Travel, just like all the other good things in life like freedom, happiness, and love, is not just a privilege as many would think. It is a choice available to us all—but only if you are brave enough to claim it. And, today, many have. Many have taken the leap. For travel is not just about the plane rides, the villas, the passport stamps, and the perfect Instagram shots. For some, travel is as imperative as love; as intrinsic as the air they breathe. For if you let it, travel transcends beyond being just a hobby. It becomes a way of life.
For whatever reason you travel, I hope you do so with all of your heart. Because that’s how the magic happens. And if you are one of those who have yet taken the leap but have always wanted to, if you keep reading travel blogs but are still paralyzed from fear and doubt, let this compilation of beautiful travel quotes spark the resting wanderer inside of you.
Take the leap this year. Save a lot, pack little, and even with trembling knees, go. Just go. And I promise, the road will surprise you.
“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 too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded 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.”
– Nick Miller
“And there will be days when you simply want to run, to another land across a sweeping sea, under an entirely different burning sun. But here’s the thing about continents that we love down to our aching bones: we know the one that calls us back to unpack our luggage. We know which one is truly home.”
– Victoria Erickson
“Don’t wait around. Don’t get old and make excuses. Save a couple thousand dollars. Sell your car. Get a world atlas. Start looking at every page and tell yourself that you can go there. You can live there. Are there sacrifices to be made? Of course. Is it worth it? Absolutely. The only way you’ll find out is to get on the plane and go. And let me tell you something. That first morning, when you are in your country of choice, away from all of the conventions of a typical, everyday lifestyle, looking around at your totally new surroundings, hearing strange languages, smelling strange, new smells, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll feel like the luckiest person in the world.”
– Jason Gaspero
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac
“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
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
— Roald Dahl
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, this is what it is to be happy.”
— Sylvia Plath
“When I say I want to travel, I don’t mean I want to stay at resorts and go on tours with tour guides or buy key chains from souvenir shops. I don’t want to be a tourist. When I say I want to travel, I mean I want to explore another country and become part of it. I want to meet people who are not like me, but people who I can like all the same. I want to take pictures of things, and places, and people I meet. I want my mind to be in constant awe of life on earth. I want to see things with new eyes. I want to look at a map and be able to remember how I was transformed by the places I’ve been to, the things I’ve seen, and the people I’ve met.
I want to come home and realize that I have not come home whole, but have left a piece of my heart in each place I have been.”
“And the stars continue to shed its gold to feed our hungry souls. As we wander blindly through ambiguity. Because innately, our starving insides know. There is no other place to go but everywhere.”
— Stephanie Dandan / Infinite Satori
“And I’ve always felt that the beauty of being surrounded by the foreign is that it slaps you awake. You can’t take anything for granted. Travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love, because suddenly all your senses are at the setting marked “on.” Suddenly you’re alert to the secret patterns of the world. The real voyage of discovery, as Marcel Proust famously said, consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes. And of course, once you have new eyes, even the old sights, even your home become something different.”
— Pico Iyer