The Accidental Tourist by Bill Bryson is a short story that highlights the importance of having suave and elegant manners at the time of travelling. In this story, we see that the narrator almost flies over 100,000 miles every year because of his job’s nature. So, we can say that the narrator is an accidental tourist, though he doesn’t enjoy travelling but still he has to because of his job. However in his own words he says that he is sort of a confused man who often forgets the roads and gets into wrong alleys or gets trapped into self-locking doors. In this story, he takes us to some of his awry travel experiences where he did some crazy things, though unwittingly.
Most of his experiences are based around airports or inside the flights. On one instant, while flying to England from Boston with family for Christmas, he forcibly opened the zip of his bag, as a result it broke down and all the stuff littered on the ground. This made him embarrassed and the people around him.
One day in the flight, he got up to tie his shoelace, but then suddenly the person on the next seat pulled up the full recliner, he got crushed into his seat and with great difficulty he managed to get himself freed. This indicates that he was absentminded when tying shoelace.
On other day, he repeatedly spilled drink on a lady’s lap sitting beside him. Because of this habit, one day his wife let herself opened the lid of the food container. In another funny instance the narrator was busy noting something with a pen, but at the same time he was sucking the one side of his pen and speaking to a young lady. When he visited the lavatory, he found blue stains on his chin, color, hands and so on. There are some instances when the narrator, owing to his poor memory, forgot some or other thing and landed himself up in trouble.
The message from this story is that travelling is not everyone’s cup of tea. One needs to be alert and graciously presentable to avoid getting into blunders or causing inconvenience to others. You need to have good manners and immaculate presence of mind while travelling to far-off distance. Imagine what will you do if you lost your documents and money and gadgets?