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The Idle Traveller: The Art of Slow Travel
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The Idle Traveller: The Art of Slow Travel

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  511 ratings  ·  60 reviews
As we jet off on holiday, passing from airport lounge to hotel in our desperation to escape our everyday lives and find some better weather, we'd do well to ask ourselves what on earth we're doing. Do we really travel any more, or do we just arrive? This book calls on us all to reassess why we travel and what travel has become.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Automobile Association (first published January 1st 2012)
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Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this was quite an uneven, patchy book. I use the term book but it was more like a very long essay - it didn't feel particularly tight, and while certain themes tied the chapters together I thought the structure was too loose and lacking in clarity and direction. I didn't find the narrative voice particularly compelling, I noticed some clunky writing in parts (mixed metaphors and attempts at aphorisms that didn't resonate with me) and the author relied far too heavily on secondary sourc ...more
Traveling Diva
I thought this book would be a discussion on slow travel, and to some degree it was. The elements that matched my expectations were enjoyable to read, but on the whole I found the book to be disorganized and in parts the language was a bit clunky. There was noticeable overuse of the word "literally", often appearing where it was really unnecessary. Where it could be accepted in speech, especially in British English, it is used without effect frequently in this book.

In addition to that, the tone
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Приятно се изненадах от тази книга. Очаквах нещо доста повърхностно, тип travel advice в женско списание. Но освен свежия хумор тук се засягат и доста психологически, исторически философски аспекти на пътуването. Приятна и замисляща.
18th book for 2017.

After reading this book I can see that I already fall within what Kieran would call the Slow Travel camp so I am naturally setup to like this book.

I found the writing of his own experiences charming, particularly the stories about his own children. However, the book is somewhat spoilt by a sense of smugness/quasi-mysticism that his writing exudes at times, as well as his repeated, long, digressions into secondary sources.

If he had stuck to writing about his own experiences th
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel-general
I have a feeling Mr Kiernan and I would not get on! We'd disagree about pretty much everything.
He would have nothing but scorn for me, as I am apparently a 'tick box tourist'. Yes, I commit the heinous crime (in his eyes) of researching a new place I am visiting and then actually going to some of the places listed as 'must sees'.
Even worse, I actually enjoy doing this!
I suppose the only good thing is that I am never going to be sat next to Mr Kiernan on a long flight - he never goes near an
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Kieren je propagátorem líného cestování. Dovolená na slunci, tak jak ji nabízí tlusté barevné katalogy, ho neláká. Stejně jako skupina Sex Pistols, která o tom zpívala už před mnoha mnoha lety, v ní vidí jen předražený únik do světa levných snů. Vnímá ji jako odměnu otroků odsouzených k doživotnímu nudnému zaměstnání.

Dan Kieren tvrdí, že cestování se změnilo na dovolenkové výpravy k moři, případně pasivní objíždění notoricky známých míst z dlouhého seznamu zajímavostí a pamětihodností, které
Lee Osborne
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked this up just before spending a long weekend in London, so it was an appropriate read given that I was travelling somewhere (ironically by plane, which isn't really in keeping with the philosophy of the book).

I've long been familiar with the idle/slow philosophy that the author advocates, and also have never been a fan of mass tourism or package holidays, so while the book appealed to me for encouraging a different attitude to travel, it didn't really teach me anything new. I've never be
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kieran feels that the point of travel these days is to get to your destination as fast as humanly possible, to collect picture of yourself in front of the sights, and tick them of your bucket list.

This book that is about the essence of travel, the journey to a location and the time that you need to take in making that journey. In the book he describes a simple walk that he takes in his part of the Sussex downs, a rail journey across Europe with his very young son, and a almost disastrous journey
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
I had mixed reactions to this book. It's readable and well written, and I learned a few interesting things by reading it. However, I was a bit put off by its limited scope. Practically all the travel is confined to Europe or even the UK. This is part of the author's point - you don't have to go far to have new experiences. Indeed, part of his argument is that we have surrounded ourselves with things that reduce the scope of our experiences, rather than broaden them (e.g. smartphones), and we can ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
What I learned:

