U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-16-2014, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,386 posts, read 21,228,976 times
Reputation: 24210

Advertisements

I have read some travel books, which were so detailed, I feel like I had traveled there without having traveled there, which left little desire then to go there. And, on the other hand, I've read books which increased my desire to go there.

I recently read J. Maarten Troost's travel adventures in Lost on Planet China. I've made a few trips there, and have always kicked myself for not including a trip to Tibet. And now that I read of his adventures there, I feel like I've been there now, and leaving me little desire to go there. One regret of having read this, not going up to Harbin or to Mongolia!

I also read a book on the Vietnamese man who went back to Vietnam to bicycle across the country, and after reading that, it killed any desire to go there.

All this desert rat (unaccustomed to humidity and insects) needs to read about is a battle with the bugs somewhere, enervating heat and humidity, and unwarranted noise, and I'm suddenly deterred.

J. Maarten Troost talked about his train ride from Tibet to the Mainland, and his inability to sleep due to the never-ending loud piped in music on board, and? No thanks! And we're talking about one mighty long train ride!

Anyone else, read some travel book, and you sort of wished you'd never read it?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-16-2014, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,444,578 times
Reputation: 4409
I don't read travel books of the kind you you described. I thought maybe you were referring to travel guides from the title, which I do read often. I would still think reading them would only want me to go more, just to experience what I'm reading myself. I have a big issue with feeling like I don't know what a certain experience is like in person, so if I were reading about someone's bus trip from Tibet to further East in China, it would probably just make me think about doing a bus trip in China as opposed to feeling like I know what that would be like.

Actually, I have found that the more I read about a certain destination, the more stressed out I get thinking about all the possibilities that come with it, and how disappointing it would be if I couldn't follow through with the trip for some reason. Now I try to read less in advance, and it actually keeps me feeling more at peace with myself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2014, 04:15 PM
 
3,280 posts, read 3,831,308 times
Reputation: 3988
After reading novel SET in exotic locations, it increases my desire to go there, but only slightly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-17-2014, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
24,987 posts, read 23,900,059 times
Reputation: 30838
While I haven't read a book like that in years, I know what you mean. A few times, after having watched a Rick Steves show about an area of interest, I no longer felt the need to visit. Sorry Rick.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-17-2014, 08:22 AM
 
Location: No. Virginia, USA
328 posts, read 476,564 times
Reputation: 317
First, I think J. Maarten Troost is a funny and talented writer, whose publisher obviously saw a chance to cash in after his two hilarious and successful books "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and "Getting Stoned with Savages." Lost on Planet China was based on a whirlwind tour that skimmed the surface at best - I would never make - or not make - a trip based on a book like that. If you go there your experience is going to be different (not better necessarily), but you will meet different people, have different meals, encounter different incidents etc.

That said, Paul Theroux's "Happy Isles of Oceania" is one of my favorite travel books and made me want to visit Palau, the Trobriands, Fiji, the Cook Islands.

Stanley Stewart's "In the Empire of Ghengis Khan" is an absolutely great book about Mongolia. I will go there for sure.

Have you read the "Geography of Bliss"? Half a dozen great ideas there for travel including to the unhappy places. I'd like to see what they are like as well.

These books are a start-point for ideas, IMHO. But I prefer to see the places with my own two eyes and make my own decisions. Good luck on your travels!

Last edited by Chasva69; 07-17-2014 at 08:34 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-18-2014, 08:24 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,789,037 times
Reputation: 3479
Reading about Travel can be fun. And yes, it usually helps to stoke my interest. On the other hand, one can sometimes get the wrong impression from stories and books. I know I've had that experience. I go someplace, and I know all about it, and yet I really don't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2014, 05:56 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
Reputation: 13019
Reading it doesn't allow you the sensory experience. The smell of the air, the touch of the fabric in locally produced textiles, the taste of the food. If one could exchange real life experience from reading about something in a book, we'd all be brain surgeons and rocket scientists with a library card.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2014, 08:56 AM
 
2,143 posts, read 3,557,931 times
Reputation: 1320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
While I haven't read a book like that in years, I know what you mean. A few times, after having watched a Rick Steves show about an area of interest, I no longer felt the need to visit. Sorry Rick.
Yeah I read his book on Europe, or at least the places I was interested in and it got so overwhelming that I decided it would be best if I did some online research. It got to the point where I thought "he makes this sound a lot harder than it should be."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2014, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,246 posts, read 11,110,384 times
Reputation: 12563
Paul Theroux likes to focus on the tawdry. His books are a real turnoff and should'nt be your only source of research.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2014, 12:39 PM
 
Location: No. Virginia, USA
328 posts, read 476,564 times
Reputation: 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
Paul Theroux likes to focus on the tawdry. His books are a real turnoff and should'nt be your only source of research.
I disagree on two of those three sentences, but what good is it to argue? For example, I found his "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" both entertaining and informative. I took the train ride he describes on the south coast of Sri Lanka and stayed in a hotel he mentioned in one of those towns and am happy I did. I have also visited some of the places he mentions in "Happy Isles of Oceania" and found many of his observations to be astute (although cranky at times) but overall worth reading. Obviously no single travel writer should be your "only source of research." You really went out on a limb making that statement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top