The Beaten Track
Is traveling really just an empty accumulation of experiences? Are backpackers any different from tourists? Are independent travelers' assumptions about the meaning of travel inherently flawed? Travel writer and editor Sarah Menkedick explores the meaning of modern travel on a trip across Borneo.
Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published September 29th 2011
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What could have been a real solid bit of travel writing was sadly mixed in with mounds of condescending preaching about how to "properly" travel, along with numerous awkward situations. While I do not disagree that the majority of travelers or backpackers are clutching to their Lonely Planet guides and getting swept up in touristy activities, the number of times that subject comes up in this short read becomes incredibly annoying. Once you think you're finally beyond that talk, there it is again...more
I have been reading and following Sarah Menkedick's blog for a long time. When she came out with a Kindle single, I had to read it. Bought for a modest sum of Rs. 57.04 (99 cents), it's my perfect commute read. Menkedick dissects the motivations behind traveling, differentiates between a traveler and a tourist, and zooms into the traveling experience with a writerly microscope. Be prepared to be discomforted even as you are awed when reading this travelogue.
I liked the way she described her traveller's anxiety, how it would overwhelm a perfectly good thing, causing her to move almost for the sake of moving. I also liked her examination of the motivations behind our travel. I didn't find it preachy - if anything, she's pretty hard on herself.