This chapter draws on world history to examine how Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land (1992) constructs a “secular” literary history for travelogues produced in the Afro-Eurasian world from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries. The chapter excavates Ghosh’s Arabic historical sources to examine the circulation of texts across the markets of the Islamicate world. This “everyday nation”, that is, the large number of undocumented real people who have not necessarily represented the nation state – and whom, of course, the nation state has not necessarily spoken for either – manifest in intermediate relations that operate across political borders during time of conflict. Such intermediate relations can be traced in the travel writing of the time. Moving back and forth across centuries through the organising lens of Ghosh’s work, the chapter describes how this kind of travel writing from below circulated in the flourishing town centres of the region to form a popular read/recited “canon” of belles-lettres for a “sub-elite” common reader. Such travelogues helped construct the ecumenical concept of Islamicate centres and hinterlands for their multilingual and multireligious readers, but also reassert today the importance of the free movement of peoples and the necessity of reading each other even, or perhaps especially, during times of conflict and violence.