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The Art of Travel

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  15,027 Ratings  ·  876 Reviews
Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.

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Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2003 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 2002)
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Ines Depends on your english level. I find it a bit complex mostly for a young adult. It is not a light reading book for non native english speakers, in my…moreDepends on your english level. I find it a bit complex mostly for a young adult. It is not a light reading book for non native english speakers, in my opinion(less)

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Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i couldn't put my finger on why i didn't think this book was as great as de botton's other books. but then i realized it's because of 2 reasons.

1) the focus is very euro- and christian-centric. obvo, de botton is writing about what he knows (euro intelligentsia), but perhaps a book about travelling should be about things outside your sphere of knowledge. e.g., why is it so exotic for french-speaking de botton to go to the south of france? why go to a postcolonial barbados resort and consider th
Miss Ravi
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, philosophy
سال گذشته یک مسافر تمامعیار بودم. بارها در کوپه نشسته بودم، بارها از گیت فرودگاه گذشته بودم و هزاران جاده دیده بودم که مثل مارهایی از اینجا تا افق خزیده بودند. برایم جذابیت داشت بدانم چطور میشود کیفیت سیر و سفر را بالاتر برد و بهرههای بیشتری از هر بار جابهجایی و رفتن و آمدن، گرفت. آلن دوباتن در این کتاب چیزی بیشتر از آنچه خواسته بودم، به من گفت. تلفیق هر فصل با شخصیتی منحصربهفرد -از ایوب نبی گرفته تا ونسان ونگوگ- و اشاراتی به زندگی و افکار آنها سفر را به چیزی بیش از تغییر مکان جغرافیایی تبدیل می ...more
Jun 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ben by: David Giltinan
In The Art of Travel, Alaine de Botton succeeds in the difficult task of opening the readers eyes to the many perceptual enhancements that travel can provide. It is not a travelogue of wild times in exotic countries, nor an informative list of places one can go. The Art of Travel is abstract, and focuses on concepts relating to the inner-self and individual psychology; the internal elements that affect, and are affected by, travel. Through avenues such as poetry, writings from some of histories ...more
فرقی نمی کنه موضوعی که دوباتن ازش صحبت می کنه چیه، هر چی که باشه توانایی این رو داره که من رو با اون کتاب و موضوع به وجد بیاره. شوق و ذوقی که با "هنر سیر و سفر" تجربه ش کردم یکی به دلیل پرداختن ریزبینانه ی دوباتن به موضوعی بود که همه کم و بیش به طریقی تجربه می کنند و دیگری دید خلاقانه ای بود که نویسنده برای نوشتن این کتاب انتخاب کرده بود . برای منی که عاشق سفر هستم عنوان کتاب به تنهایی بدون توجه به نام نویسنده یا فصل بندی های جذابش می تونه چشم گیرباشه و اگه این دو خصیصه رو هم اضافه کنم این جذابی ...more
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all of De Botton’s books, this one is really a series of tightly crafted essays, each of which could stand on its own.

I think the key messages of the book are well captured in the very first chapter:
• Upon travelling to Barbados, de Botton wakes up the next morning and heads for the beach, then observes: “A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making itself apparent: I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island.” As my wife occasionally remarks to me during our trave
Rana Heshmati
عشق و علاقهام نسبت به این کتاب و البته آقای دوباتن، قابل وصف نیست.
قبل از اینکه کتاب تمام شود، ریویوهایی در سرم می چرخید. توضیحاتی مبسوط، تا طبق گفتههای خود کتاب، به "ازش خوشم آمد" اکتفا نکنم و نظراتم را راجع بهش بگویم. اینکه چرا خوشم آمد. از چه چیزش.
اما حال، مخصوصاً با فصل آخرش، تنها میتوانم تحسینش کنم و این نظر دادنها و غیره را بگذارم برای کمی بعد تر.

پ.ن: کتاب، هدیه تولدی بود از طرف لیلی، خانم توکلی و نرگس معینی (با تقدیمنامچههایی بس دلپذیر). سال نود و دو. که خواندنش به الان و برای زنگ تماشا اف
Jul 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a certain self-effacing charm about Alain de Botton's writing that creeps up on you and which eventually becomes irresistible. Not one to shy away from big topics (love, philosophy, status, travel, Proust) he manages to bring you to fresh insights on each theme in a completely charming, highly readable fashion.

