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Paul Theroux Quotes

Explore inspirational quotes.

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A travel book is... A travel book is a book that puts you in the shoes of the traveler, and it's usually a book about having a very bad time; having a miserable time, even better.
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A travel book is... A travel book is about someone who goes somewhere, travels on the ground, sees something and spends quite a lot of time doing it, and has a hard time, and then comes back and writes about it. It's not about inventing.
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Because of my capacity... Because of my capacity for listening to strangers' tales, or the details of their lives, my patience with their food and their crotchets, my curiosity that borders on nosiness, I am told that anyone traveling with me experiences an unbelievable tedium, and this is why I choose to travel alone.
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Extensive traveling induces a... Extensive traveling induces a feeling of encapsulation, and travel, so broadening at first, contracts the mind.
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I grew up in... I grew up in an era of thinking of travel as escape. The idea that you could conceivably have a new life, go somewhere, fall in love, have little children under the palm trees.
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I think people read... I think people read travel books either because they intend to take that trip, or because they would never take that trip. In a sense, as a writer you are doing the travel for the reader.
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I was raised in... I was raised in a large family. The first reason for my travel was to get away from my family. I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't want people to ask me questions about it.
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I wouldn't say that... I wouldn't say that I'm a travel novelist, but rather a novelist who travels - and who uses travel as a background for finding stories of places.
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Mark Twain was a... Mark Twain was a great traveler and he wrote three or four great travel books. I wouldn't say that I'm a travel novelist but rather a novelist who travels - and who uses travel as a background for finding stories of places.
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One of the things... One of the things the 'Tao of Travel' shows is how unforthcoming most travel writers are, how most travelers are. They don't tell you who they were traveling with, and they're not very reliable about things that happened to them.
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The amount of hassle... The amount of hassle involved in travel can be overwhelming.
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The appeal of travel... The appeal of travel books is also the sense that you are different, an outsider, almost like the Robinson Crusoe or Christopher Columbus notion of being the first person in a new place.
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The idea of traveling... The idea of traveling in Africa for me is based on going by road or train or bus or whatever and crossing borders. You can't travel easily or at all through some countries.
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The job of the... The job of the travel writer is to go far and wide, to make voluminous notes, to tell the truth.
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The travel impulse is... The travel impulse is mental and physical curiosity. It's a passion. And I can't understand people who don't want to travel.
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The two impulses in... The two impulses in travel are to get away from home, and the other is to pursue something - a landscape, people, an exotic place. Certainly finding a place that you like or discovering something unusual is a very sustaining thing in travel.
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The worst thing that... The worst thing that can happen to you in travel is having a gun pointed at you by a very young person. That's happened to me maybe four times in my life. I didn't like it.
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Tourists don’t know where... Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.
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Tourists don't know where... Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.
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Travel is glamorous only... Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.
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Travel magazines are just... Travel magazines are just one cupcake after another. They're not about travel. The travel magazine is, in fact, about the opposite of travel. It's about having a nice time on a honeymoon, or whatever.
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Travel works best when... Travel works best when you're forced to come to terms with the place you're in.
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What draws me in... What draws me in is that a trip is a leap in the dark. It's like a metaphor for life. You set off from home, and in the classic travel book, you go to an unknown place. You discover a different world, and you discover yourself.
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You define a good... You define a good flight by negatives: you didn't get hijacked, you didn't crash, you didn't throw up, you weren't late, you weren't nauseated by the food. So you are grateful.
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