Most people don’t think of Michael Crichton as a travel writer. But I do.
I discovered his book, , about 15 years ago, and have had tremendous respect for him ever since. He went on to write blockbuster titles such as Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, but it’s my tattered paperback of that has stayed on my bookshelf all these years. I carry it with me to my workshops and read excerpts to my students and it’s the book that I go back to when I want a dose of travel philosophy.
My favorite paragraph is in the Preface:
“Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes–with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That’s not always comfortable, but it always invigorating.”
Reading this for the first time as a young(ish) backpacker, I was moved. I totally “got” traveling and the reason why I had to keep getting out there for more. I would have loved to hear more of his philosophizing about travel and his experiences galavanting around the globe. But he went on to a very successful career as a pop fiction writer and the creator of ER. Bummer for us travelers!
Michael Crichton died yesterday at age 66 of cancer.
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