Perspectives on Travel Writing

I wanted to point out two satirical pieces I read this week centered in some way around the wonderful world of travel writing. The first is a short blog post over at Words without Borders: A good travel guide beats reality. The musings of Arnon Grunberg made me chuckle, especially as I look around my bedroom at the six or so guidebooks I currently have scattered about. It looks like I’m trying to cram in lots of juicy guidebook details before I head off on my trip. Maybe I am?! I plan to leave all but one book behind — which will make the cut? And what happens if none of what I read is true once I’m on the road?!?! Will all our greatest travel fantasies really come true if the guide book says they will? The second piece is a smart travel essay by Rolf Potts: The Art of Writing a Story About Walking Across Andorra is based on a true travel story but told with a strong satirical twist. Potts unleashes his perspective on the “…conventions and clichés of mainstream travel writing” in a creative and captivating essay. Two very unique pieces of writing that focus on different genres — I think both are worth a read if you enjoy any kind of travel writing.