Vicarious travel: how to get away without fuss
We all know that the summer getaway from the UK has turned into a total nightmare for many. And even the roads to holiday resorts in the UK are not plain sailing (urmhh, you know what I mean!).
So how about some vicarious travel? The advantages are thousand-fold: it is not weather dependent; it is not even transport dependent; you can get there from your garden, your bed, a local cafe, without needing to present a single piece of documentation to a border force. You can even travel time zones and centuries. And it’s virtually free.
How so? I’m talking here about audiobooks. What a joy they are. They take you to places and eras you couldn’t easily get to, without the fuss, and they allow you to do it in a carbon-free and frugal manner.
Here’s what’s on my listening list at the moment. So pack up a picnic, find a spot of your choice, and tune in …
- Full Tilt, by Dervla Murphy – an absolutely spellbinding account of a 1963 bicycle (yes, a bicycle!) trip from Dublin to India.
- The Hotel On the Roof of the World, by Alec Le Seur – an amusing and sometimes poignant account of the author’s five years in Tibet running a hotel in the 1980s.
- A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, by Eric Newby – a 1958 account of a journey centred largely on foot around Afghanistan.
- The Great Railyway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux – an epic train journey taken in 1973, about so much more than the trains themselves as the author journeys towards and through Asia.
- Touching the World, by Cathy Birchall and Bernard Smith – a truly incredible account of a round-the-world motorbike trip in the early 2000s; what makes this journey unique is that Cathy, who rides pillion, is blind.
Finally, and at a personal level, I find listening to books very relaxing. As an editor, it means I can take my eyes away from the screen or the page (usually constantly being scanned for queries, errors, re-writes) and simply enjoy the wonderful prose.
Happy vicarious travels …
Sandra is an author, editor and long-time associate (as friends and in business) of Jane, founder of Catfish Web Design.