Theroux begins by adapting Chekhov's words: "If you're afraid of loneliness, don't marry" into:"If you're afraid of loneliness, don't travel." It's a sobering start to an uplifting anthology.
Theroux's own travel writing sits alongside the wisdom of Samuel Johnson, Evelyn Waugh and more, who all prove that great enrichment can come through lonely journeys.
Chapters range from what to eat where, to the writers who have waxed lyrical about placed they never visited.
Aside from the first chapter of epigrams that sound like mystical hokum ("you cannot travel the path before you have become the path itself") this is a good manual for the thinking backpacker.