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Few things are as exciting as the idea of travelling somewhere far from home. Somewhere with better weather, more interesting customs and more inspiring landscapes. So why are we so often dissatisfied with the reality of travel? In "The Art of Travel" Alain de Botton, author of "The Consolidations of Philosophy", takes us on a journey through the satisfactions and disappointments of travelling. Dealing - among other things - with airports, exotic carpets, holiday romances and hotel mini-bars, this book reveals the hidden motivations, expectations and complications of our voyages into the wide world. Accompanying him on his journey are writers, artists and thinkers who were inspired by travel in all its forms: Gustave Flaubert, Edward Hopper, Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, Ruskin - all ready to give us their insights on the curious business of travelling. The perfect antidote to those guidebooks that tell us what to do when we get there, "The Art of Travel" tries to explain why we really wanted to go there in the first place - and modestly suggests how we could learn to be happier on our journeys.