“I have always been delighted by Deleuze’s disdain for ‘travelling'”: K-Punk’s holiday write-ups (scroll up on the main page of his site for some stuff on Portmeiron). I can’t claim more than the most nodding aquaintance with M.Deleuze but I’ve always been broadly suspicious of the cult of travel, too. Or – let’s be a devil and capitalise – Travel, since going to places remains as enjoyable as ever.

The cult of Travel is hard to pin down. It may very well not exist outside my grumpy brain. It’s best understood by going into a bookshop and having a poke around the ‘Travel Writing’ section. I did this the other day and found myself reminded of Kevin Rowland. Somewhere in Dexys’ Don’t Stand Me Down album there’s an exchange where KR has been listening to the radio. “It was alright, it was OK – I’m not lodging any complaints or anything – there was just one problem.” “What was that?” “It all sounded the same.” “You mean it all sounded similar?” “I mean it all sounded the same.”

What Kevin’s talking about – I reckon – is that glazed impression of homogenity that happens when you’re looking for something that just isn’t there. I don’t know what I was looking for in the travel section. Well, I do – I was looking for a book I actually wanted to read. But what might constitute that book? I don’t know. What I do know is that everything there, from Round Ireland With A Fridge to Tuscany Days to Tibet: A Love Story, WASN’T IT.

Maybe it’s a definition thing. When someone starts thinking they’re doing ‘travel writing’, they lose me. That’s one reason I wanted to do a month on Blog 7 about travel, to see what we’d do with the idea. If you want to join in, or if you want to tell me what travel writing I need to read to change my mind, email me. Meanwhile, bon voyage Blog 7.

Blog 7