How can we think more deeply about our travels? Part philosophical ramble, part travelogue, this popular monograph traverses the places where philosophy and travel intersect. It investigates Michel de Montaigne on otherness, John Locke on cannibals, and Henry Thoreau on wilderness. We discover the dark side of maps, how the philosophy of space fuelled mountain tourism, and ask whether intergalactic travel will affect human significance in a leviathan universe.
“Thomas has used her command of the philosophical canon to extend our understanding of an impulse that many of us share but few examine in such depth. The Meaning of Travel is a manifesto for the virtues that travel can bestow on the traveller — not just an increase in knowledge, but a deep humility at the scale and diversity of the world, and an enduring wonder that we live on such a planet.”
“This is the finest kind of travel: not just across continents, but through time, space and our infinite minds. The journey is the joy, and Emily Thomas a terrific guide.”
Mike Parker, author of Map Addict
“At last – a book not about where we travel, but why. The Meaning of Travel illuminates the reasons we’ve been tempted to set out on untrodden paths for centuries.”
Dea Birkett, author of Serpent in Paradise
“An original, engaging book… Thomas has a lightness of touch that never undercuts the seriousness and complexities of the issues discussed.”
Julian Baggini, author of How the World Thinks
Full reviews: Philip Marsden, The Spectator (2020).