5 In Literature/ Travel/ Wanderlust Wednesday!

Wanderlust Wednesday- The Geography of Bliss

While on my vacation I read Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss.  It’s basically a series of travel essays from 10 different countries, where Wiener “engages in what is called la chasse au bonheur”, (French for the hunt for happiness)  He discovers what happiness is to each of these specific countries, and how their cultures influence this: whether it’s sitting in a cafe, spending time in nature, actually experiencing life, or getting so drunk you forget you’re unhappy.

Besides discussions on happiness you get an insight on his destinations, and their ways of life.  It’s full of great descriptions, and is a beautiful insight into other cultures.  There are a few lines that really stuck out that I want to share:

“Travel, at its best, transforms us in ways that aren’t always apparent until we’re back home.”

“We tend to think of culture as something old and fragile.  Culture is what we inherit from our ancestors and either preserve, or more likely squander.”

“I believe, now more than ever in the transformative promise of geography.  Change your location and you just may change yourself.  It’s not that distant lands contain some special “energy” or that thier inhabitants possess secret knowledge (though they may) but rather something more fundamental: By relocating ourselves, reorienting ourselves, we shake loose the shackles of expectation.  Adrift in a different place we give ourselves permission to be different people.”

“Oddly, for a nation that so celebrates wanderlust, a nation who was practically founded on restlessness, we Americans take a dim view of those who embark on undirected travel.  Better living through geography strikes us as a cop-out.  Rootless souls, we suspect, must be running away from something.  Perhaps, but they might also be running to something.”

I really enjoyed this book, and hope, if you read this, you will too.  Also, I’d love to hear from others who have read this, and tell me what you thought.

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  • Reply
    August 16, 2012 at 1:35 am

    that book is going on my list of books to read… soon! seeing as i have declared 2012 as my year of bliss, it sounds like the perfect resource for my research on bliss. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 16, 2012 at 7:55 am

      This would be perfect for that. It really is great- I read it with a highlighter because there were so many things I wanted to remember from it. I hope you enjoy it, and that it helps with your year of bliss!

  • Reply
    Anita Mac
    August 16, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Sounds like this book is right up my alley! Currently living blissfully without home – hope it comes in a downloadable format! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      August 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

      This would be great to read on your travels (if you have time, of course!) What kind of e-reader do you use?

  • Reply
    How to Feed Your Travel Cravings When You're Stuck at Home
    January 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    […] added bonus to be able to get some writing inspiration as well! A few of my all-time favorites are The Geography of Bliss, Holy Cow, Angelina Jolie’s Notes From My Travels and Desert […]

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