I am a sucker for travel quotes. I read them and instantly feel inspired. I write them in margins of journals, find inspiration for posts in them and even create travel mantras. I also love sharing my favorites with fellow-travelers. I’ve shared them in various forms here on For the Love of Wanderlust, but today I’m sharing my favorite 50 Travel Quotes.
For the Love of Wanderlust’s Favorite 50 Travel Quotes:
“Most travelers hurry too much… the great thing is to stray and travel with eyes of the spirit wide open, and not too much factual information. To tune in, without reverence, idly– but with real inward attention. It is to be had for the feeling…. You can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still a needle, you’ll be there.”
“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.”
“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”
If you’re brace enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old, resentments and out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”
“Let’s not travel to tick things off lists or collect half-hearted, semi-treasures to be places in dusty drawers in empty rooms. Rather, we’ll travel to find grounds and rooftops and tiny hidden parks, where we’ll sit and dismiss the passing time, spun in the city’s web ’til we’ve surrendered, content to be spent and consumed. I need to feel a place while I’m in it.”
“(Travel is) humbling to the point where you have major regrets about some of the stupid things you said, some of the things you thought were right. You keep going to these countries, and it’s like you forgot the lesson from the last time. But the first person you encounter kind-of bitch-slaps you upside the head in the most wonderful innocent way, and you realize, God, I’m still an asshole. And this guy, by doing nothing except being broke and so incredibly polite – it takes you aback, you realize, I’m still not there yet. I still have, like, eight miles to go before I can even get into the parking lot of humility. I have to keep going back. It’s like going back to the chiropractor to get a readjustment. That’s me in Africa; that’s me in SE Asia. You come back humbled and you bring that into your life.”
“When it is over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life, something particular and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
“I want a life measured in first steps on foreign soils and deep breaths in brand new seas. I want a life measured in welcome signs, each stamped with a different name, borders marked with metal and paint. Show me the streets that don’t know the muse of my wandering feet and I will play their song upon them. Perfume me please in the smells of faraway, I will never wash my hair if it promises to stay. I want a life measured in the places I haven’t gone, short sleeps on long flights, new words to describe the dawn.”
Tyler Knott Gregson
“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
“The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human; the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to henge 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 the people possessed by the narcissism of minor differences.”
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body. You take something with you… Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
“People often ask me how I have managed to have so many interesting people – experiences in my nomadic wanderings. It’s because I trust; I always have. It’s not something that has developed with experience, though perhaps with constant reinforcement I do it more often. I’ve never been disappointed, though I’ve sometimes been surprised. I know there’s a risk but it’s one I’m willing to take. My life is constantly enriched because I trust people.”
Rita Golden Gelman
Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white t-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and to many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of beard backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is, ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.’ It’s nostalgia for studying abroad that one semester. Travel is realizing that ‘age thirty’ should be shed of its goddam stigma.”
It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many place I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough – to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise and how far I have yet to go.”
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I hope these 50 travel quotes from poets, wanderers, authors and drifters have left you full of wanderlust. Did your favorite travel quote make the cut? Feel free to share yours in the comments below! I hope you feel inspired to get out and explore, to buy a plane ticket or take a hike.
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