Distinguished writer, publisher and environmental campaigner, Alastair Sawday, will be at Stanfords bookshop on August 10 to discuss his new book, Travelling Light (Little, Brown £20). It explores the author’s lifelong travelling experiences and his views on what travel can do to enrich lives and help towards a greater mutual understanding of the world.
Sawday moved to Bristol in the 1970s, and initially worked with refugees. His varied career has included founding Avon Friends of the Earth, running as a Green Party candidate in the city, and working as vice-Chair of the Soil Association. His work has also taken him all over the world: heading a VSO programme in Papua New Guinea, coordinating a disaster relief team for Oxfam in Turkey, and running a small travel company which conducted walking tours throughout Europe.
It was the latter that led him to begin what he is most well-known for – starting the renowned publishing company which bears his names. His first book was a travel guide to French B&Bs, establishments he stumbled upon on his travels.
Now based in the city centre, Sawday’s publishing company is run by its founder’s son Toby and continues to publish travel guidebooks and to champion the environment and sustainability. It has previously won a Queen’s Award for Sustainability and twice-voted Environmental Publisher of the Year.
Travelling Light, subtitled Journeys Among Special People and Places, chronicles the numerous characters, locations and stories Sawday has come across in his life of travel. It also seeks to make a case for the huge benefit travel brings to humanity in understanding the world and its differences. As Jonathan Porritt says, “After a lifetime exploring and enjoying the world, Alastair Sawday is a man who wears his wisdom as lightly as he travels, bringing people and places delightfully to life, with timely political and philosophical insights”
Alastair Sawday will be at Stanfords bookshop on August 10. The event starts at 6.30pm and tickets are £4.
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