Explore UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEYS with DK’s Becky Flynn
UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEYS: Slow Down and See the World , newly published by DK Eyewitness Travel, celebrates taking the scenic route. See the world, slowly moving through it, taking your time. By whatever mode of transport you prefer – on foot, by bike, by car, on the water, or by rail – get inspired to enjoy the ebb and flow of travel thoughtfully. This book covers experiences such as riding the Orient Express, driving Route 66, and walking the Camino de Santiago. It also veers off-the-beaten-path: cycling around Botswana, kayaking through Finnish Lakeland, and scaling the cirques of La Réunion on foot. Even though travel may be on pause right now, this book is the perfect tool for dreaming about far-flung destinations from the comfort of your home — and planning for next year’s vacations.
In this Behind the Pages Igloo interview, DK’s Becky Flynn, Project Editor for UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEYS, talks about “slow travel” as the concept used in this book, how the featured journeys were selected, her favorite spread, and what she enjoyed most about working on this title.
Can you explain the concept of “slow travel” and how it’s integrated into this book?
Travelling slow isn’t so much about the speed in which you move – the bullet train is one of our unforgettable journeys after all – but the way that you travel. It’s about taking the time to immerse yourself in a destination, by immersing yourself in its culture, food and people, rather than just ticking off a list of places and experiences because they’re must-dos. The best way to travel slow is to embark on a journey through a place. As you move through a country, or a continent, you see it off the tourist trail – sampling roadside dishes, taking in amazing landscapes and meeting local people along the way. These experiences just aren’t possible on a whistle-stop city break. That’s why we picked the world’s best journeys on foot, by bike, on the road, by train and on the water for this book. The text, images and maps celebrate the joy of taking the scenic route rather than focusing on your final destination.
The “slow” movement started as a reaction against package holidays, overtourism and everything Instagram. Cheap short-haul flights and fly-in-fly-out breaks have already suffered due to COVID, and we anticipate that it’s something that travelers are unlikely to hurry back to. First, there’s the high chance of catching COVID at an airport or on a plane, and then there’s the fact that evidence has shown that fewer global flights affected carbon dioxide emissions drastically. When we are all able to travel again, we will be travelling smarter and slower. Not just because we’ll have to, but because we want to.
How did you and the team pick the journeys featured?
With the world’s best walks, cycles, drives, train rides and water-based journeys all covered by this book, it took us nearly a month to nail the final list. We consulted with different authors, as well as editors in the DK offices around the globe, to make sure that we covered everywhere from the Arctic to Zimbabwe. The DK Eyewitness team advocated for some of their favorite travels, and our own Danielle Watt even wrote the Tour des Cirques and the Hebridean Way. I’m so lucky to work in a team of passionate travel experts.
What is your favorite spread and why?
When the author delivered the text for the Trans-Siberian Railway spread, it instantly made me want to book a ticket. The language is so evocative – I can almost see the perma-frosted landscape, hear the various characters chattering on board and feel the carriages rocking along the rails. I don’t know whether it’s from a childhood watching Agatha Christie films, but I think there’s something really romantic about travelling by train – stopping off at little-known stations, watching the landscape unfurl outside the window and soaking up the atmosphere inside the carriage. It seems a world away from both the daily commute and recent travels on public transport during COVID!
What did you like most about working on this title?
Everyone always says this, but it really was amazing to collaborate with such a talented team of editors, designers, picture researchers and cartographers. Even when we were told to work from home in March, the pace never faltered. Personally, I loved working with so many different authors on this project. With all 30 of them on board, we were able to celebrate taking the scenic route around the entire world. Unforgettable Journeys was the perfect title to work on during the pandemic, because I now know what journeys I want to take when COVID is a distant memory. What’s on the list? The West Coast Trail, the Wild Atlantic Way, cycling the Silk Road, canoeing down the Zambezi River and, of course, the Tran-Siberian Railway.