28. Read Right

On our 2010 Life List: read a travel book.

    Photo: Courtesy of Grove Press

Here's an exercise to try before your next journey: Pretend as though you're leaving one week earlier than you are. Get packed, scour guidebooks, pore over maps. Then unplug the computer and read a book about your destination cover to cover—without checking a single online review or blog. Because your eyes need a break from screens. Because it will inspire you. And, mostly, because the right book will bring you far closer to the place than Google Earth. A few starters: Mexico: The Log from the Sea of Cortez, John Steinbeck; the Alps: Solo Faces, James Salter; Patagonia: In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin; Alaska: Coming into the Country, John McPhee; the Caribbean: Swimming in the Volcano, Bob Shacochis.

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