Are Inspirational Travel Quotes Really Inspirational?

As an overly emotional 25-year-old female, I love quotes that touch on the human experience. I mean, take one look at my Instagram, and you can instantly see that I am a bumbling mess of emotions. Quotes put into words what I am feeling but can’t verbalize, and they have helped me through some of life’s toughest moments. As a self-diagnosed travel addict, inspirational travel quotes were something I wanted to love. After being bit by the travel bug, I dove head first into Pinterest, Goodreads, and BrainyQuotes trying to find the best words to explain my undying wanderlust to those around me. What I found were a bunch of old, clichéd sayings that have been floating around the interwebs since the dawn of cyberspace. They were uninspired, overused and some had lost their meaning entirely. You can imagine my disappointment.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

“The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page.”

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

Shoot me now. Sure, all those things are true, and they were probably super inspirational and innovative when their respective creators first said them. However, if I read one more anecdote about people throwing caution to the wind and running away while crediting these quotes with giving them the inspiration to pull the trigger, I am going to scream. Why is it that the production of travel quotes seemed to end in the 1900’s? Why does it seem like Mark Twain was the last person to write anything about traveling that struck an emotional chord with anyone? He died in 1910 people! Of course I realize that there have been great writers since Twain. I am looking at you Bill Bryson, Jack Kerouac, Paul Theroux, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Cheryl Strayed. The problem is that quotes created more recently have not had enough time to permeate the internet. They have not spread to every corner of the world and they have not touched as many lives. Thus, travelers everywhere continue to reuse and abuse the travel quotes of yesteryear.

To be completely honest, I am just sick of reading the same words over and over again. Thus, I have decided to take control of the situation, because bitching about it isn’t going to change anything, obviously. I am determined to highlight a new class of inspirational travel quotes; quotes that will resonate with travelers on a whole new level. I want to inspire others by making them realize that people today are still writing about the adventures of their dreams and the words they are seeking are out there, just waiting to be found.

Truly Inspirational Travel Quotes

She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.”― Roman Payne

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”― Roman Payne

“It does not matter how many times you leave, it will always hurt to come back and remember what you once had and who you once were. Then it will hurt just as much to leave again, and so it goes over and over again. Once you’ve started to leave, you will run your whole life.” Charlotte Eriksson

“There is something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for arriving, but I was born to leave.”― Charlotte Eriksson

“Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is the generation that travels the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite & never out stay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience— And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.”― Alex Garland

“I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”― Cheryl Strayed

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. 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 have only 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.”― Bill Bryson

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.”― Elizabeth Gilbert

And my last piece of advice…

“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. (…)I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. (…) 

Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.

You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. (…) It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.” ― Jon Krakauer

Happy Travels,

inspirational travel quotes


6 comments on “Are Inspirational Travel Quotes Really Inspirational?”

  1. Kaley says:

    I love posts like this! I definitely think that a lot of those inspirational quotes are super cheesy and overused and kind of make me want to roll my eyes. I like ones with deeper meaning and a story behind them much better. The one by Elizabeth Gilbert resounds with my in particular.

    1. B says:

      Thank you so much! I love her writing. I was actually able to attend an event that she spoke at in Seattle recently. She is an inspirational woman 🙂

  2. I was having exactly this though yesterday! I love quotes, but I’m sick of always reading the same ones. It’s like the words lose their meaning with repetition. This is a nice new spin… You’ve got some gold nuggets here!

    1. B says:

      Thank you! I totally agree that they lose their meanings. I wish more people would dig a little deeper when they are looking for travel quotes. Hopefully these are a little more inspirational 😉

  3. Julie Ap says:

    Amen, Sistah! Let’s get some new quotes out there. And keep them in context, besides. Love this post! (Going to share right now!)

    1. B says:

      Thanks love. I am glad you enjoyed it and thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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