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The art of travel: a travel book & diary

Art of Travel - Le Road TripI recently received a review copy of a new book called Le Road Trip – A Traveler’s Journal of Love and France by Vivian Swift. It’s a beautifully produced travelogue filled with funny (and quirky) travel tips and sketches & illustrations from Swift’s countless travels. Instead of serving as a guidebook, the book’s beauty lies in its disorganization and seemingly random splattering of stories, lists and quotations.

Swift writes personally and honestly about the art of travel. The book tells a million little stories from WWII histories to food and wine. Her illustrations capture the artful nature of travel, but also provide little snippets of insight into a personal traveler’s journey. For example, I liked her list of “things to do while waiting for a train:”

Train Station Meditation:
1. Sit or stand, and relax.
2. Be aware that you are waiting for a train.
3. Pay attention to your waiting for a train experience.
4. Pay no attention to your spouse, who is drinking cider from the bottle and eating a tomato and having a much better waiting for a train experience than you.

Just lovely! Much of the book reads as if you’re flipping through Swift’s personal diary. I know my Moleskine travel notebook is filled up with similar stories, lists and ramblings. If you’re looking for a bit of wanderlust escapism, this book does its job.

More illustrations:

More of Vivian Swift’s illustrations and travel stories can be found on her blog. Her book, Le Road Trip — A Traveler’s Journal of Love and France can be purchased on Amazon here. If you’re looking for quaint travel illustrations or just curious to browse through someone else’s travel diary & journal, then this is the book for you!

  1. This books sounds wonderful and I love Swift’s sketches that you included in your post. It sounds like an inspirational read for any traveler with a journal… Which is basically all of us! For me, I think her Train Mediation how-to can be applied to waiting for 20+ hour buses in South America… I especially can relate to #4 ;-)

    Thanks for sharing Adam!

    • Adam says:

      So true, Meg! Almost every traveler I meet has a journal or notebook. Just returned from a trip in San Sebastian, Spain and I met a guy traveling Europe for the first time. He was writing in a diary/notebook every day. I think it’s so important and it always makes me happy to find another journal writer.

  2. Ayngelina says:

    Nice review, the book looks beautiful.

  3. matt says:

    This is nice book. Thanks for sharing!~ :)

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