Pre-Trip Reading

Historic Image From "Tao of Travel"
Image courtesy of “Tao of Travel” by way of Henry Shukman’s NY Times review of the text. Click image to be redirected to the Shukman article.

During my daily perusal of all things Chile, I came upon this excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Chile & Easter Island guide. Relying upon images and captions the excerpt is quite brief, but still covers a good selection of pre-travel literature. Even a quick skim of a few pages will help perk your interest and bring your cultural/historical/political lens into better focus.

While I cannot speak to the literary quality narrative intrigue of each text, I am willing to personally vouch for Chatwin’s In Patagonia, any and all of Neruda’s poetry, and Guevara’s Motorcycle Diaries (I must [somewhat sheepishly] admit this recommendation is based on my analysis of the film adaptation of the text [but it was a film that I taught in one of my classes;  to demonstrate my literary and academic credentials - given my review of other Guevara texts, I'm willing to help contextualize the flim/text a bit more]). In addition to the Lonely Planet list, I encourage you to hunt down a copy of Neruda’s Memoirs, Theroux’s Old Patagonia Express and The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road (not specifically focused on Chile, but a great read for travel enthusiasts, students of cultural mindfulness, or anyone planning/hoping to travel), as well as a dual-authored text from Chatwin and Theroux – Patagonia Revisited.