The blurb at the back of the book reads: Paul Theroux celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe by collecting the best writing on travel from the books that shaped him, as a reader and traveller. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, The Tao of Travel enumerates 'The Contents of Some Travellers' Bags' and exposes 'Writers Who Wrote about Places They Never Visited'; it tracks extreme journeys in 'Travel as an Ordeal' and highlights some of 'Travellers' Favourite Places'. Excerpts from the best of Theroux's own work are interspersed with selections from travellers both familiar and unexpected, including: Vladimir Nabokov, ... Freya Stark, ... and more.
USA Today says, this book is 'A portal into a world of timeless travel literature curated by one of the greatest travel writers of our day'.
Theroux ends his book with 'The Essential Tao of Travel':
1. Leave home 2. Go alone 3. Travel light 4. Bring a map 5. Go by land
6. Walk across a national frontier 7. Keep a journal
8. Read a novel that has no relation to the place you are in
9. If you must bring a cell phone, avoid using it 10. Make a friend
For me, only 2, 6, & 8 are hard to do. I salute solo travellers because I'm too much of a coward to travel alone. I have yet to walk across any frontier, but you never know ... Whenever I do travel, I do not read novels, full stop.
The Tao of Travel / Paul Theroux. Hamish Hamilton, 2011. Ex Libris CNB 1899
Note: Tao (in Chinese philosophy) is the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behaviour, that is in harmony with natural order.... literally '(right) way' (Google)
*1. The Great Railway Bazaar; by Train through Asia. Penguin Books, 1977. Ex Libris CNB 53
*2. The Old Patagonian Express; by Train through the Americas. Penguin Books, 1980. Ex Libris CNB 1645
*3. The Kingdom by the Sea; a Journey around the Coast of Great Britain. Penguin Books, 1984. Ex Libris CNB 54
*4. Riding the Iron Rooster; by Train through China. Penguin Books, 1989. Ex Libris CNB 52
*5. Train to the Eastern Star; on the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar. Penguin Books, 2009. Ex Libris CNB 1854