Top 50 Inspirational Travel Quotes

People the world over draw their inspiration from many different sources. I know from talking to a variety travellers there are many things that inspired them to travel. A picture, a video or a friend but one of the most powerful tools is the written word.

Guatape, Colombia

If you are sitting at your desk at work or procrastinating on the internet at home, read these. Feel inspired and get up and do something about it! Here’s a list of my favourite travel quotes to instill some wanderlust…

1. All that is gold does not glitter not all those who wander are lost. – J. R. R. Tolkien

2. 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

3. “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

4. “A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

5. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

6. “The saying ‘Getting there is half the fun’ became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines.” – Henry J. Tillman

7. “Travel is only glamorous in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux

8. “Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.” – The Dhammapada

9. “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George Moore

10. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that 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

Belize has some epic snorkelling, especially on the islands like Caye Caulker.

11. “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman

12. “He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

13. “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

14. “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

15. “Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves” – Euripides

16. “The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” – G. K. Chesterton

17. “I should like to spend the whole of my in life travelling abroad, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home.” – William Hazlitt.

18. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

19. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

20. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

After years of travel I finally found the best outdoor shower in the world in Guatemala.

21. “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” The Prophet Mohammed

22. “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro

23. “The travel writer seeks the world we have lost – the lost valleys of the imagination.” – Alexander Cockburn

24. “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

25. “You lose sight of things… and when you travel, everything balances out.” – Daranna Gidel

26. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

27. “Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.” – Susan Sontag

28. “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.” – Glenn Clark

29. “We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfilment.” – Hilaire Belloc

30. “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” – Oscar Wilde

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

31. “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin

32. “The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.” – Russell Baker

33. “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

34. “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” – Ernest Hemingway

35. “Make voyages! Attempt them… there’s nothing else.” – Tennessee Williams

36. “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

37. “To get to know a country, you must have direct contact with the earth. It’s futile to gaze at the world through a car window.” – Albert Einstein

38. “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

39. “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

40. “The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one’s self to be acquainted with it.” – Lord Chesterfield

Walking the streets of Havana, Cuba is a photographers dream. The decaying decadence makes an ideal backdrop.

41. “The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot

42. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

43. “Journeys end in lovers meeting.” – William Shakespeare

44. “The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes sight-seeing.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

45. “Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking” – Antonio Machado

46. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

47. “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Barbara Hoffman

48. “If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren’t well enough to travel.” – Sir Vivian Fuchs

49. “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville

50. “I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.” – Lord Byron

Do you have a favourite travel quote that didn’t make the list? Comment below!

13 Comments

  • Andydeav

    November 19, 2009

    “Just do something!” – Simon Tierney of Quest Overseas about young people not wasting their gap year.

  • Gap Year Escape

    November 19, 2009

    I like that one. Very straight to the point! Thanks Andy.

  • Carl Dombek

    November 22, 2009

    My favorite is from Lao Tzu: “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

  • Danial

    June 19, 2010

    Wow. 🙂
    I’m motivated 🙂

  • Michela

    June 22, 2010

    My fave is no. 25 “You lose sight of things… and when you travel, everything balances out.” – Daranna Gidel
    Thanks Andy, for sharing this! 🙂

  • Carole-Anne

    August 12, 2010

    “Not to go anywhere, but to go…travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
    Robert Lewis Stevenson

  • Lori

    August 16, 2010

    We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. – Pico Iyer

  • Laura

    January 16, 2011

    I always liked the Miriam Beard quote. Another of my favorites is this one from Bill Bryson:

    “I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you only have the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”

  • Callie

    August 9, 2012

    These are great! I recently read a National Geographic article whose author said: “Whoever made the world went to a lot of trouble, and it would be downright rude not to see as much of it as possible.” I loved that one too!

  • Gap Year Escape

    August 11, 2012

    Good one Callie!

  • Tony Chan

    September 10, 2013

    I love these! My absolute favorite is:
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
    -Dr. Suess
    “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!”

  • beve

    May 14, 2015

    gap year is asome

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