Before I mention why you should read travelogues, let’s go over why travelogues are read in the first place. Travelogues are basically short travel stories. Most of us read it to satiate our wanderlust at one point or another. But, what distinguishes travelogues from, let’s say, Lonely Planet articles of the place? Are they not basically the same thing?
Travelogues are not just descriptions of different places. They’re short stories written from the perspective of the person visiting the said place. Therefore, multiple travelogues written about the same place will definitely differ as everyone has unique experiences in their journey. That’s where the major benefit of reading travelogue comes in.
Now, most of us will read travel stories when we’re about to visit that particular place. Just reading descriptions of the place can never truly prepare you for what you are about to experience. On the other hand, first-hand accounts of visiting the place cannot only prepare you for your next visit but it also provides you with some new insights about your favourite spots. You can understand different people’s perspectives and their take on the city or country. Isn’t that exciting?
For me, travelogues are nothing short of tales of adventure. At least, the well written ones are. In my hectic day-to-day life, it’s not always possible to keep up with reading a novel. Even the thought of picking up a short 300-page novel sometimes exhausts my brain. Therefore, to quench my reading needs, I instead resorted to the tales of strangers embarking on journeys to faraway lands. I indulge in their tales of woe and wonder as they plunge themselves into cavernous depths or navigate through labyrinthine mountains. Some of these cities and these escapades might seem straight out of a story book and there is this weird comfort in knowing that these are not just fables; these are real stories and real places. I revel in knowing that there is a chance that someday I might get to visit these seemingly magical places as well. As you can see, travelogues are more than just details of a particular place. A well-written travelogue can transport you to the place itself and you can live vicariously through the writer. More importantly, you get a more personal and in-depth view of the city you always dreamt of visiting.