ON TRAVELING AND LITERATURE
There was Captain James Cook Diaries, Alexander Von Humboldt's narration of his sojourns to the regions of America from 1799 to 1804 which originally appeared in French before it was translated into other languages. It is thought that many naturalists, Charles Darwin included, were influenced by it. Other accounts of travel literature come from aristocrats, the clergy, and wealthy people with money to spare who travelled round the world to discover the past and art and architecture of other places in the world. These people may not be scholars or poets but they wrote about it.
One of the earliest of such people was Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote from 1850 to 1894. He wrote An Inland Voyage in 1878 before Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes in 1879. His books about his travel in France was among the first that presented hiking and camping as recreational activities. From Robert's narration which spoke of the use of one of the first sleeping bags, a new subgenre of Travel Literature began to germinate. It was about exploration and writing about it. It had been not been explored before so travel writers delved into it with enthusiasm.
Different travel writers use different approaches to write their travel journals, from the humorous to the serious; from the documentary style to the literary, as well as the journalistic approach. Travel books encompass guide books and is often associated with tourism.
Travel writing can be found almost anywhere, on websites and in books. They have been written and published by people from different walks of life: the military, the merchant, the working class, scientists, scholars, missionaries, migrants and educators among others.
American travel writer Bill Bryson, who is popular with this genre of literature won an award in 2011, The Golden Eagle Award, which was presented by the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild for his outstanding work in Travel Literature.
Bill Bryson also has the Durham University's library named after him for his inputs as the university's 11th chancellor from 2005 to 2011. Other notable and popular travel writers include Welsh author Jan Morris and American Paul Theroux.
Paul Theroux receives the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Mosquito Coast, his novel that was later made into a movie with the same name. In 1989, Paul was also awarded with the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for his book Riding The Iron Rooster.
The Welshman, Jan Morris was crowned with the Golden PEN Award which was run by English PEN because of his contribution to literature which they referred to as "a Lifetime's Distinguished Service To Literature. Travel Literature often dabbles into essay writing as shown by V. S. Naipaul's A Wounded Civilization about India in 1976.
Naiman's book showed his observations on a nation and her people, plus it also presented the occasion for such. Travel writing is merged with many such things as adventures, nature, pleasure, study, philosophy.
It is a very vast genre of literature and discoveries continue to be made day by day. Not only is travel writing educative, it also widens the scope of people's understanding of other cultures.
These days, travel writing is often mixed up in recreational activities like hiking and tourism.
Many writers are also delving into the genre. In this century, many writers and people are taking up travel writing as a hobby, others are taking it up as a career.