It takes more than money and free time to make a journey worth telling to the world, one that stays relevant for decades to come. This book by Bruce Chatwin is one such thing. He tells the story of travelling to Patagonia, the southernmost tip of South America nowadays a heavily exotic and exoticized place for tourists and backpackers.
What makes his travel to Patagonia special is that he didn’t go to tourist objects only. He went TO PATAGONIA to see the whole Patagonia to see its nature and to talk to its people, mostly people whose ancestors had moved to Patagonia in the previous generations or simply people who had moved to Patagonia, but there are also natives of the area.
What we get is a collection of one life story after another, a compendium of life stories made possible by someone who took the time and spent his resources to travel AND listen to the people AND take notes AND take photos AND ruminate on anything in that place.
Having read this, I think all travel books published after 1980 that I have read have traces of what Chatwin does in this book.