The Royal Road to Romance: Travelers' Tales Classics
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The Royal Road to Romance: Travelers' Tales Classics

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  29 reviews
When Richard Halliburton graduated from college, he chose adventure over a career, traveling the world with almost no money. The Royal Road to Romance chronicles what happened as a result, from a breakthrough Matterhorn ascent to being jailed for taking forbidden pictures on Gibraltar. "One of the most fascinating books of its kind ever written." - Detroit News
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 24th 2000 by Travelers' Tales (first published 1925)
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Richard Halliburton, the grandaddy of adventure tourism, left Princeton in the early 1920s to do the world. With hardly a penny to his name he tramped, mooched, and often stole his way from New Jersey to Europe, then Egypt, India, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Along the way he climbed the Matterhorn, was jailed in Gibraltar, swam the Nile, hunted tigers in Bengal, trekked to Leh, hacked his way through Malaysian jungles, reposed in Bali, lost his clothes to Chinese pirates, and scaled Fujiyama in...more
Brad Blakey
Sep 03, 2011 Brad Blakey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brad by: Ben B.
This guy travelled around the world immediately following his graduation from Princeton, logging over 40,000 miles by ship, train and bicycle, and living only on the money he made along the way publishing his writing. What amazes me is that he accomplished this in the 1920's, prior to the days of a real commercial tourism/travel industry.

I think part of what makes his stories good - or more interesting than the occurances of ordinary tourist - is that he would put himself "in harms way" for the...more

At first I got a little bored of this book. That's probably why it took me three or four months to read but that is neither here nor there. What is of significance is that I picked it up last week and finished reading the 2'nd half of the book. And I finished it in enjoyment.
My complaint against the beginning of "Royal Road to Romance" was that Halliburton’s lofty speech got to me, in an annoying way. I found his writing to be overdone yet I kept reading because although he can give too many de...more
This is an incredible book that could make the most stable homebody want to store all their junk and take a long trip. When I turned 16 I didn't know what I wanted for my birthday so I asked all of my relatives to give me a copy of of their favorite book from when they were 16- and the only person that delivered was my grandmother who gave me this book. Halliburton inspired in her a love of travel and adventure that never faded- and it's done the same for me. From sneaking back into the Taj Maha...more
One of the best travelogues I have read. This book should be standard reading when it comes to the travelogue genre. From breaking into the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra, being arrested in Gibraltar you cant help but be captivated by Haliburton's adventure.
One of my all time favorites! Halliburton made his living by LIVING and then writing about all his fantastic adventures. He did what I can only dream about. He was a fun character; positive & happy and relays this in his writings.
Jan 06, 2008 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: travel
A classic of adventure travel. You won't realize just how much Halliburton defined the modern adventure traveller. He is the forefather of an industry.
I read this book every year! It reminds me that there is a big world out there to explore and that where there is a will there is a way.
Josh Kienzle
Apr 11, 2007 Josh Kienzle rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone looking to rediscover adventure
This is amazing book about the beauty of adventure. I am a huge traveler and this book inspires that part of me!
I read this book back when I was in high school and it is just as enjoyable now!
reading with Grace for school
John Alt
When I think of Richard Halliburton, I think of a poem, "The Truly Great," by Stephen Spender. Spender writes of those,

. . . who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they traveled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.

Halliburton traveled a short while toward the sun before his untimely death at 39, and the air was vivid with his life, leaving on earth his books, a testament to his honor. I think of him...more
Phillip Blansett sr
I first read this book in the summer of my 11th year. Fort Worth, Texas was in the throes of a Polio epidemic. Every day concluded with an accounting of classmates who had entered the hospital ... How many had died ... How many were confined to a "Steel Lung". Our only tool for combatting it was to stay inside from 11am to 4pm and to avoid congregating in crowds. Halliburton was not about romance, at least not in his book. But he was the consummate adventurer. And he lit my fire of adventure and...more
For backpackers with an eye for adventure in exotic locales, this is a real find. Richard is largely forgotten today, but he was very popular decades ago and no wonder- he presents the world from an interesting perspective. He traveled it with very little money and financed himself by selling enthusiastic accounts of his adventures.

This is his first book and it covers a globe-spanning two year period right after he graduated from Princeton. It's a good representative of his overall work.

