The Art of Travel


Alain De Botton

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Traveling Places

This is De Botton’s term for spaces inhabited by those in transit, from the roadside rest stop he visits between London and Manchester to the planes, ships, and trains that travelers use to reach… (read full term analysis)

The Orient

A European term, now generally considered archaic and often pejorative, that ordinarily denotes all of Asia but has been associated with different nations and regions throughout history. In the mid-1800s, a body of European Orientalist… (read full term analysis)

The Exotic

That which is both new and valuable. Conventionally, the word is employed by Europeans identifying something that captivates them about non-European cultures, but Alain de Botton also uses it to describe his fascination with Amsterdam. (read full term analysis)

Spots of Time

Poet William Wordsworth’s term for scenes from nature that people can relive in order to help them gain perspective and overcome problems that they face in their daily lives (and particularly issues like frustrations… (read full term analysis)

The Sublime

A term that denotes the feeling of awe people experience when they encounter vast, awe-inspiring power like that of certain natural landscapes. Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, perhaps the most prominent theorist of the sublime… (read full term analysis)
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John Ruskin’s term for the linguistic counterpart to drawing, word-painting allows viewers to capture the psychological impact that a beautiful scene or object has on them and hopefully notice the aesthetic reasons they find… (read full term analysis)


Developing an aesthetic means gaining the “capacity to assert judgments about beauty and ugliness.” For de Botton, art and travel are valuable in large part because they allow individuals to notice what they find… (read full term analysis)

Traveling Mind-Set

De Botton’s term for the way that travelers approach new places with a receptiveness to the environment and a humility before foreign cultures and unexpected phenomena. He argues that this mind-set, rather than simply… (read full term analysis)