In a series of three programmes for the “One to One” slot on Radio 4, Lynne Truss is looking at travel and what we get out of it. Well, what other people get out of it, because although she’s done a lot of it in 25 years as a writer, she hates it. In the first programme, aired on Tuesday, she talked to Geoff Dyer, a writer who does like to travel, but whom I associate more with genre-hopping than border-crossing. Dyer’s had his disappointments, particularly with literary and artistic pilgrimages, but the natural world rarely lets him down, and he firmly shares the view of Annie Dillard that “We are here on the planet only once, and we might as well get a feel for the place.” Coincidentally, in a week when we have been remembering the end of the First World War, he says that one of the places that has most moved and inspired him is the battlefield of the Somme.
In forthcoming episodes, Truss meets Jillian Moody, who crossed the world in a campervan with her husband and three young daughters, and takes a walk on the Old Way in East Sussex with Will Parsons, co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust.