"There's a good reason why people fly first-class and stay in luxury hotels: it's an awful lot of fun. But I do think that if a traveller wishes to know how people live, and wishes to gain a little insight in a country, it helps to travel on the ground and stay in simpler places that might not have a big wall around them. Overland travel is obviously more difficult and time-consuming, but it is much more revealing. I could have hopped from capital to capital in travelling through Africa for "Dark Star Safari", but African capitals – new buildings surrounded by preposterous slums – are places to avoid. And you can't say that you have travelled anywhere unless you have crossed a frontier – in a literal and also figurative sense. "Becoming a volunteer teacher in Africa with the Peace Corps changed my life. I was in a bush school, with wonderful students, absolutely cut off – no telephone, no computer. And because I was cut off I had to make friends, learn the language (Chichewa) and get to know the area. I realised that Malawians had dreams of transformation just like mine. I assumed that the Africans I knew would become teachers and doctors, following the example of foreign volunteers. This did not happen, as I saw to my dismay 40 years later." Author Paul Theroux served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi in the 1960's. Read more.