**UPDATE 12/19/11: Partly inspired by this article and its thousands of readers, Matador has published our first book, No Foreign Lands. The book takes 100 of the most memorable quotes ever spoken or written about travel, and juxtaposes them over striking travel images from Matador’s extended community of photographers.
IF YOU WALK LONG ENOUGH in the countryside of the British Isles, from time to time you’ll spot piles of stones along the common way.
A tradition dating back centuries, they’re called cairns.
Cairns serve as markers for various reasons, practical or commemorative. Some are brilliantly constructed, some very simple – and some are just a pile of stones.
For travelers, they’re invaluable as landmarks.
In many ways, quotations serve the same purpose. They can inspire and enlighten, help point out hazards or meaningful history. Depending on what you’re looking for, they can keep you on your path or suggest a new one. They’re landmarks for paths of thought.
Quotes are best considered as guides rather than rules. Sometimes quotes contradict one another, which suggests a greater truth – a range of choice, existing between the markers.
It’s wise to keep in mind Nicholas Chamfort’s observation that those who study quotes “are like those who eat cherries… first picking the best ones and winding up by eating everything.”
The (Next) 50 Most Inspiring Travel Quotes Of All Time
50. Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.” – George Carlin
49. “Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.” – Nikos Kazantzakis
48. “Our Nature lies in movement; complete calm is death.” – Blaise Pascal
47. “It is a strange thing to come home. While yet on the journey, you cannot at all realize how strange it will be.” – Selma LagerlÃ¶f
46. “Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
45. “Clay lies still, but blood’s a rover / Breath’s aware that will not keep. / Up, lad: when the journey’s over there’ll be time enough to sleep.” – A. E. Housman
44. “As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.” – Margaret Mead
43. “Too often. . .I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.” – Louis L’Amour
42. “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” – Fitzhugh Mullan
41. “One main factor in the upward trend of animal life has been the power of wandering.” – Alfred North Whitehead
40. “The open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.” – William Least Heat Moon
39. “Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.” – The Dhammapada
38. “Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.” – George Eliot
36. “An involuntary return to the point of departure is, without doubt, the most disturbing of all journeys.” – Iain Sinclair
35. “Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.’” – Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
34. “Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley
33. “Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.” – Ray Bradbury
32. “Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.” – Kurt Vonnegut
31. “We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” – Hilaire Belloc
30. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag
29. “I should like to spend the whole of my life in traveling abroad, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home.” – William Hazlitt
27. “A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse… and thinks of home.” – Carl Burns.
28. “I love to travel, but hate to arrive.” – Albert Einstein
26. “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.” – Mohammed
25. “One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind.” – Charles Dickens
24. “When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.” – Edward Dahlberg
23. “Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert
22. “Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did now know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.” – Italo Calvino
21. “He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.” – Sinclair Lewis, on sightseeing.
20. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.” – Bumper sticker
19. “Travel at its truest is thus an ironic experience, and the best travelers… seem to be those able to hold two or three inconsistent ideas in their minds at the same time, or able to regard themselves as at once serious persons and clowns.” – Paul Fussell
18. “Most of my treasured memories of travel are recollections of sitting.” – Robert Thomas Allen
17. “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher Hershey
16. “Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” – John Muir
15. “When you’re traveling, ask the traveler for advice / not someone whose lameness keeps him in one place.” – Rumi
14. “There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.” – Orson Welles
13. “To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions.” – Sam Keen
12. “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” – G. K. Chesterton
11. “When you are everywhere, you are nowhere / When you are somewhere, you are everywhere.” – Rumi
10. “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” – Susan Heller
9. “The autumn leaves are falling like rain / Although my neighbors are all barbarians / And you, you are a thousand miles away / There are always two cups at my table.” – T’ang dynasty poem
8. “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
7. “People don’t take trips – trips take people.” – John Steinbeck
6. “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
5. “It’s a battered old suitcase and a hotel someplace and a wound that will never heal.” – Tom Waits
4. “The map is not the territory.” – Alfred Korzybski
3. “It is solved by walking.” – Algerian proverb
2. “He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Any quotes we missed this second time around? Share your picks in the comments!
Get more stuff like this in your inbox!
Sign up for our newsletter and get emails of great stories like this.
We think you might also like:
F. Daniel Harbecke
F. Daniel Harbecke (just call him Daniel, the F's a family thing) is currently working on "A Philosophy of Travel" which envisions travel as a metaphor for the meaningful experience of life. Daniel has lived in Europe, South America and Asia and is trying to fund his tony lifestyle in Sweet Home Chicago.