- To truly discover a place you should always try and be your own guide: work it out for yourself, go with the flow, go on your own journey.
- Slowing down is meditative. Taking the time to reflect, to think and to take things in is important. By physically slowing down, our perception of time also changes.
- Doing something you wouldn't normally do and going out of your comfort zone gets the right hemisphere of the brain working (the creative side). This can help you become more lu
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ganz sicher bin ich mir nicht, was ich von diesem Buch erwartet habe, aber irgendwie nicht das, was es enthält. Dan Kieran erzählt ein paar Geschichten aus seinem "langsamen" Reiseleben, setzt sich mit der eigenen Art zu Reisen (die natürlich die beste ist) immer wieder theoretisch auseinander und verliert mich dann völlig bei der eingehenden Betrachtung der rechten und linken Gehirnhälfte und deren Zusammenhang mit Slow Travel. Ganz nett, aber nicht wirklich mitreissend und inspirierend. Gelese ...more
This is a high 3 stars, more like 3.75!

This book has a little bit of everything: a zen-like master teaching us to move to the slow lane in life and not rush through things, when you're traveling and in life. I'm a bit of an idle traveler who makes lists, which usually get thrown out the first minute I land somewhere and my eyes and attention are diverted in a million different directions. This was a nice, slow read, I just wish there was more about his travel experiences rather than educating h
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some of the neuroscience lost em a little but this exploration of the benefits of slow travel, as opposed to tourism, chimed with me. Inspirational read - got me out walking on my own and planning other journeys within days of finishing it.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Keegi ütles selle raamatu kohta väga tabavalt: If you pick up this book for the travel stories, you will be disappointed. If you approach this book to consider the philosophy of travel, you will be greatly pleased.

Ma olin pleased.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Took me a little while to get into it, but was definitely worth it. Enriching, fun and covers a broad spectrum of subjects.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobby
Interesting in parts. Too much secondary referencing , creating disjointed rhythm to the writing.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book to read if you are interested in getting more out of travel and life. I find the slow movement so fascinating as it is the opposite of what our culture tells us to "strive for". Instead be in the now to truly experience life. The inclusion of discussions of other books and authors in the 2nd half of the book made it my favorite part and why I'd read this book again. I look forward to reading the books by the mentioned authors. For instance, funny how we focus on Poe's dark stories i ...more
Stefano Zanella
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Don’t get mistaken by the title, this is a book about traveling only on the surface. Slow traveling is a thread that puts together inspiring reflections on life, and Dan Kieran is a master in making the journey through his mind feel coherent and pleasant.

I usually judge the quality of a book from the books it inspires me to read after it, and from the conversations that can start from reading it. This reading definitely excels in both aspects.
Светослава Радева
Книгата ми попадна точно в момент, в който планирам следващото си пътуване. За щастие ми повлия много положително и ми помогна да осъзная, че не всичко трябва да се види на всяка цена и че истинското преживяване се съдържа в спонтанните и случайни неща.

В повече ми дойдоха лирическите отклонения и подробностите на моменти, но определено си заслужаваше отделеното време.
Интересна е, обаче разпиляна. Не отговаря особено на заглавието и авторът по-скоро разказва какво е прочел в други книги на пътешественици, отколкото свои собствени наблюдения. Като цяло е по-скоро преразказ на други книги.
Ryan Watts
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I was expecting a pretentious read and I got it. I would read more of Kieran's work, but I would not buy him a pint.
Although falls off a bit at the end wonderful premise which I fully endorse. Good to be reminded.
Nessy Dimitrova
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Хора, които искат да пропътуват света, но не знаят правилния начин!,

*Short english review, this one is going to be written in bulgarian!*

This book blew my mind and it was totally not on purpose! When you start to read these books that everyone talks about you have expectations. When I saw this one, I was a bit skeptical. We`ve all read these books who teach us of the art of yoga/zen/shopping and etc. in magazines and to be honest they all suck a little or too much.

This one is a BEAUTIFUL EXCEPTION! It covers topics from different aspects
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book caught my attention during one of the recent promotional sales of a local publisher in Bulgaria (Ciela Books). As I was not able to pick it up in Bulgarian (due to unforeseen circumstances out of my control...) I finally figured out it is best to save some trees, get a Kindle edition and read it in English. I am not sorry on that part.

