Great Journeys

Lonely Planet

In shops now

This book actually came out late last year, but the holiday season tends to squelch my desire to go anywhere or have new adventures.  So I’ve just now unwrapped this one and am letting the inspiration run its course.

What “Great Journeys” provides is a series of plans for visits to the world’s most exciting areas.  The book is most clever is breaking up these journeys by modes of transportation.  The first section, ‘Overland,’ I went straight past because I’m a planes and trains kind of fellow.  You’ve got ‘Rivers & Seas’ with spots like The Nile, Norway’s Fjords or The Amazon River, or ‘Walks & Pilgrimages’ which can mean Machu Picchu, The Holy Land or The Great Wall of China.  Each section features a small map, huge photographs that you just want to live in, and tips on the best time of year and ideal time commitment. And, of course, some bits on shortcuts and detours as needed.

My favorite section (for nerdy reasons) is ‘Literary Journeys’ featuring Homer’s The Odyssey, Che Guevera’s Motorcycle Diaries, Around the World in 80 Days, Italy’s Literary Landmarks, Mark Twain’s USA and more.  All the sections, however, have an ‘Armchair’ sidebar with a list of books or films to absorb before you depart.  This is a nifty volume that offers up a new way to look at world travel and is absolutely worth a look.