I've also seen him a few times on a BBC series about different philosophers, and the same charm is evident in person. He just seems like an altogether smart, together, sweet guy.
واقعا بنظرم نكته خاصي نداشت:|
به جز ترجمه بد، و ويرايش خيلي بد:)) يعني عملا نبود ويرايش! و اينكه اين خانوم گلي امامي مشخصا زبان مبدا رو بلده، مشكلش تو زبان مقصده كاملا:)) ساختار جملات زبان فارسي رو كامل بلد نيست فكر كنم حتي.
و به نكات مثبت اگر بخوام اشاره كنم فقط همين رو ميتونم بگم كه فصل پاياني واقعا واقعا خوب و متفاوت بود، و من به شخصه بسيار علاقه مند شدم به طرز فكر آقاي دومتر.
و اينكه اين كتاب موفق شد من رو بلخره با جناب فلوبر آشتي بده و حتي بسيار علاقه مند كنه بهش؛ حال آن كه تا الان از مخالف
May 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, this was a bit of a disappointment to me after reading such great reviews. I'm a traveler and while there were some ideas in this book that appealed to me, the majority of the philosophies and "ways of traveling" that were shared turned me off. Botton seems a bit arrogant and I felt he contradicted himself a number of times. Not all of us have wealthy friends in the French countryside or have the means of staying at an exclusive hotel in Barbados. In fact, I think Botton is missing out ...more
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book. Then I thought about it. Then I went back and read it again, less thoroughly, with a pen in hand looking to further unpack and appreciate the ideas and self-reflections they provoked in me. It has taken me a long time to get around to declaring this book “finished” enough for me to write a review.

The structure of this book is deceptively simple to summarize: each chapter is a juxtaposition of de Botton’s travel accounts with brief historical essays describing a famous author, t
Emma Sea
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life goal: write like this.
Jun 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
in this lovely philosophical scrapbook, alain de botton tackles the question of why people travel. partly an eclectic collection of essays, partly a memoir, and partly a collection of historical tidbits, philosophies, works of art and found objects that de botton found cool; most people will probably find this book either pretentiously irritating or delightful. my vote goes to the latter. to qualify, i read this for the first time in the midst of a wonderful journey, so perhaps rereading it just ...more
معصومه توکلی
خیلی لذّت بخش
خیلی برانگیزاننده
و خیلی اندوهبار

به خاطر همه ی آن جاده ها که هنوز پایم را رویشان نگذاشته ام.
و به خاطر خاطره ی پنجره ی قطار
که تصویر صورت خندان تو از لبه هاش آغاز
و خیلی زود با گندمزارهای گریزان درآمیخته و محو می شد...
My favorite read of late is Alain de Botton's “The Art of Travel.” I found this book enthralling. I couldn't put it down. Its insightful and erudite in a way that I haven't experienced since reading somewhat obscure texts for a rhetoric course in college. The book uses authors and poets and painters that we all know and love to help us think about how to fully experience our world. The book isn't really a travel tome; and I'm not sure that I learned all that much about particular destinations. I ...more
یکی از کتاب های خوب دوباتن.
یکی از قابلیت های دوباتن که رفته رفته توی کتاب هاش برجسته تر میشه دید قدرت تحلیل مسایل روزانه س. چیزهایی که شاید از نظر ما اون قدر معمولی بیان که هیچ وقت نتونن با اون وجه روشن فکرنمامون ارتباط برقرار کنن. این چیزها توی ذهن دو باتن به شکل عجیب و غریبی همراه میشه با نقل قول های خیلی ظریف و دوست داشتنی.
مثلا مگه میشه تکه ی پنجم از بخش "در باب سفر به مکان های گوناگون" رو فراموش کرد که چطور ورود نویسنده به یه رستوران بین راهی سوت و کور پرتش می کنه وسط
...تنهایی ها و انزوای آ
Narges Moini
ترجمهش افتضاح بود. وگرنه میتونستم بیشتر دوست داشته باشمش. ...more
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting little book that opened my eyes in a number of ways, and helped me to understand part of why I'm not a very good traveler. The first chapters were the least interesting for me, mostly stressing what I already knew--that "wherever you go, there you are." Don't go all over the globe looking for happiness (as Horace wrote)--changing your sky doesn't change yourself. But later on, in discussing the Lake District in England and Wordsworth (its first and most ardent admirer) de Bott ...more
Maria Ella
"Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is s ...more
Mina Mottahedin
کتاب عجیب غریب بامزه ای بود.حرفهایی که زده جالبن ولی بنظرم نمیومد حرفهایی باشن که یکی بخواد کتابشون کنه! داستان های بعضا بیربطی هم به نوشته ش ربط میداد که من باز نمیفهمیدم اینها رو چرا داره میگه ولی درعین حال از خوندنش لذت هم میبردم.زبان روان و خوبی هم داشت.کلا فکر کنم از این ببعد حالم در سفرهایی که بعد از خوندن این کتاب میرم با سفرهای قبلیم فرق داشته باشه.خوندنش را توصیه میکنم بامزه س جدا.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
کافیه اسم دو باتن رو ببینم تا دیگه اسم کتاب هم نخونم و دستم بره بهش! چون دوباتن حالمو خوب میکنه.
اما چرا سفر میکنیم؟ شاید مثل تابلوهای هاپر ما به رستوران ها, هتل ها نیاز داریم برای تسلیم شدن به اندوهمان که در اتاق نشیمن با آن ظاهر تکراری سرخورده مان کرده. سفر میکنیم زیرا افکار جدید نیازمند مناظر جدید هستند. ما برای رهایی از افکار فلج کننده میتوانیم به مناظر بیرون قطار یا اتوبوس یا هواپیما نگاه کنیم تا آرامشمان را بدست آوریم زیرا اینها مددکار اندیشه اند.
سفر میکنیم زیراچیدمان تکراری خانه مثل این اس
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Don't really know what I was expecting, maybe it was some insightful ways to get more from my travel experiences. What I got was a book of two halves. The first half can be summarised - don't get your hopes up it might be shit. I persevered. The second half was better - it ain't where you go, it's the attitude you travel with.

