Travel writers have been telling travelers where to go—and what to do there—for several millennia. Dating from even before the familiar biblical and classical tales of Exodus, Homer’s Odyssey, and Herodotus’s Histories, writing and travel have long had an intimate relationship. Pausanias’s Description of Greece, published around 160 CE, is the world’s oldest surviving guidebook, a 10-volume treatise on where to stay and what to eat. Medieval tales of crusade and pilgrimage such as The Canterbury Tales heralded new modes of observation and experience in travel, while works like Marco Polo’s Travels themselves came to influence the journeys and documentations of explorers such as Christopher Columbus. The fictional journeys of protagonist Raphael Hythloday in Thomas More’s Utopia became a major influence for later writers, and ...

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