Travel literature is naturally difficult owing to the simple fact that destinations are almost always more interesting and dreamy than the people writing about their experience going there. To that end, On the Face of It is meant to be as inspiring and insightful as famous titles in the travel genre by employing exactly, what I feel, are the ingredients that make travel such a uniquely special activity.
The addictive feeling of complete foreignness that makes up great travel comes about as each of the senses is pulled in various directions into areas of unfamiliarity. Just like this, On the Face of It explores the act of traveling, travelers as people, and the world at large by tugging the reader’s heart and mental faculties in different directions using combinations of information from great literature, scientific research, journalism, history, and a choice selection of personal anecdotes from many months of fulfilling travel around the world.
The premise is to use this broad variety of information to show how vitally important—not just travel— but travel at a high level can be for a fulfilling life. Separated into two parts, the first aims to explore why some people have the insatiable desire to travel and who they are, or might be, in our society, as well as the standout aspects of a traveler’s character and life experience. The second part looks at the world upon which the travelers take their journeys. It contains sections on culture, politics, war, colonialism, nature, time and place, religion, geography, and philosophy, and asks the questions “how does travel affect these,” or “how do these affect travel?