Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to hike, wander or travel and explore the world. A contemporary German equivalent is Fernweh – literally meaning “an ache for distant places”. That describes me to a tee. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to go. Go anywhere.
Growing up, I’d take long road trips with my grandmother to visit relatives in Oregon; and my father had his pilot’s license and we fly up and down the state of California on family vacations.
As a pre-teen and teenager, I enjoyed taking the Amtrak train to visit relatives and friends who lived in other parts of the state. I’d sit and stare out the window, daydreaming about the people in the passing towns and what their lives must be like. I often wrote short stories while on trains, as the scenery and people I met along the way inspired me.
As a teenager I visited travel agencies and collected brochures on different countries that I wanted to visit; I kept these in a box under my bed and looked at before going to sleep at night – wishing that I was in some far off land.
As an adult, I’ve been fortunate to have a career that included a lot of travel, both nationally and internationally, which allowed me to see the world at a fraction of the cost.
Now as I prepare for the biggest travel adventure of my life – moving to France – I often look for quotes to keep me motivated. Here is a list of 30 travel related quotes I find inspirational.
1. “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
2. “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
3. “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck
4. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
5. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
6. “A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi
7. “A wise traveler never despises his own country.” – Carlo Goldoni
8. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
9. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
10. “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
11. “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
12. “I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” – Lillian Smith
13. “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener
14. “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang
15. “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy
16. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
17. “Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac
18. “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G. K. Chesterton
19. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
20. “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
21. “There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” – Charles Dudley Warner
22. “To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
23. “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
24. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux
25. “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca
26. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
27. “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
28. “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
29. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
30.“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost