Aren’t you tired of the same cliche sentences like “Collect moments not things” or the classic “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they were once innovative, but they have been overused. As a result, I created a personal list of non-cliche travel quotes (at least, in my opinion).
I hope they are motivating. But, before starting, remember that “a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. Just in case you never heard of it.
1. Seat-belt signs lit up, problems switched off. (Alex Garland)
Ready to take off?
2. The adventure of traveling consists of living other people’s daily life as an extraodinary event, in places far from your home. (Javier Reverte)
Therefore, travelers are astonished at everything happening around them. The magic of mundane.
3. Wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. (Antonio Machado)
It is a portion of a fabulous poem by Antonio Machado, a Spanish poet. Even though I prefer the original Spanish version, here is a decent translation:
Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind
one sees the path that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road, only wakes upon the sea.
4. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves. (Cheryl Strayed)
Wild, From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail is a memoir by the American author Cheryl Strayed describing her long hike as a journey of self-discovery. The book is full of motivating self-improvement quotes:
5. I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free. (Cheryl Strayed)
6. After all, death is just a sign that life existed. (Mario Benedetti)
One of Mario Benedetti’s haikus compiled in his book “Haikus’ Corner”. This very short form of Japanese poetry is essentially the juxtaposition of two ideas and a kireji (“cutting word”) between them. Other haikus I loved in the book are:
They made their farewells, but that goodbye was already a welcome.
A pessimist is nothing but a well-informed optimist.
The worst for echo is always repeating the same stupidities.
7. Don’t believe what they tell you about the world (not even what I’m telling you), I’ve already told you that the world can’t be narrated. (Mario Benedetti)
8. Hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. (Konstantinos Kavafis)
“Ithaka” is a poem by Konstantinos Kavafis. It refers to the island home of Odysseus, the hero in Homer’s ancient Greek epic poem. The story talks about how the journey is more important than the destination itself. This is my favorite part:
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Read the full poem here.
9. I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility. (Jack Kerouac)
It would be a crime not mentioning Jack Kerouac on a travel quotes list. The writer of On the Road was a rebel, free thinker, philosopher with an isatiable wanderlust and love for adventure and the unknown. In fact, do you know what? He deserves another quote:
10. “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” (Jack Kerouac)
11. Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. (Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer)
With a similar free mindset, Christopher McCandless was a hiker and itinerant traveler. After graduating from college he traveled the United Stated and hitchhiked to Alaska carrying minimal supplies. Probably you know the story since it was told on the bestseller Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer.
12. There were many, many fine reasons not to go, but attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act—a triumph of desire over sensibility. (Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer)
However, Jon Krakauer himself is an outdoor man as well. Apart from Into The Wild, he also wrote Into Thin Air, a non-fiction book about one of the deadliest disasters in the history of climbing Everest. He was, in fact, a member of that expedition.
13. Men Wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. (Ernest Shackleton)
I am a huge fan of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. It is still under discussion whether the previous words were his exact advertisement in the newspaper or not. However, there is no doubt that the Endurance Expedition was one of the most epic adventures of all times.
I first learnt about the expedition by reading The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition. This amazing book includes some of Frank Hurley’s work, the photographer on board. The brilliant text together with the astonishing images help to recreate the terrible beauty of Antarctica and the crew’s daily struggle to survive. Superb.
14. Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all. (Ernest Shackleton)
15. Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. (Louis L’Amour).
16. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. (Hermann Hesse)
Siddharta is a 1922 novel by Hermann Hesse. It narrates the story of a young man who leaves his family to start a spiritual journey of self-discovery. It is written in simple words yet when you finish it you feel wiser… and would read it again.
“When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”
17. You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live. (Hermann Hesse)
18. If you don’t climb the mountain, you won’t be able to enjoy the view. (Pablo Neruda)
Or, in other words, every sacrifice has a reward.
19. The landscape a man sees, outward, is a reflection of what he is hiding, inward. (Albert Sanchez Piñol)
Do we travel to know places or to know ourselves?
20. It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. (Gabriel García Márquez)
Well, I think you had enough inspiration for today. Now, go explore the world!