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2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
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Interview with Craig Storti, Author of Why Travel Matters

I’m delighted to introduce you to Craig Storti and his thoughts on the powerful impact of travel. There is currently no book that explores the travel experience in such depth, makes such a strong case for travel, or offers a detailed guide for how to travel so the experience is truly life-changing for the traveler. Why Travel Matters is not about the trip but the consequences of the trip, about what actually happens to people when they travel. It explains why the individual who comes back from a journey is not the same one who set out—and why that’s important. Craig Storti infuses his own experiences traveling the world for 30+ years with quotations, insights, reflections, and commentary from famous travelers, great travel writers, historians and literary masters. Storti’s vast knowledge of the literature makes him an expert curator of astute gems from the likes of: St. Augustine, Mark Twain, Somerset Maugham, D. H. Lawrence, Bruce Chatwin, Aldous Huxley and more. Enjoy!

A Q&A with Craig Storti about Why Travel Matters: A Guide to the Life-Changing Effects of Travel

Why did you write this book?
I had to. Travel increases our understanding of our self and the world in ways no other human activity can. What could be more important than advancing such a noble cause?

But don’t people already know this? That travel changes your life?
Experienced travelers certainly do, and would-be travelers are hoping that will be true. But few people can articulate exactly how travel produces its changes or describe what those changes are in any detail. That’s the contribution of this book.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?
I want people to be excited by travel, to put down this book and say: I’ve got to go somewhere. I want them to be so inspired by the opportunities for personal development the book describes that they can’t wait to take a trip—and grow.

What qualifies you to write this book?
Forty years of reading travel narratives and almost forty years working in the field of intercultural communication which has taught me what it means to encounter people unlike oneself.

Hasn’t this been done before? What makes this book original?
You would think it had been done before, and in fact I waited twenty-five plus years for someone else to do this, one of the usual suspects (the great living travel writers such as Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, Jonathan Raban, William Least-Heat Moon or some of the Brits) but none of them ever did. So I stepped, not unwillingly, into the breach. What’s original about the book is that it is about the consequences of travel, not about The Trip but the meaning of The Trip; it’s not about the places but the impact of the places on the traveler. The other thing that makes it original is the more than 150 quotations from the great travelers and travel writers, from Homer and Gilgamesh on down.

If you could only say one thing about this book to prompt someone to buy it, what would it be?
Easy: There’s nothing out there remotely like it! It’s sui generis, a real original.

Do you talk about your own personal travel experiences in this book?
I do include a few personal anecdotes (from Morocco, India, and Nepal) but to be honest I have chosen to draw more upon the fabulous anecdotes from any number of brilliant travel narratives. I know readers always like to know a bit about the author, so I have added a few bits. But in the end this book is not about any particular traveler or journey; it’s about the effects of the journey.

If you had to pick three messages you are trying to convey what would they be?

  • That travel is synonymous with personal growth.
  • That travel undermines ethnocentrism, the origin of intolerance.
  • That if you’re not careful you will be a tourist and miss out on the life-changing effects of travel. Be a traveler, not a tourist. ​


About the Author:
Craig Storti is an expert on cultural communication with over thirty years of experience helping business people, diplomats, civil servants, and foreign aid workers engage effectively with people from other cultures and diverse backgrounds. He leads cross-cultural workshops for international agencies and organizations on four continents, and assists numerous corporations and government agencies to better manage global teams and culturally diverse workforces. He has lived nearly a quarter of his life abroad-with extended stays in Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures-he speaks French, Arabic, and Nepali. Learn more at

About Nicholas Brealey Publishing:
Nicholas Brealey Publishing, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, is known for its evidence-based, practical books that span the business category and are geared toward working professionals—whether they are new to the workforce, experienced, seeking new approaches or career changes, and anything in between. With a core focus on coaching, leadership, cultural competency, global business, and all aspects of running organizations, Nicholas Brealey also publishes in supporting categories including career/business, self-help, and psychology.

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