This paper is published in Volume-4, Issue-5, 2018
Barna Bijay Basumatary
Gossaigaon College, Gossaigaon, Assam, India
Pub. Date
23 October, 2018
Paper ID
Travelogue, Otherness, Self Identity, Mental Displacement, Travel Documentation


Barna Bijay Basumatary. Importance of travel writing in literature, International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology,

Barna Bijay Basumatary (2018). Importance of travel writing in literature. International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology, 4(5)

Barna Bijay Basumatary. "Importance of travel writing in literature." International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology 4.5 (2018).


Travel writing as a genre of literature has not been a contemporary happening, as a cursory look at the annals of literary history shows us that from the biblical times till the present day, though the forms and media have changed, the passion of travel writing has remained much in vogue. The paper explores the ways in which travel writing has been an indispensable part of English literature, both in terms of its contribution to its richness as well as an avenue for human’s development. Human’s psychology is positively impacted through travel and the resultant travel memoirs prepared - discoveries, mysteries and socio-cultural planes give humans experiences with nature and people inhabiting them, so as to result in various forms of travel writing - travelogues, guides and stories. These, in turn, inspire others to undertake a similar travel and experience firsthand their “acquired knowledge from travel writings”. The paper also explores the ways in which travel accounts of voyage and discovery of new lands led to the development of the genre of travel writing in literature, and how it had positive externalities towards enriching other disciplines as well like history, geography, science etc. In turn, it has also been influenced by the socio-cultural settings, as well as questions of identity in society. The paper also traces the writing styles of Charles Darwin in his masterpiece “Origin of Species” and how that set the path right for the flourishing of the genre further. Charles Dickens, Carl Thompson, James Cook, Lawrence, Henry James are other luminaries who embraced literature through their travel writings. The paper also throws light on the inhibitions and bottlenecks which a traveler has to face while on travel - alienation from the homeland, feeling of otherness among a foreign crowd, loss of self-identity and seclusion from the larger group, inability to comprehend alien culture, religion, customs etc. But overcoming such challenges is the very essence of a hardcore travel writer - the passion to undertake travel against all odds to distant places to feel oneness with nature and hence contribute to humankind’s development.