
Ross Borden
Daniel C. Britt
Ben Ditto
Cody Forest Doucette
Paul Ferraris
Ryan Libre
Daniel Nahabedian
Aya Padrón
Richard Stupart
Paul Sullivan

The title

No Foreign Lands’ title is borrowed from a passage in one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s memoirs: “There is no foreign land; it is the traveller only that is foreign.” While much travel writing historically and today focuses on the “exotic” nature of other people, places, and cultures, No Foreign Lands explores how people are simply people, place is simply place, everywhere you go. For a traveler to regard people and places as “foreign” is to objectify them. These quotes remind us to see the world, as travel writer Mark Jenkins says, “the way it is, not the way you imagine it.”

From No Foreign Lands pages 10-11. Click for larger size.

There is a second layer to the title, however. Over the last decade, the internet has given us the ability to travel almost anywhere, to connect with other travelers as well as locals, and to transform our journeys into media with the power to reach millions.

This has made way for an unprecedented “travel culture” worldwide. We have entered an age where not only being “world travelers,” but feeling very much at home in the cultures and native languages of multiple countries, has become the everyday reality of thousands of people. Collectively, we form a nation of permanent travelers.

This is no better exemplified than by the photographers whose work features in this book, several of whom are raising multilingual, multicultural families, working, living, and traveling far from where they were born. Among many of us is a growing sense that there really are no “foreign lands” out there, but simply more places, people, and cultures to get to know.

No Foreign Lands is available for purchase directly through our e-store. We hope you enjoy it.

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