Summer is just around the corner, and we all look forward to warm sunny days and that promise of respite from routine – the summer vacation. For most of us, summer vacation means travel of some sort. It could be a short easy car ride to a mountain retreat or cottage on the beach, or a longer more arduous trip involving cross-country travel. If you are one of the more adventurous, you might even be planning a trip to exotic places and foreign shores.
Why do we travel? If you’ve traveled recently, you know travel is not glamorous or graceful. It can be challenging, even grueling – especially air travel. Air travel involves enduring long lines and/or delays, the many annoyances of the airport – and often fellow travelers – and uncomfortable seating in crowded conditions. However, we endure these discomforts, because we all have our reasons for traveling – the need to get away, the need to experience the new and different, the need for a change or curiosity about the world and other cultures. And because it offers so much to so many different people, travel holds an allure for us all.
St. Augustine once wrote, “The world is a book, and he who doesn’t travel reads only one page.” In the book of the world, all pages are different. We are looking for something new, something unseen – the next page in the world’s book, if only for a little while. That’s what makes travel so interesting, intriguing, and inviting. It beckons us to new lands and unfamiliar surroundings. It gives us a respite from the regimented world of 9 to 5. It shows us new places, people, and cultures. It’s always giving us something new – not only outwardly, but also inwardly.
If you’re planning travel as part of your summer, the library can help. We’ve just updated our travel collection, so you’ll find the newest editions of Frommer’s travel guides to destinations around the U.S. as well as around the world – from Florida to the Pacific Northwest, England to Australia. If you’re planning a stay-vacation or vacation closer to home, you can still take a trip with the works of travel writers such as Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling, In a Sunburned Country), Douglas Preston (Lost City of the Monkey God), Paul Theroux (Riding the Iron Rooster, Last Train to Zona Verde), William Least Heat-Moon (Blue Highways) or Peter Mayle ( A Year in Provence).
No matter where you are going, make the library a destination this summer.