Although Lawrence has long been recognised and celebrated as a travel writer, the serious purpose of his travels has not hitherto been thoroughly studied and evaluated. After the First World War Lawrence was disillusioned with English and finally European civilization. In 1922 he set out on a course of travel that lasted three years and took him round the world. During this period he wrote Kangaroo, The Plumed Serpent, Mornings in Mexico and some of his most important short novels and stories. His travels and writings in this period were, in his own words, a 'quest' for 'reunion with the dark half of humanity'. From a postcolonial perspective, such a 'quest' may be construed as a familiar preoccupation with 'otherness'. But it may also involve a genuine engagement with alien cultures and ways of feeling. This study argues that what is dangerous and scandalous about these texts is testimony to Lawrence's struggle to escape from familiar cultural paradigms.