Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Geoff Dyer

Yoga For People Who Can't be Bothered to do it

Hands down my favorite travel book. I highly recommend it for anyone who finds Paul Theroux boring and can't stand the travel section of the New York Times. Where else will you read about the true goal of an Amsterdam visit (take mushrooms and try and keep your pants on straight) or the idea of going to ruins you know almost nothing about. Anyone who travels recognizes Dyer, the man writing religiously while everyone else at the hostel naps, then is ready to go out and explore as soon as the time comes. He is able to insult terrible food in a fresh way, describe bad service like it has never happened before, and convey the sheer bliss of travel while writing about the truly awful events that occur as well as the beautiful beaches and sunsets. I've traveled to many of the same places, had completely different experiences, yet the central message is the same.

The most amazing things about travel are sometimes the hardest to explain, but not for Dyer. The odd feeling you get by being the last man standing in the sunburned wake left by the evacuation of a Mediterranean city in August, to be the only camera-less tourist at a picture-worthy site and the scorn it can cause, to meet a beautiful girl in an idyllic setting and instantly understand everything about one another; this is the stuff dreams are made of. This is why I travel, and this is why I read Geoff Dyer.

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