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In this wide-ranging interview, Emily Thomas talks about the importance of perspective and time in travel writing, how sublime moments of pleasurable terror make travel so interesting, how to overcome fears both real and imaginary, as well as the ethics of doom tourism, and how VR (virtual reality) might change how we travel in future.
Dr. Emily Thomas is an associate professor in philosophy at Durham University in England. She’s also the author of several books, including The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad.
- Traveling is about experiencing otherness, going to places that are new and unfamiliar and trying to figure out how to make sense of them
- Sublime moments in travel as a kind of pleasurable terror
- Tackling fears, both real and imagined
- Research before a trip, and arriving in Malawi, Africa
- How do travel books blur the line between fiction and nonfiction, and why is this so important to address stereotypes
- “There is no view from nowhere.” Perspective in travel writing
- Maps as processes, and how they change over time. The importance of knowing ‘when’ a book was written and the perspective of the writer.
- Doom tourism
- How VR (virtual reality) might improve aspects of travel, and what we want to keep as in-person experiences
- Recommended travel books
You can find Emily at www.EmilyThomasWrites.co.uk and on Twitter @emilytwrites
Shareable and header image generated by Jo Frances Penn on Midjourney.