In 1608, Thomas Coryat—the man described by writer Robin Hunt as “the first pure English tourist”—rambled across Europe, on foot and alone, simply for the pleasure of doing so. Nearly four centuries later, Hunt has set off from England to recreate Coryat’s journey. After announcing this five-month project on the group blog Contemporary Nomad, he promptly began BETWIXT, a site where he’ll chronicle his travels using advantages old Tom never had:
Unlike Thomas Coryat, who wrote in a notebook with a quill pen and whose preparation for the trip amounted to little more than watching The Merchant of Venice and joking with Shakespeare, I have several additional tools at my disposal. These include an Apple laptop computer, Leica cameras, a Tri-band mobile, an I-Pod, microphone and a blogger account.
Follow Hunt’s journey at his blog, a quirky and already overwhelming compendium of anecdotes, photos, observations, and encounters with the oddballs and ancient mariners one necessarily meets on a walk across western Europe. The whole business may strike you as fascinating, bemusing, perhaps even frustrating. I find Hunt’s Coryat-quest an inspiration—even if what it inspires on these restless summer evenings is something close to envy.
4 thoughts on ““Takes more imagination when everything’s remote control…””
Thanks Jeff, don’t envy too hard. Tonight I listened to three 18 year old male models debate whether to take taxis or “just a car all day”to get to their “castings” in Milan tomorrow. Hard call, of course. Meanwhile, back in the 30 euro hotel, feet hurting, and four pieces to write…But thank you.
Hi, Robin–great to hear from you. Be assured, it’s a very benign form of envy…
Your book looks great. When is it out?
The hardcover edition was out in November 2006; the paperback will be out in November 2007. This midway-point lull finally gave me the opportunity to get this blog up and running.