Halliburton's round-the-world travels were fun to read--most of the time. I admit to skimming a few sections. I was impressed with his ingenuity in the face of have only pennies in his pocket most of the time--although, I wasn't impressed with some of his less than honorable ways of traveling from place to place every once in a while. I loved how he made it to out-of-the way places and how he got to know so many people. His writing is often delightful and one can certainly catch the enthusiasm a...more
This guy was crazy. We all wish we had the cajones to just take off without any money and go on crazy adventures. So it's a lot of fun to read about his crazy stunts. But the second half of the book dragged for me. I found myself racing through the pages just to get to the end. And the more tired he became, the more mean hearted he became. While I can't judge him by 2012 standards, I still felt like it was cruel to call the event of pirates attacking the ship as a jolly fun adventure after half...more
A wonderful adventure of the travels of a Memphian back in the very early days of the 20th century.
Dilley Sue
The gift of Richard Halliburton was not to lure readers into seeking those "far-away" places he wrote about with such conviction. The charm in his storytelling took a reader along on his adventures and gives them a perspective the average traveler cannot perceive. Many of us can "see" mountains; Halliburton climbed them. Hundreds of thousands of people tour the Taj Mahal every year but in the company of Halliburton, we swim in its forbidden pools, visible only to the moonlight.
Mitch Albom
I read this as a boy, and it is a hard book to find, but Haliburton was a privileged kid who chucked it all in favor of adventure, and to hear it told in his 1930's voice transports you to a time when you had to actually go places to see things.
Jan 05, 2008 Hannah rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: long-ago
Everyone needs to read at least one Richard Halliburton book. I love his writing and adventures. Halliburton was an explorer in the 20s and 30s, he died while on one of his travels. He's a mix of Indiana Jones and F. Scott Fitzgereld. Reading his books you get a taste of a time long gone, when the world was not as small as it is now. Every new continent, city, town and mountain held new wonders and only the bravest would explore.
loved the first half about spain and europe; had a harder time connecting with the chapters in the second half about asia; hilarious writing but sometimes, perhaps in the desire to be funny, is offensive toward religions and other cultures/"non-white" peoples (or is this really what he thought? don't know, should look it up!)
Eli Lesser
This the ultimate travelogue. I found this book in a random article I read in that free magazine they give you on an airplane, like 15 years ago. The book was long out of print (note as you can see the good folks at National Geo have re-released it). It tells an amazing story of traveling all the way around the world!
A dear friend recommended this just before he died...said that his elementary school teacher had suggested he read it as a youngster, and that idea steered him to a life of travel and adventure.
The book is delightful, a bit of purple prose from days gone by.
Dana Stabenow
My aunt recommended Halliburton books to me when I was ten, and they were among the first books I ever bought for myself. I still have all five (this one, The Glorious Adventure, New Worlds to Conquer, Seven League Boots and The Flying Carpet). Wonderful travelogues.
Mariam Cheshire
Richard Halliburton was my hero, traveling the way I wanted to travel. He made his way by writing stories about out of the way places. They were fascinating. I reread them before I had to part with the books a few years ago and I still loved them.
Dec 14, 2007 Cherie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Travelers and Adventurous Sorts
A Fantastic story of an early vagabonder--from the beginning of the 20th century. He graduated from Princeton, is American but brave, will travel anywhere (esp if it's difficult) and you can't help but love his sense of adventure travel spirit!
Robert Carman
A fabulous story that will inspire you to seek adventure, travel the road less taken, and rely on your enthusiasm.
Brilliant. The captivating travels of the man we all secretly want to be.
The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton (1925)

Lovely, lovely, lovely.
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Writer, Lecturer, and World Traveler, Richard Halliburton published numerous books during his short lifetime. During his world travels, he visited exotic locales such as the Taj Mahal in India, climbed the Matterhorn, flew across the Sahara desert in a bi-winged plane, and swam the entire length of the Panama Canal. He also roamed the Mediterranean Sea retracing the route followed by Ulysses in Ho...more
More about Richard Halliburton...
Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels The Glorious Adventure Flying Carpet Seven League Boots New Worlds To Conquer: America's Most Dashing 1920s Adventurer Explores South America (Adventure Travel Classics)

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