There is nothing like a travel book to get you in the mood to set sail and see the world. There are hundreds, if not thousands of travel books in a variety of genres from the conventional travel guides to those a little more niche, (or is that weird?) to tempt you. Here are just 5 travel books you may wish to read, but remember this is my choice and you may have other tastes.
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. Is this a travel book or a hugely satirical novel? In my opinion, despite its age, this is one of the classic travel books. This book started out a series of articles Twain wrote for a San Francisco Newspaper in 1910/1911. The book covers a wonderful journey through Europe and the Middle East with some wonderful satirical observances of people, culture and countries.
Epic Drives of the World, Lonely Planet. A list of travel books would not be complete without something from Lonely Planet and Epic Drives of the World is a must read. Filled with amazing photographs from real travellers this book takes you on a number of road trips around the world with everything from Australia to Zambia covered. This is truly a book that will set your heart pounding to get behind the wheel and just drive and enjoy.
Ascent, by Chris Bonington. For the more adventurous Ascent, by Chris Bonington is a fascinating must read travel book. It more than just a superb travel guide, if you want to call it that, of mountains and places to climb. The book tells the epic tales of Chris Bonington’s many climbs many adventures from near death to amazing people and places discovered. Climbing and travelling since the 1950s this a book that is not just inspiring but a wonderful read.
Australia: The Ultimate Australia Travel Guide By A Traveller For A Traveller. This is one of the best and most accurate Australian travel books you will find. With some amazing photographs, plenty of detail and nice touch that explains some of the history of the country. For anyone planning a trip to Australia this book will help plan the perfect vacation. Australia: The Ultimate Australia Travel Guide By A Traveller For A Traveller just also happens to be a really nice read.
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson. Of course this list has to have something from Bill Bryson and A Walk in the Woods just happens to be one of the best. For anyone who has walked or intends to walk Appalachian Trail this book is a must read. In typical Bryson style it tells the story of his unsuccessful walk through some of the best natural places on the planet. If you are a nature lover and you only ever own one travel book this is the one for you.
These are just 5 travel books that are among the best. Yes they may seem a little quirky and not your average travel book but travel itself should be fun and of course a little quirky. It is the quirks of your journey that make your adventure what it is and these books may just inspire you.
Can you imagine what it would be like if you were unable to have Christmas if you could not speak ‘Christmasese’? If Christmas had a language all of its own, would you take the time to learn it? What would it be like if you saw people loving Christmas and enjoying it because they spoke ‘Christmasese’ and you couldn’t? It would not quite be the same, and imagine if Christmas didn’t come to you but you had to go to it?
As we all know there are some words that are associated only with Christmas, and some things that worldwide are part and parcel of Christmas. In the many and varied traditions, these words would somehow form a part of ‘Christmasese’ and you would have to learn them. These words might include:
Mistletoe – a small twig like plant that people kiss under
Presents – gifts given to people (or pets) wrapped up in shiny paper
Christ - The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is the reason for celebrating Christmas
Holly – a dark green bush with sharp pointed leaves and red berries often used for decorations
Mince Pie – a sweet pie eaten at Christmas
Tinsel - strings of shiny, glittering tassels that are used as decoration
Carols – songs sung to celebrate the season
Turkey – a large bird, killed and cooked for lunch – normally very dry
For anyone coming to visit the land of Christmas, these simple words would be very helpful. Phrases like “Merry Christmas” and even ‘Happy New Year” would be frequently heard, or a ‘Christmasese’ translation at least. A large, portly gentleman would be seen wearing red, and cheerfully shouting, “Ho Ho Ho” and calling out these strange words: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, and unmistakably Rudolph, but of course, we all know they are the names of his reindeer and you only ever hear them spoken about at this time of year, but if you couldn’t speak ‘Christmasese’ you would not have a clue!
Christmas would not be Christmas is if you had no idea what was going on, and if people spoke in a language you didn’t understand, you would feel like an outsider. The meaning of Christmas might just get a little lost, but thankfully, one does not have to learn a language to enjoy Christmas. Christmas is a universal language, understood by everyone, and whether Christmas is celebrated in Spain, China, Vietnam or Poland, while traditions may change, the language that is quintessentially Christmas doesn’t.
The language of Christmas is a language of love, happiness and hope, it can be translated into any spoken language you choose, but the feeling, the sentiment, and the meaning is the same wherever you find yourself. Christmas is a time where one language is spoken. The barriers of language that we know exist, can fall away when a welcoming smile, a handshake and a hug speak more than words themselves, as Christmas comes from the heart and is easily shared.
Celebrate Christmas this year, and as you do, think of your loved ones, and then think of people all over the world who are celebrating the same but saying any one of the following…
عيد ميلاد مجيد Joyeux Noël!, Frohe Weihnachten!, 圣诞快乐, Καλά Χριστούγεννα!, メリークリスマス, ¡Feliz Navidad!, Selamat Hari Natal!, สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส, C рождеством! and Buon Natale!
You don’t have to go and visit 'Christmas' and no matter what language you speak, the sentiment is the same, and we wish you a Merry Christmas.
“Merry Christmas” from VLLC
Travelling is an exciting opportunity which can be enhanced by learning the language before you go. This blog contains some interesting articles about language and travel.