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Why We Travel

Title- Why we travel

The title raises the question about the need of travelling. It makes the readers curious to read the essay. The writer gives his ideas about the purposes of travelling.

 ‘Why we Travel’, by Pico Iyer is a classic essay. He gives the reasons for his passion to travel and shares them with the readers. He quotes famous writers and puts forth his own observations while describing his own instinct to travel.

Writer- Siddarth Pico Raghavan Iyer

He is also known as Pico Iyer. He is a British –born American essayist  and novelist. He is best known for his travel writing. He has written several books including Video Night in Kathmandu (1988), The Lady and The Monk (1991), The Global Soul (2000) and The Man within My Head (2012). He is working as an essayist for Time since 1986. He also publishes regularly in The New York Review of Books and The New York Times and other renowned publications.

Ice Breakers Activities-

1) Share your views on how Travelling can be a hobby.


Yes, travelling can be a hobby. We can develop travelling as a hobby. It will help us to use our time suitably and effectively. Travelling helps us to understand various cultures, customs, traditions, and style of living. It improves our social skills and communication. Purpose of travelling is to forget our worries, stressful thoughts and release the tension. All these are the also the benefits of pursuing a hobby. So, travelling is a hobby.

2) Complete the web giving benefits of travelling.

To be careful and cautiousTravel Teaches YouTo prepare or organize
To be prompt and quickTo improve social skills
To boost confidenceTo know different cultures
To try new cuisinesTo develop communication

3) Make a list of your expectations when you travel to some new place.


When I travel to some new place, my expectations are as follows-

1) To get good accommodation.

2) To get suitable transport system.

3) Food should be delicious and available whenever hungry.

4) The place should be safe to travel.

5) There should be interesting places to visit.

6) To get good help, if needed.

7) To get affordable food.

8) To get true information about the new places.

9) To get guide to get proper information.

10) To get entertainment.

11) To get pleasant company.

12) To get good weather.

4) Complete the list of various types of travels.

List of various types of travels:

1) Solo Travel

2) Business Travel

3) Medical Travel

4) Culinary Travel

5) Educational Travel

6) Religious Travel

7) Adventure Travel

8) Family Travel

9) Group Travel

Why We Travel-


Guess the meaning-

riches are differently dispersed- rich cultures that are found in different areas

George Santayana- George Agustin Nicolas  Ruiz de Santayanay Borras- a Spanish philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.

lapidary- relating to the engraving, cutting, or polishing of stones and gems (of language- elegant and concise.)

solitudes- a lonely or uninhabited place.

running some pure hazard- accepting a risk or danger

travail- hard work

sovereign- supreme and effective

provisional- temporary

provincial- limited in outlook, narrow minded

complacencies- satisfaction with one’s own achievements

abstraction- something that exists only as an idea

Michael Jordan- an American former professional basketball player

Kyoto- once the capital of Japan, now is a city on the island of Honshu

ikebana- Japanese art of flower arrangement

impoverished- reduced to poverty

Proust- a French novelist, critic and essayist, one of the most influential authors of the 20th century

subtler- more difficult to grasp

resuscitate- make active and vigorous

Hazlitt- an English essayist, drama and literary critic, painter, social commentator and philosopher

impulse- a sudden strong and unreflective urge to act

Oliver Cromwell – an English military and political leader

educes- brings out or develops something latent or potential

risumi- a risumi is a special kind of resume (frame of life)

crucible- a situation in which people or things are severely tested

monasticism- living like monks or their way of life, living alone

Camus- Albert Camus -a French philosopher, author and journalist

Christopher Isherwood- an Anglo- American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, autobiographer, and diarist

Wistfully- full of longing

ecstasy- great joy

scrutiny- careful and detailed examination of something

ex-stasis- boredom

Teriyaki- a Japanese dish of fish or meat marinated in soya sauce and grilled

inalieanably- in a manner that makes it impossible for something to taken away.

Oolong teas- dark coloured partly fermented China teas

exotica- strikingly different or colourful, belonging to distant foreign countries

many- tongued- a person who speaks many languages

mongrel- someone of mixed cultures

inheritance- the acquisition of possession from past generations

notions- ideas

in flux- undergoing constant frequent changes

Sir John  Mendeville- the supposed author of ‘The Travels of Sir John Mendeville,’ a travel memoir in French which first circulated between 1357-1371

ineffable- too great or extreme to be expressed in words.

Emerson- Ralph Waldo Emerson- an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher and poet.

Thoreau- Henry David Thoreau- an American essayist, poet and philosopher.

Sir Thomas Browne-  an English polymath and author of varied works.

Sagely- wisely

Prodigies- wonders

Peter Matthiessen- an American novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer, zen teacher and CIA officer

Oliver Sacks-  a British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science

atoll- a carol island consisting of a reef surrounding a lagoon

prejudice- bias

fosters- encourages

apostles- vigorous and pioneering supporters of an idea or a cause

See More –

The New Dress

Big Data Big Insights

The Cop and the Anthem

On Saying ‘Please”

An Astrologer’s Day

See activities with model answers in the following book-

Price Rs. 380 + Rs. 50 Post or Courier Charges

Total= Rs. 430

To buy the Activity Work Book, do send whats message to:

Prof. Tushar Chavan


Brainstorming Activities Why We Travel

A1) Read the first two paragraphs and discuss the need to travel.


We need to travel for the following reasons-

1) We have to lose our self-identity for some time and gain it again in a new way.

2) To see and learn the world with open hearts and clear eyes and get more about the world than what our newspapers tell us.

3) To get knowledge about the cultures which are rich than ours.

4) To become ignorant and young fools again to desire to learn more.

5) To get solitudes and enjoy life accepting dangers and risks.

6) To sharpen the edge of life and to understand the hardship of life.

7) To broaden perception about others’ thinking.

8) To leave personal beliefs and attitudes at home.


(i) Read the sentence ‘If a diploma can famously in cultural relativism.’

(Pick the sentence which gives the meaning of the above statement from the alternatives given below.)

(a) A diploma certificate can be used as a passport and a passport can be used as a diploma certificate.

(b) If one has a diploma, he does not need a passport and if he has a passport, he does not need a diploma.

(c) One can acquire permission to travel to foreign countries for educational purposes based on her academic achievements and travelling to foreign countries enriches one the most regarding the knowledge and wisdom of the world.


(c) One can acquire permission to travel to foreign countries for educational purposes based on her academic achievements and travelling to foreign countries enriches one the most regarding the knowledge and wisdom of the world.

(ii) Prepare a list of the litterateurs and their quotations mentioned by the writer in the essay.


The litterateurs and their quotations-

1) George Santayana.

“We need sometimes to escape into open solitudes into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what.”

2) Marcel Proust

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new places but in seeing with new eyes.”

3) Oliver Cromwell

 “A man never goes so far as when he doesn’t know where he is going.”

4) Camus

 “What gives value to travel is fear.”

5) Christopher Isherwood

 “The ideal travel book should be perhaps a little like a crime story in which you’re in search of something.”

6) Emerson

 “Travelling is a fool’s paradise.”

7) Thoreau :

“I have travelled a good deal in Concord.”

8) Sir Thomas Browne :

“We carry within us the wonders we seek without us. There is Africa and her prodigies in us.”




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