On travelers, from Literature

Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky, Book One: Tea in the Sahara

“He did not think of himself as a tourist; he was a traveler. The difference is partly one of time, he would explain. Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler, belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly, over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another. Indeed, he would have found it difficult to tell, among the many places he had lived, precisely where it was he had felt most at home…

At this point they had just crossed the Atlantic for the first time since 1939, with a great deal of luggage and the intention of keeping as far possible from the places which had been touched by the war. For, as he claimed, another important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking. And the war was one facet of the mechanized age he wanted to forget”  (page 12)

First published in Great Britain 1949 © Copyright 1949, 1977

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