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TravelMy Favourite Things: Levison Wood, Explorer And Author

My Favourite Things: Levison Wood, Explorer And Author

My Favourite Things: Levison Wood, Explorer And Author
By Hong Kong Tatler
June 14, 2019
The British explorer and author, whose new documentary series, Arabia: A Journey Through the Heart of the Middle East, will be aired this summer, shares five of his inspirations

A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush By Eric Newby

Stories are what set me on my odyssey; books transported me from my childhood bedroom in Staffordshire to exotic corners of the world. Eric Newby set a new bar for travel writing in the mid-20th century.

He hilariously narrated his adventures in Afghanistan, treating a climbing expedition to the summit of Mir Samir like a walk in the park. I love his style and self-effacement.

See also: Editors' Picks: 9 Books To Read This Summer 

Richard Francis Burton

Photo: Courtesy of Ulton Archive/Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Courtesy of Ulton Archive/Wikimedia Commons

Burton was probably the greatest of all the Victorian explorers. He was a passionate anthropologist who was utterly fearless and got truly stuck in. He spoke 27 languages. I think we’d have had a lot of fun adventuring together; we share the same passion for meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.

The Grand Tour

Photo: AFP Photo
Photo: AFP Photo

Not the Amazon series! I studied the history of travel writing at university and was fascinated by this phenomenon of young Britons travelling around Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.

I read the personal diaries of eccentrics like James Boswell and realised that what they got up to wasn’t all that different from the gap-year youngsters of today.

See also: My Favourite Things: Lady Victoria Hervey

The Meditations By Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, aka the 'philosopher king', is one of antiquity’s greatest thinkers, and his lessons in The Meditations are wise, inspiring and full of foresight; for example, “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

Nepal

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite, but of all the countries I’ve travelled to, Nepal has a special place in my heart. The landscape is sublime, the environment is diverse, but above all the people are warm and welcoming.

See also: Ladakh: The Land Of Ancient Monasteries, Nomadic Tribes And High Passes

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