Travel can be expensive, time consuming and exhausting, yet each year millions of people pack their belongings into a bag and set out in search of new sights. For millennia, men and women have been fascinated with distant lands, and those that have even the slightest hint of wanderlust will understand this insatiable need to travel.
From famous writers to anonymous travelers, here are 10 beautiful quotes that capture the inspiration of travel:
Photo by joiseyshowaa.
For years I knew that I wanted to travel the world, but, like many people, I was anchored to my stable lifestyle (job, home, family and friends) through fear.
That first step, the decision to leave, is always the hardest, but equally the most important and rewarding. I have since traveled thousands of miles and don’t regret a single step.
Photo by Dave Heuts.
Different cultures, languages, ways of life, landscapes, attitudes, foods and friends fill up the world around us.
If you surround yourself only with those things that you have known all of your life, you risk missing out on the many threads that make the world so fascinating. Even if you merely venture to a new town or state, you will have turned a different page.
Photo by Matthias Rhomberg.
I’ve seen the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, thrashed through the rainforest and looked an orangutan in the eyes, but it is the people that I met along the way, like-minded travelers, that I have shared my journey with.
These people are the inspirational souls who have supplied me with the most enduring memories.
Photo by Shandi-lee.
I had heard it time and again, that we hold our destiny in our own hands, but I had shrugged it off as a cliché. Then, one day, after staring at my map for too long, the reality hit me. I did have the power to define my life.
I could steer my life in any direction I chose (in my case Latin America). I’ve heard Dr. Seuss’ sage words for years; it just took a while for them to sink in.
Photo by tiarescott.
Carpe diem, seize the moment, act now. There are plenty of ways to capture the essence of Mark Twain’s legendary quote.
Putting off travel to some later date, often retirement, is a popular strategy, but wouldn’t you like to see the world through your most youthful eyes? You can always retrace your steps later in life.
Photo by whatleydude.
Travel is usually an adventurous business and can challenge you in ways that you might never image. From getting stuck in a border town with no money to climbing down a volcano barefoot (long story), I pack a healthy dose of calm, the desire for adventure and a strong sense of humor on every trip.
Photo by H o l l y.
Doing something different can be scary and can keep many people from following their dreams. I’ve stopped counting the number of times people have told me they couldn’t do what I do, i.e., perpetually wander the world in search of pastures new. That’s fine.
I equally seem unable to remain rooted to one spot. Either way of life is not wrong; they are simply different.
Photo by bingham_becky.
I shiver at the idea of returning to my office cubicle. With every new step that I took on my thousand-mile journey, a little bit inside me changed.
I quickly came to realize the importance of experiences over material possessions, connections over status, happiness over perceived success.
Photo by Noukka Signe.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a good guidebook to help me with maps, bus schedules and the occasional recommendation on where to stay, especially when I arrive in a town late at night during the monsoon.
However, if you tick off the sights in any guidebook or follow the recommended route, you will see more tourists than the true texture of a country.
Wander the streets, get lost and see where your journey takes you.
Photo by quinn.anya.
I have a confession: I own three tablecloths. Don’t ask me why. I’m no longer sure except that I was stuck on the wheel of consumerism for far too long.
Yes, I admit they are pretty tablecloths, but they (nor anything else I have owned) have ever given me anywhere near as much happiness, pleasure and satisfaction as the seconds, minutes, hours and days I’ve spent seeing the world.
In the words of Jack Kerouac, “The road is life.” In my words, I hope you find the inspiration to travel it.
What inspired you to see the world? Was it famous words or a quote? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this, you might also like: 15 Things I Learned from 10 Years of Living and Traveling Abroad.
Main photo: On Road by José Cuervo Elorza.