Category: News

New ITC book Why Travel? explores the fundamental motivations for travel and how we can travel better

Posted: July 30th, 2021

  The Independent Transport Commission is delighted to announce publication of the book Why Travel? Understanding our need to move and how it shapes our lives, released in July 2021 by Bristol University Press. The book is one of the major outputs from the ITC’s Why Travel? research project, which explores the fundamental motivations behind […]

Sedentism: The great settling down?

Posted: November 28th, 2018

Most evolutionary biologists agree that humans evolved in the savannah of eastern Africa around 300,000 years ago (BP), and for most of that time we have been a nomadic species, settling for short periods of time before moving with the seasons and climate in search of sources of food and water. But the nearly 7 […]

“To boldly go where no one has gone before!” Science Fiction and Travel

Posted: August 25th, 2018

“To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilisations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!”[1] These famous opening lines from the iconic television series Star Trek outline one of the central themes of the show: exploration, or travel into the unknown in search of new knowledge. The mission […]

Freedom to travel: A brief history of the passport

Posted: July 26th, 2018

  A passport is, in modern days, an indispensable object for foreign travel. To some it symbolises freedom, but the passport can also be a tool of control and restriction. In a world where having the ‘right’ passport can mean the difference between life and death, or the hope of safety and prosperity, this small […]

Marchetti’s Constant and Travel Time Budgets: One hour’s travel a day?

Posted: June 25th, 2018

The location of villages in Greece, the average daily commute, and the size of cities – what do these seemingly unrelated things have in common? According to the Italian systems analyst Cesare Marchetti (who turned 90 last year), they can all be related to the finding that humans spend on average one hour per day […]

Loneliness and Travel

Posted: May 28th, 2018

  Loneliness has been declared “the public health challenge of our age,” and is claimed by the Royal College of GPs to be as damaging to our health as long-term illness or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.[1] A recent study by The Co-op and the British Red Cross found that in the UK more than […]

In the hands of the gods: Deities, saints and spirits of travel

Posted: April 22nd, 2018

  In Japan, before embarking on a journey travellers may purchase, or be given by a loved one, a ‘bujikaeru,’ a small model or plush toy of a green frog, to carry with them to bring safety on their travels.[1] In Catholic countries people may be more likely to carry a silver Saint Christopher medallion […]

‘Border’ wins Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year

Posted: March 26th, 2018

March 2018 The Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year prize for 2018 was awarded recently to Kapka Kassabova for her book Border: A journey to the edge of Europe (Granta). The prize is one of those offered in the annual Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards, which includes prizes for adventure travel books as well […]

Educational Travel Today: Study Abroad, Road Schooling and Self Improvement

Posted: February 26th, 2018

February 2018 “Travel is the best education”: so say a plethora of inspirational travel blogs and articles, encouraging the reader to see the world and learn new things. As we examined in our last blogpost, the idea of the educational value of travel is far from new, although according to some academics this link has […]

Travel as Education in 16th- 19th Century Europe: From ‘Grand Tours’ to ‘Working Men’s Excursions’

Posted: January 22nd, 2018

January 2018 The idea of travel as education has a long history.[1] Euripides, a Greek playwright of the 5th century BC said: “Experience, travel—these are as education in themselves”; and this idea remains popular today. But what exactly is it that travel teaches us? In this blogpost, we look at the evolution of educational travel […]