Francis Bacon is often referred to as the father of English Essay with his essays
discussing topics of ethics, governance and pragmatic living. Therefore his style of
writing is very prosaic, normative and formalistic.
Travel is education
In “Of Travel”, Bacon delves into the various travels we experience in life. According to
him the biggest advantage of travel is the education on receives on his travels and
journeys through space and time.
We often limit our understanding f education and knowledge creation to mere reading
and writing but the art of travel adds another dimension to it. Before one starts his
travel he/she must prepare hard for it. This includes learning about the place of your
travel, its language and culture.
The age that Bacon lived in had different travel times and so the author emphasizes the
need for preparation before traveling. Normally, having a company of an experienced
person is recommended for young travelers. The lived experience of such
accompaniment will only enhance one’s own experience and help tackle various
challenges during the same. Bacon encourages the traveler to take advantage of others’
experience and knowledge rather than go into new situations and places blindly. This
also pertains to using local guides and travel counselors if need be.
Preparation is the key
He entreats doing research about the popular cuisine, available facilities like
accommodation communication etc regarding the place. He goes on to recommend
people to maintain a travel diary chronicling their lessons and experiences. This creates
a veritable memory of the place and allows the person to revisit the place even afterword
through the written word.
He advises people to enjoy the history of the place, stored in its structures like churches,
mosques, monuments, public courts and palaces and even ruins. You might be able to
see fencing demonstrations or horse shows, though nowadays you're likely not to run
into many "capital executions." You can take One may also witness the local arts, plays,
and other activities that are endemic to the place.
Next, Bacon suggests the use of a guidebook traverse the local routes and never to
overstay at any one city or same part of any city. The key is to seek out the diverse
places and their sections.
The importance of total immersion in the place
One important warning Bacon gives is to not get caught up in the company of your
fellow countrymen or travelers but rather try to engage with the residents and natives of
the place. Try and learn about their place and enquire about the places to see, what to
eat and things to do. This will enhance your travel and may reveal some real gems that
may be undiscovered otherwise.
It is important to isolate oneself from the things that one is habitual too and the
comforts that one finds with the known and familiar. It is important to savor the
difference and uniqueness of each new place one visits.
He highlights the importance of to familiarize oneself with the officials like ambassadors
etc while traveling even though that might not be as relevant in the modern age of
internet and accessibility to information unlike Bacon’s age. But it is still advisable to be
on good behavior on your travels nonetheless. Some precautions that the traveler must
make include: to stay away from quarrels and rapacious people. One must also be aware
of the various dangers present in the place including diseases and natural disasters.
It is never a good-bye
The next and probably one of the most important things according to Bacon is to
preserve connections with those places and its people even after you return back home.
When one returns home, it is important to not lose contact with those places countries.
Once you return and resume your previous ways and activities, it is good to take on
board some new mannerisms, customs and habits of the place you visited. To learn from
one’s own experience is crucial to self growth. It enriches our lives and adds more value
and meaning to our daily routines that we are accustomed to back at our home.
A man of many talents, Francis Bacon was the first major essayist in the English
language. This essay is part of his impressive collection of essays on several topics. The
validity of Bacon's advice in ‘Of Travel’, like maintaining a travel journal, seeking
guidance of the experienced people, exploring the culture of the place etc is still intact.
Even after five centuries and world of development in terms of travel and
communication, the basics remain the same. Bacon is able to encapsulate them
beautifully in his words.
Through his essay, Bacon was able to highlight and even celebrate the richness and
value that travel adds to a person’s knowledge, temperament, personality and life at