I shall say I entered a routine of getting slightly different thing from a book than my preliminary expectations on the last two books I read. I hope thi
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
Joo-o. Täähän oli periaatteessa oikein kiva kirja, älä ole turisti vaan ole mielummin tutkimusmatkailija ja sitä rataa. Oikeastihan tässä on kuitenkin kysymys siitä, että Kieranilla on lentopelko jonka vuoksi hän valitsee muita keinoja päästä paikasta A paikkaan B. No, omista puutteistahan on tehty hyveitä kautta aikojen, ja mikäs siinä. Mutta vähän vituttaa yritys vesittää toisten lomamatkat ja muistot, kun koko loman henki on pilattu sillä että on lentänyt perille eikä mennyt vaikeimman kautta ...more
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ich fand das Buch sehr inspirierend, insbesondere aufgrund der letzten drei Kapitel, die nicht Reisen des Autors beschreiben, sondern langsames Reisen von drei sehr unterschiedlichen Persönlichkeiten. Die zwei Reisen, die aufgrund von Erkrankungen (Autismus des Sohnes und eine ausgewachsene Depression) unternommen wurden, fand ich sehr bewegend. Die Stärke der Veröffentlichung liegt meiner Meinung nach darin, dass es keine klassische Reiseliteratur ist, sondern kulturgeschichtliche, psychologisc ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Slabé. Čekala jsem víc, než jen často-ani-ne-tak-zajímavé zážitky/historky prokládané klišoidními citáty ("S životem je to jako s cestováním - o jeho kvalitě nerozhoduje délka. Nepoměrně důležitější je hloubka prožitků"). Autor mi byl nesympatický, přišel mi namyšlený, arogantní. Bojí se letadel a místo toho, aby se hecl, tak ze sebe dělá mistra světa jen proto, že jezdí vlakem a tolikrát vyvolává, že mu to nevadí a že se mu to líbí, až je to násilné a nemůžu tomu až tak úplně věřit. (Jo, chápu, ...more
Samantha O'Leary
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this on a series of trains - the best place to do so! I agree with so much of Kieran's thinking here, and really appreciate the level of research and references that have gone into making this so much more than a "how to" manifesto.

Took a little umbrage at some aspects though - had I been among the friends who went to the wedding in Poland, I most certainly would have loved to get there as the author did, via train, but sometimes life just does not allow that amount of time. I feel lucky t
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dropped, research
Velké výborné téma (i bytostně mé), hodně researche (celá kniha spíš dílčí eseje/příběhy a převyprávění jiných - často známých a zajímavých - příběhů/knih místy s dost umělými oslími můstky), hodně popisně a neinspirativně zpracováno, nudný jazyk, přestože pod většinu myšlenek bych se podepsala:

"Pokud se tedy vydáte ze svého západního domova do obřího nákupního centra známého také jako letiště, kde nasednete do letadla, v němž zhlédnete svůj oblíbený západní film, a necháte se odvézt na další le
Ferhat Culfaz
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Splendid book on the art of travelling. It's about the journey, not the destination. Takes a good dig against air travel and airports in general, and how by choosing a slower way, such as land, trains and ferries, the mind appreciates the surroundings more and thus enables though, reflection and contemplation. This becomes a therapeutic and meditative process. One should not just look at a guide book, go to "must see" sights and take their photos like a checklist, but rather go off the beaten tr ...more
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Dan Kieran is Deputy Editor of The Idler, a bi-yearly British magazine. He is a writer, editor, and CEO and co-founder of the crowd-funding publishing platform Unbound.
“Ehkäpä joutilaan matkailun paras muoto on yksinäinen kävelyretki. Sen avulla ihminen voi löytää todellisen vapauden vähäisin kuluin ja omistautua unohdetulle ajanvietteelle: ajattelulle. Suuri osa nykyaikaisesta matkailusta on suunniteltu nimenomaan ajattelua estämään.” 0 likes
“Olipa niin tai näin, vasemman aivopuoliskon havainto maailmasta ja sen järjestyksenhalu on epäilemättä nykyjan länsimaailmassa karanneet käsistä.” 0 likes
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