The author is obviously very well read (he even includes a bedroom photo complete with bookshelf as evidence), and the book is littered with quotes and tales from various
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
در جهان هميشه بيش از آنچه انسان ها قادر به ديدن هستند ديدنى وجود دارد، مشروط بر اينكه آرام تر قدم بردارند؛ در حركت سريع بهتر نميبينند.
چيزهاى با ارزش رو بايد ديد و تعمق كرد، نه اينكه با شتاب از كنارشان عبور كرد. گلوله اى كه به سرعت ميرود لطفى ندارد، و انسان، اگر واقعا انسان است، از حركت آرام زيان نميبيند؛ چون سربلندى اش ابدا در رفتن نيست، بلكه در بودن است.
از فصل درخشان ((در باب مالكيت زيبايى)) كتاب
"Ateistler için Din" ile gözümde çok ciddi bir temel esere imza atmış olan de Botton'dan yine hap gibi bir düşünce kitabı. Yazarın tarzına uygun, her zamanki gibi sıkılmadan okunan derinlikli bir kitap. Benzer tür kitaplar içinde yine de bu derinliğin Cees Noteboom'un "Gezginin Oteli"si kadar olmadığını da belirteyim. Sel Yayıncılık'a da dilimize kusursuza yakın olduğunu düşündüğüm bir çeviriyle kazandırdıkları bu iki başarılı gezi felsefesi kitabı için tebrikler.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, essays
I read this book in Kalaw, Myanmar, while on vacation to a wonderful and unexpected place. I enjoy de Botton's writing; when I was finishing graduate school I read The Consolations of Philosophy and it was just the right book for me then -- in the same way this was perfect timing to read this one. This book is about travel, not about destinations, so you'll find chapters on anticipation, travelling places, the exotic, curiosity, the country and the city, the sublime, eye-opening art, possessing ...more
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I can't find any fault with this book and it's rare. The author describes perfectly the feelings I go through when travelling. The chapter are split into Departure, Motives, Landscape, Art, and Return.

My favourite chapter is Departure. I often wonder about the same things as I sit in the departure lounge waiting to go into my plane. The plane I am about to enter has left a distant country the day before, flies across Asia to arrive in Europe in one piece. It is about to transport me to a comple
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
      Like most books, The Art of Travel has its good parts and its not-so-good parts. I love that this book focuses on, ahem, the art of traveling, as in, the different little aspects that go into traveling and visiting new places. De Botton dedicates an entire chapter to the feeling of anticipation we all get when we are about to go somewhere new, and how when we arrive, without fail all our preconceived ideas about it are crushed. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the author rushes to ex ...more
The conclusion of the book, that we should impart a sense of travelling into our everyday lives, was a good point. And there were some beautiful insights: 'What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home'. And 'A danger of travel is that we see things at the wrong time, before we have had a chance to build up the necessary receptivity and when new information is therefore as useless and fugitive as necklace beads without a connecting chain'.

But I struggled to connect with th
A slow and interesting meditation on why we travel, on encountering beauty and our attempts to capture it, on seeing new places and landscapes through art and books and finally on seeing the places we live in through a traveller's eyes. De Botton references art and literature on this topic liberally. A good, solid read, even if a bit ponderous.
Soph Beveridge
Jul 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is literally the shittiest book I have ever had the displeasure of reading
Dafuq is up with this guy?\
Do not read
You can never get this time back
Sep 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world I look at every day is a novel in the making, but full of peripheral rubbish. The novels on my shelves are more condensed and filtered and worthy of more attention as they have been transliterated through the brains of people who actually thought for themselves and had something to say worth more than the diluted rubbish I hear during the course of the day. This is why I read books, to short-circuit the rubbish. The daily grind is just rubbish in the main, dead pools of wasted time. Li ...more
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Alain de Botton is a writer and television producer who lives in London and aims to make philosophy relevant to everyday life. He can be contacted by email directly via

He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday lif
More about Alain de Botton...

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“It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others...Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companion's questions and remarks, or feel the need to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.” 129 likes
“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves - that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestice setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, but who may not be who we essentially are.

If we find poetry in the service station and motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomforts, in spite of their garish colours and harsh lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world.”
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