The Spring Travel Series Educates and Inspires Those with Wanderlust

Oakland Main Library's 12th Annual Spring Travel Series begin May 16 at 6 p.m.

Though you’d never guess it from our cloudy skies, epic hail storm, and chilly temperatures, Spring is here. And at the Main Library, that means the annual Spring Travel Series is about to launch! For the past twelve years, local travelers have learned how to travel safely, economically, efficiently and responsibly by attending these captivating talks.

Travel guidebook writers, travel photographers, tour guides, and our own well-traveled librarians have shared their expertise, funny stories, packing tips, and words of wisdom. Over the past dozen years we have treated East Bay residents to travel programs about a variety of interesting places including Southeast Asia, Italy, Cuba, Greece, Mexico, Croatia, Seattle, Kenya, and the American Southwest.

Travel not only provides us with much-needed breaks from our routines, but also educates, inspires and expands our perceptions of the world. As we head out into the world, we are cultural ambassadors, teaching others we encounter on the road about our cultures as much as they are informing us about theirs.

Author Mark Twain said:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

This year we’re covering new territory. On Wednesday, May 16 at 6 p.m., we kick off the series with: THE ART OF SENEGAL featuring arts historian Duane Deterville and local artist Susan Matthews will share their experiences in Dakar, Senegal, exhibiting work and discovering new artists in this culturally rich capitol city.

On Wednesday, May 23 at 6 p.m., Lonely Planet’s Karen Finlay, long associated with our annual travel series, will finally present a talk of her own—GEEK ODYSSEYS THROUGHOUT THE SOUTH—about her various pilgrimages to the homes and haunts of writers of classic Southern literature.

The series wraps up with PARIS OFF THE BEATEN TRACK on Wednesday, May 30 at 6 p.m. with local photographer Gene Dominique and travel librarian Dorothy Lazard who will guide you through the fascinating but unexplored quarters of the City of Light.

These programs are always fun and inspiring. Come with your questions and your stories! And don't forget to check out the Main Library's impressive travel literature and travel guidebook collections!