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I love to read travel quotes by famous excellent writers (or less excellent) because they are able to convey in few words an entire world of wisdom and eternal truths.
Don’t you ever happen to have that ah ah moment when you say? “Oh my god! this is exactly me!!”
Well I did it more than once in reading the following quotes that I have included here.
On the other hand sometimes I feel like some of them are too much of a cliche, such as the now overrated ” The world is like a book, and those who don’t travel read just a page.
I don’t completely agree with that considering the amount of really good travel books that allows you to travel from your own chair.
A few years ago I would have consider that affirmation pure blasphemy, now after traveling for 2 years, I did have expanded my mental boundaries but I still believe that you can have an idea about a country from a book or good pictures. It definitely wouldn’t be the same experience, for sure.
I am just more open to different opinion, if you wish.
Each one, her own.
Anyway, during my reading times, I have collected the travel quotes that resonated the most with me and created this post.
I have also included the book source, when available
Enjoy and journey on!
“The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown, to bear witness to the consequences, tragic or comic, of people possessed by the narcissism of minor differences.”Paul Theroux
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, and leading to the most amazing view… where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder thank your deepest dreams waits for you.”Edward Abbey
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life. Jack Kerouac
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
A painful part of travel, the most emotional for me in many respects, is the sight of people leading ordinary lives, especially people at work or with their families; or ones in uniform, or laden with equipment, or shopping for food, or paying bills.Paul Theroux
“Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities.”Tim Fargo
Travel is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with existence or the exotic. It is almost entirely an inner experience.Paul Theroux
Fresh Air Fiend – Paul Theroux
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
The exotic dream, not always outlandish, is a dream of what we lack and so crave. And in the world of the exotic, which is always an old world peopled by the young or ageless, time stands still.Paul Theroux
Sunrise with Seamonsters: Travels and discoveries 1964- 1984 – Paul Theroux
It is sometimes the way in travel, when travel becomes its opposite: you roll and roll and then dawdle to a halt in the middle of nowhere. Rather than making a conscious decision, you simply stop rolling.
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes – Robert Louis Stevenson
It might be said that a great unstated reason for travel is to find places that exemplify where one has been happiest. Looking for idealized versions of home—indeed, looking for the perfect memory.Paul Theroux
Fresh Air Fiend – Paul Theroux
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
When strangers asked me where I was going I often replied, “Nowhere.” Vagueness can become a habit, and travel a form of idleness.Paul Theroux
The Old Patagonian Express – Paul Theroux
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Travel holds the magical possibility of reinvention: that you might find a place you love, to begin a new life and never go home.Paul Theroux
“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
Everything happens for the first time but in a way that is eternal.”Paul Theroux
Dark star safari – Paul Theroux
Travel is a vanishing act, a solitary trip down a pinched line of geography to oblivion.Paul Theroux
The Old Patagonian Express – Paul Theroux
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
Tom Sawyer Aboard – Mark Twain
All travelers are like aging women, now homely beauties; the strange land flirts, then jilts and makes a fool of the stranger.Paul Theroux
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.”
The fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R: Tolkien
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson’s Essays – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Instead of bringing back 1600 plants, we might return from our journeys with a collection of small unfêted but life-enhancing thoughts.”
Alain de Botton
The Art of Travel – Alain de Botton
Yet another traveler’s conceit is that no one will see what he has seen; his trip displaces the landscape, and his version of events is all that matters. He is certainly kidding himself in this, but if he didn’t kid himself a little he would never go anywhere.Paul Theroux
“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
Night train to Lisbon –Pascal Macier
Travel means living among strangers, their characteristic stinks and sour perfumes, eating their food, listening to their dramas, enduring their opinions, often with no language in common, being always on the move toward an uncertain destination, creating an itinerary that is continually shifting, sleeping alone, improvising the trip.Paul Theroux
“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
Most travel, and certainly the rewarding kind, involves depending on the kindness of strangers, putting yourself into the hands of people you don’t know and trusting them with your life.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.
You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life.Paul Theroux
Now my mind is up. You can just find your truth staring for forty-eight hours at some old tapestry.Henri Michaux, Ecuador 1970
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on those 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. Mark Twain
Traveling is a fool’s paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples and there, beside my is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I seek the fatican, and the places. I affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Self-reliance – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You think of travelers as bold, but our guilty secret is that travel is one of the laziest ways on earth of passing the time. Travel is not merely the business of being bone-idle, but also an elaborate bumming evasion, allowing us to call attention to ourselves with our conscious absence while we intrude upon other people’s privacy – being actively offensive as fugitive freeloaders. Paul Theroux
“A journey, after all, neither begins in the instant we set out, nor ends when we have reached our door step once again. It starts much earlier and is really never over, because the film of memory continues running on inside of us long after we have come to a physical standstill. Indeed, there exists something like a contagion of travel, and the disease is essentially incurable.”
Travel with Herodotus – Ryszard Kapuscinski
The traveler is the greediest kind of romantic voyeur, and in some well hidden part of the traveler’s personality is an unpickable knot of Vanity, presumption and mythomania bordering on the pathological. This is why a traveler’s worst nightmare is not the secret police or the witch doctor or malaria, but rather the prospect of meeting another traveler. Paul Thoreux
The person who wrote these notes died upon stepping once again onto Argentine soil. The person who edits and polishes them, me, is no longer. At least I am not the person I was before. The vagabonding through our “America” has changed me more than I thought.
Ernesto Che Guevara: A revolutionary Life – Jon Lee Anderson
Litterature is made out of the misfortune of others. A large number of travelbooks fail simply because of the monotonous good luck of their authors.V.S. Pritchett
Complete Essays – V.S. Pritchett
“The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary. Then you’re not a traveler. You’re a f@@king tourist.”
Guillermo del Toro
If one is loved and feels free and has gotten to know the world somewhat, travel is simpler and happier. Paul Theroux
All good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the midst of terror and wonder. Pico Iyer
Why we travel – Pico Iyer
I came to realize that I traveled best when I traveled no faster than a dog could trotGardner McKay, Journey without a map (2009)
Journey without a map – Gardner McKay
“You don’t even know where I’m going.”
“I don’t care. I’d like to go anywhere.”
Travels with Charley: In Search of America – John Steinbeck
“In my errant life I roamed
To learn the secrets of women and men,
Of gods and dreams.
I’ve known all the countries of our world,
I’ve lived a thousand lives:
Many lives I lived in love,
Other lives I squandered.
For in my life I never traveled,
All I did was wander.”
The Wonderess – Roman Payne
“No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself. It’s like your shadow. It follows you everywhere. -Komura”
After the Quake – Haruki Murakami
“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after,you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and whats happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there- with your eyes open- and lived to see it.”
The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones ― Anthony Bourdain
“We did all the tourist crap, but I just wanted to sit in a cafe and watch people” Sara Shepard
Ruthless― Sara Shepard