Thursday, 30 January 2014

Travelling...Via books

Whenever someone gets asked a question on what their hobbies are, the stock set of answers are: I love reading, I love music, I love travel and so on. I am not going to comment on the reading bit, because hello, this is a blog where I talk about books (and movies and other things, but mainly books). And I will maybe tackle music another day but I would like to talk about traveling as a hobby.

Someone recently asked me if I liked to travel, and I answered saying yes. And I do like traveling, especially with friends and family (right now more with friends than with family - a deliberate shout out to my family, who have gone on trips with out me :P ). But what with a busy work schedule that my friends and I have we are unable to really travel as much as we would like. So even though I answered with a yes I added a caveat saying: 'I like traveling, but I use books to travel'.

Now when I said this to this particular person, and to a lot of other people, he looked at me weirdly. Like I was the most crazy and laziest person on earth. And that offends me, even though it is true that I am lazy and I am definitely certifiably crazy, that they assume I must just not like traveling and am finding a lame alternate.

It is not true that I would not like to travel if given a chance. Come to think of it, I have traveled quite a bit. I've not gone overseas but my father loves traveling so he has taken me and the rest of the family on quite a few trips (near or otherwise). But traveling within the world that is created by a book is just amazing. And I am not bound by boundaries at all. Not just physical boundaries but the boundaries of space and time are of no match to me when I am reading a book. If a book is well written then it can take you to different locations like America (almost every YA book and various other adult books that I have read), Sweden (the Patrik Hedstrom series), Egypt (Sphinx  by Robin Cook), Russia, France, Brussels (Bourne trilogy) and it can even let me travel backwards and forward through time. And I didn't even need any documentation.

I have also traveled to distant planets, parallel universes (where I am just as lazy as I am now but either super rich and intelligent or super poor :P) and to Middle Earth of course. It might seem lame to some but I think of this kind of travel as preparation for actual travel. I know of a few places to visit in the countries I mentioned above and what is generally accepted or not accepted there. I also learn a bit of their culture and laws.

And if I ever meet a troll I know that I should keep them talking till the sun comes up (LOTR) or that I should be wary of black monoliths on unknown planets (2001: A Space Odyssey). I will always travel with a towel as that would be my best friend (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and to keep garlic and silver on my person while I travel if I ever meet pesky vampires or werewolves.

All in all I would say traveling via books has actually made me more prepared than anyone else who has not read. So take that all you doubters and travel snobs. I, I mean my imagination, has clocked more kilometers than any of you. And to all you readers out there, Have a happy journey!!


  1. Your article made the best point. Kilometres better imagination of the reality. Kudos for the good job.

    1. Thank you Manasa... It is great to know someone is reading these posts :P Where are you traveling recently? What book are you reading?