If you like to travel, or read about traveling, try this! The author has a wry sense of humor which I enjoyed, but the real benefit of this book is that he offers you the opportunity to reexamine your thinking about travel. E.g. in the chapter "Anticipation" de Botton examines how we create high expectations for our trips (Look at that perfect beach! My cabin will have a gorgeous view! I'll be so relaxed and mellow!) , but our natural personalities - our worries, our habits, our anxieties - always shape the reality to contrast with that initial expectation of perfection. He expresses this humorously as he recounts his trip to Barbados: “A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making itself apparent: I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island.” The chapter "City and Country" includes an account of his trip to the Lake District in England, where he draws upon Woodsworth's poetry about nature in an exploration of the restorative value of open spaces. Other excursions - to Madrid, Amsterdam, Provence - entitled respectively "Curiosity", "Exotic Places", and "The Sublime", similarly pair the place with an artist or writer's perspective on that topic, which takes the book beyond a mere travelogue. It's short - and it has photographs! - so it's a fairly quick read.

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