A few of my favorite quotes on travel mixed with a few of my favorite travel moments from my first four and a half months on the road…
“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.” – Bill Bryson
“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, Ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on.”
–Henry Rollins, “Punk Rock World Traveler,” World Hum, November 2, 2011
“A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.”
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change. ~ Katharine Butler Hathaway
“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”
– Frank Herbert
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
— Aldous Huxley
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
— Gustave Flaubert
One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum.
– Sir Walter Scott
“Have you ever wanted to be in a movie? Well, traveling full time is the closest thing you can get to being in one. Magical memories will be the norm and you will yearn to relive them the rest of your days. There are thousands of people out there right now; we all have your back. Just do it.”
– Scott Hartbeck, The Shirt Off My Backpack
“Do me a favor… Stand up, walk to wherever the nearest window is, and just look outside. You may not know this, but there’s an entire planets-worth of summers, friends, sunsets, street lamps, songs, late nights, great films, and night skies waiting for you. Your life is as amazing as you want it to be, but first, you have to let it be that way.”
– Chad Sugg
In travel, as in writing, the illusion of a direction is what allows you in fact most comfortably to wander off-course.
- Because when you leave behind the familiar, you can’t help but be changed by the foreign.
- Because comfort zones become constricting zones over time.
- Because the world was meant to be experienced, not imagined.
- Because you’ll meet people who are different than you. (Are we all the same? Not really, but that’s OK.)
- Because it will frustrate and annoy you at times, and you’ll be better because of it.
- Because you are afraid, and it’s always good to make peace with your fears.”– Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity