For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints. –Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey
I have spent my life on the road waking in a pleasant, or not so pleasant, hotel and setting off every morning after breakfast hoping to discover something new and repeatable, something worth writing about. I think other serious travelers do the same, looking for a story, facing the world, tramping out a book with their feet—a far cry from sitting at a desk and staring mutely at a glowing screen or a blank page. The traveler physically enacts the narrative, chases the story, often becomes part of the story. This is the way most travel narratives happen. Paul Theroux, in the May 2012 issue of Smithsonian
Traveling alone, I had sometimes found the strength and freedom to go places that I could not have reached in company. Anthony Loyd, My War Gone By, I Miss It So
I came to the realization at that moment that fear had run a lot of my life. It was through travel that I sort of stepped out of that fear, and I started to feel more comfortable in the world and consequently in my own skin. I think travel obliterates fear. Andrew McCarthy, in an interview in the September/October 2012 issue of AAA World
When Im traveling, Im wholly inhabitating myself. Im engaged. Im interested in living the moment-to-moment experiences, as opposed to at home where Ive got things to do and certain expectations. When youre far off the beaten track, youre just happy to get your needs me. Youre depending on the kindness of strangers more often than not. A traveler does not have a lot of pride. ditto
I still have a passion for traveling and moving. I even move our furniture around at home in London because static to me is not security. To me, security is going somewhere and having adventures. Felicity Kendal, in a May 14, 2012, inverview in Hello!
To us, travel has nothing to do with cruises and vacations. Its not about
staying at fancy hotels or taking a two-week holiday.
Travel is a way of life. Its how we learn, develop ourselves, educate our children, expand our minds, and work on solving the worlds problems. Traveling is as much a part of our makeup as the books we read and the food we eat. To suggest that well stop traveling is like suggesting that well stop eating, reading, or learning.
Travel is life, and life is travel. Theyve become intertwined, as inseparable as the branch and the root.
Some people think that travel is not for everybody, but the essence of travel is experiential expansion. Instead of repeating the same life experience every year for ten, twenty, or fifty years, travel can give us fifty life-changing encounters in one year.
The result is that instead of reading only one page out of the world book, were given the opportunity of perusing a greater proportion of it, and exercising our human-ness, rather than suffering from soul atrophy.
Travel can and will transform your life, anyones life, if you let it. Rachel Denning, Why You Should Forgo the American Dream and Let Travel Transform Your Life”
But travel had taught us new skills, new thought patterns, new approaches
to life in general. It had also become a part of who we were, a positive addiction,
and we couldnt imagine our lives without it.
Really, it wasnt about the travel. Travel was the tool, the method to the outcome. The real addiction was to the personal transformation that travel extracts from your mind and your soul.
It causes you to be uncomfortable, to step out of the familiar and into the unknown. It compels you to see with new eyes and to consider things you had never been aware of.
Travel, like a surgeon, opens you up—mind, heart, and soul—and removes preconceptions, biases, and small-mindedness. In its place it leaves a love for the world and all people; it also entrusts you with a larger understanding of our common humanity and the quandaries we share as a planet.
Travel is less about seeing sights than it is about searching your soul. ditto
... there’s something about jaunting a third of the way around the planet, for less than a week, for mere pleasure, that’s as deliciously self-indulgent as peeled grapes on a silver platter. Claudius Reich, “Dragon’s Teeth”
... so many adventures speak to us when we travel alone. It’s as though the adventure takes the place of a person. Sark, Succulent Wild Woman
[His] attitude towards tourists had hardened considerably over the years. He was sure most of them were perfectly sane and rational when they were at home, but there was something about becoming a tourist that robbed them of their basic common sense. –Geoff Nicholson, Bleeding London
Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. –Miriam Beard (quoted in a 2008 issue of The Ritz-Carlton)
Make voyages!—Attempt them!—there’s nothing else. –Tennessee Williams, Camino Real
What traveler doesn’t know that initial unrepeatable feeling of excited, almost infatuated expectation which seizes his heart on entering a city he’s never been to before? Each street and alley opens increasingly more secrets to his hungry eyes. By evening he starts to think that he’s fallen in love with the city. The traveler constructs his first, truest, and henceforth unshakable impressions of the city based on the faces of the crowds on the street, the architecture of the buildings, the smell of the market, and finally the color particular to that city alone. Later, he can live in that city for a whole year, study it in every detail, and make friends. Even later, he can forget the family names of those friends and lose the conscientiously memorized details, but he’ll never forget his first impressions. –Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, Ilf and Petrov’s American Road Trip
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, First Series
Travel is like love: It cracks you open, and so pushes you over all the walls and low horizons that habits and defensiveness set up. –(?)
I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. –(?)
The pleasure of being elsewhere is in being impressed, in the basic sense of the word; in absorbing an impression, like clay under a thumb; in being imprinted with the vividness of small things simply because we found them when we were away from home. Differentness fills us with a kind of magic dinner, and fleshes out our senses. The hee-haw of an ambulance in the foreign streets sings with a pure and alien glamour, quite unrelated to the irritating scream of emergency vehicles back home. –Barbara Holland, Endangered Pleasures
Those of us with active consciences will be happiest after we’ve done the
obligatory and paid our respects to the cathedrals, monuments, and museums,
and, duty accomplished, can turn our wondering eyes to how the light seems different,
brighter or softer or more golden, and how a cat asleep on a doorstep looks
like a painting, a marvel of a cat, the very essence of France or Italy or Guadalajara
or Nantucket, utterly different from similar cats on doorsteps back home: we
take its picture.
We’re dizzy with the marvelously ordinary lives lived elsewhere, by creatures apparently unaware of being exotic; they buy bread, engage in traffic jams, and quarrel on park benches as if they thought they were nothing unusual. Entranced, we watch them scratch and yawn, try on hats, light cigarettes.
Years from now we’ll have trouble calling up the splendor of the gothic apse, but we’ll never forget the square beside the cathedral where we drank coffee and fed scraps of pastry to a scruffy yellow dog, a foreign dog, his unremarkable face etched in memory. We even remember the weight and texture of the coffee cup, exotic as Tibet.
Everything has a peculiar clarity and significance because we aren’t going to be here long. In a few days or weeks we’ll leave, go home where we needn’t notice things because they will always be available to notice, but here we must seize the chance; we’ll never see this dog, this square, this coffee cup again.
… A beggar in Madrid is more charming, has more intelligent and liquid eyes, than a beggar in Manhattan; a broken-down bus in Turkey is more exciting than a bus with similar transmission problems in Boston.
We taste the different food, and it’s more than merely good or bad, it’s their food. Other food. …We eat respectfully, filling up with otherness. …The bed is damp and lumpy and the food overcooked, it’s raining, but look, look out the window! We’re in north Wales… In the pub, men are actually teasing the barmaid in Welsh: they live here.
… Foreign places tend to stay in the mind, alert and well lit, curiously stirring compared with where we live, no matter how satisfactory home may be. I was in Brittany, I think, and there it is, a cliff over the sea, webbed with chalk paths. … I was in Denmark: it was a long time ago, but there are still cornflowers and poppies at the edge of its fields… –ditto
The first roll of film traditionally records the important facts of the place, the castle, the waterfall, the mountains as seen from one’s hotel room. This is the equivalent of doing the cathedral before sitting in the piazza. The following rolls are for fun, for relishing the there-ness; the cat-on-the-doorstep shots. Having dutifully recorded the castle, we can dally a while to shoot the shaggy purple flowers growing so improbably from the chinks in its stones. These pictures will mean nothing to anyone but the photographer, but whose pictures are they, anyway? –ditto
Traveling is the ruin of all happiness. There’s no looking at a building here after seeing Italy. –Fanny Burney, Cecilia
He that travels much knows much. –Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia
One of the pleasantest things in the world is going on a journey; but I like to go by myself. –William Hazlitt, On Going a Journey
Travel is the most private of pleasures. There is no greater bore than the travel bore. We do not in the least want to hear what he has seen in Hong Kong. –Vita Sackville-West, Passenger to Teheran
The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page. –Saint Augustine
The trains in any country contain the essential paraphernalia of the culture: Thai trains have the shower jar with the glazed dragon on its side, Ceylonese ones the car reserved for Buddhist monks, Indian ones a vegetarian kitchen and six classes, Iranian ones prayer mats, Malaysian ones a noodle stall, Vietnamese ones bulletproof glass on the locomotive, and on every carriage of a Russian train is a samovar. The railway bazaar, with its gadgets and passengers, represented the society so completely that to board it was to be challenged by the national character. At times it was like a leisurely seminar, but I also felt on some occasions that it was like being jailed and then assaulted by the monstrously typical. –Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar
I have wandered all my life, and I have traveled; the difference between the two is this: we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. –Hilaire Belloc
Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way. –Ralph Crawshaw
A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent (which I cannot deny myself to be without being impious) will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place … –Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. –Lao Tzu
When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road. –William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways
Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage. –Regina Nadelson
Airline travel is hours of boredom interrupted by moments of stark terror. –Al Boliska
People who travel light make me nervous. –(?)
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. –Mark Twain
I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine. –Caskie Stinnett
The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. –GK Chesterton
But why, oh why, do the wrong people travel,
When the right people stay back home?
–Noel Coward, Sail Away
When one realizes that life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels. –Edward Dahlberg, Reasons of the Heart
If you look like your passport photo, you’re too ill to travel. –Will Kommen
Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it. –Eudora Welty
We must get beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey. –John Hope Franklin
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey! –Fitzhugh Mllan
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end. –Ursula Le Guin
Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves. –Carol Pearson
A traveler without observation is a bird without wings. –Moslih Eddin Saadi