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An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington

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Idiot Abroad

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I have watched over half of the ‘An Idiot Abroad’ tv series and thoroughly enjoyed it. Karl’s reaction often make me laugh out loud, plus you get to see the sites & the nitty-gritty of the places he visits. 

While Stacey and I were picking out books in the coziest Vientiane bookstore she grabbed this book. I just finished it and like the TV series it made me laugh out loud several times. I found during the show (and my thoughts were backed up reading this book) that even though his comments are phrased insensitively, a lot of them are quite insightful. I also love that he is realistic about the not so pretty sides of travel and the disappointment that can come with being pumped about visiting a particular, popular site. (see below) Obviously, I don’t agree with all of his statements on culture and people, but I do understand the feeling of culture shock.


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The book was really funny, but having heard that there was a second book I decided that I wouldn’t pay for it because it’s quite similar to the show, but I would definitely read it because it is entertaining. I like the element of the show that you get to see what he’s doing so you get that extra boost of wanderlust. Obviously, Karl isn’t going to write books filled line after line of inspiring words, but I did find a few lines that I really liked and found insightful (one is from Stephan Merchant, but hey, it was in the book).


“It was interesting sat in the can looking out on all the madness, but I knew that at some point the can would pull up and I would have to step out into this crazy place.” –On India

“The other reason I’m finding it hard to relax is that there always seems to be something going on – something to take in. I think I’ve blinked less since I’ve been here as I don’t want to miss anything, so my eyes have been open longer than normal. Maybe that’s why my eyes are so tired.” –On India

“Yes, but, Karl, I have said to you before, the reason why people travel is to broaden their minds. The one thing about you is that you’re not good at empathy. You find it very hard to put yourself in other people’s shoes. This is important. This is an eye-opener, s discovery for you. You get to see the world for what it is.” –Steve Merchant to Karl

“I’d tell him not to bother with the ‘Wonders’ and tell him just to sit back and watch rather than go chasing specific experiences. India was a mad place. It’s like when you use a Dyson vacuum cleaner on a floor that looked quite clean, but then you realize there was all sorts of dust and mud on it. India is like that – it seems normal, but when you look closer loads of off stuff is going on.” –On What he would advise Michael Palin about the Wonders

Have you seen or read An Idiot Abroad? What are your feelings about Karl, his thoughts on travel and his reactions to sites, cultures and people?

To keep up with my travels in real-time and read more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

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    Daydreams of Indian Adventures - For the Love of Wanderlust
    August 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

    […] Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington […]

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