Following the receipt of a lifetime achievement award, Colin Thubron was asked by Telegraph Travel to look back on his 60 years of travelling and writing. In his article, published in print yesterday, he reported on his latest project, a book about the Amur river, and reflected on the current state of his trade:
Old travel writers like me (but I am only 79) may be assigned to a double irrelevance. The travel book is dead, it is said, along with the printed word itself. One theory has it that the Internet allows such access to the universe that travelling has become irrelevant for anything but holiday pleasure. Another affirms that the globe has shrunk, that all is familiar now, that tourists have blanketed the world and that nothing is left to astonish us. All this is illusion. The world is the size it always was, much of it unvisited, and a little human enterprise (with a dash of obtuseness) can take you into pure wilderness.