Yesterday I spent time in the library's Travel Neighborhood flipping through some of the newer books full of photographs of faraway places--the kind of books that can simultaneously satisfy and frustrate those with a nagging wanderlust. Why? CNN just announced The Wonder List with Bill Weir is ending. I was searching for the sort of worldly escape this show produced and that I'm already missing.
I found The Wonder List's approach to telling the stories of familiar and unknown landscapes to be fresh and captivating. Standout episodes featuring Patagonia, Peru and New Zealand portray the beauty and fragility of the land and attempts by residents to preserve what’s natural, meaningful and irreplaceable. In Peru, Weir took a strenuous hike up a stone trail leading to a high altitude overlook of terraced archaeological ruins. Most of us have seen the iconic photos of Machu Picchu, but Weir's narration during this scenic walk up to the point where those famous photos are taken captures the essence and awe surrounding the ancient Inca ruins, giving the familiar photographs greater context. Weir reveals the power of photojournalism and its role in informing and altering our views of the natural world and distant cultures.
While some of the DVDs in the travel section were tempting, I was more attracted to the world travel books with profound photographs and accompanying narratives extending beyond general site descriptions. I discovered the unique armchair travel experience I was looking for.
Explore the world by taking a trip to the Travel Neighborhood inside the library where travel memoirs, essays, foreign language phrasebooks, DVDs, popular guidebooks and travel bags may be checked out free for three weeks.