Travel Now, Write Later
Anyone who has read The Sun Also Rises knows that this novel is also a wonderful travel book. Hemingway’s description of a bus trip to Spain is classic travel prose: “The road went along the summit of the Col and then dropped down, and the driver had to honk, and slow up, and turn out to avoid running into two donkeys that were sleeping in the road.” A trip like that in Spain in the 1920s is something most Volunteers can identify with today from their own overseas experiences.
Paul Theroux, it is generally agreed, reinvented the art of travel writing with The Great Railway Bazaar, published in 1975. He returned the genre to the place it held when Mary Kingsley and Evelyn Waugh were crossing Africa and globe-trotting the world. Many Peace Corps writers have followed, most notably Mike Tidwell, Thurston Clarke, Jeffrey Tayler, Karen Muller, Bill Barich, Karl Luntta, Stephan Foehr, Joe Cummings, Tom Brosnahan, and Peter Hessler, among many, many others.