The Art of Travel


Alain De Botton

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Traveling Mind-Set Term Analysis

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 a departure from home, is what truly separates travel from everyday life. Accordingly, in his final essay, de Botton tries to view his own neighborhood of Hammersmith as though it were foreign by adopting the travel mind-set as he wanders through it, attending to the beauty he sees in its details by drawing and word-painting.

Traveling Mind-Set Quotes in The Art of Travel

The The Art of Travel quotes below are all either spoken by Traveling Mind-Set or refer to Traveling Mind-Set. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Art of Travel published in 2002.
Chapter 5 Quotes

One of Wordsworth’s poetic ambitions was to induce us to see the many animals living alongside us that we typically ignore, registering them only out of the corner of our eyes and feeling no appreciation for what they are up to and want: shadowy, generic presences such as the bird up on the steeple and the rustling creature in the bush. He invited his readers to abandon their usual perspectives and to consider for a time how the world might look through other eyes, to shuttle between the human and the natural perspective. Why might this be interesting, or even inspiring? Perhaps because unhappiness can stem from having only one perspective to play with.

Related Characters: Alain de Botton (speaker), William Wordsworth
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
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Traveling Mind-Set Term Timeline in The Art of Travel

The timeline below shows where the term Traveling Mind-Set appears in The Art of Travel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: On Habit
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
The Receptive Self Theme Icon Botton sees de Maistre’s book as founded on the “profound and suggestive insight” that travel’s mind-set often matters more than its destination. By viewing familiar places through the travel mind-set, he... (full context)
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
Art, Travel, and the Search for Happiness Theme Icon
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
...approach places without pride or unrealistic expectations, is the most important characteristic of the “ travelling mind-set .” People can revel in what they might consider “unremarkable small details” about the places... (full context)