Travel connects people to new and different experiences and sometimes a travel quote can inspire a journey. Some quotes capture the essence of a destination and others are reminders of an adventure or highlight basic truths about life or experiencing different cultures.
19th Century Quotes
Even though travel in the 19th century was much slower than it is today, those with the means to do so set off to explore the world. As a matter of fact, many young men of privilege embarked on what was known as the "Grand Tour."
- "If you have not independent means, you may still turn traveling to excellent account; for experience shows it often leads to promotion, nay, some men support themselves by travel." - Sir Francis Galton, The Art of Travel: or, Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries
- "It is not all pleasure this exploration." - David Livingstone, The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868
- "I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man wants to see something new." - Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
- "Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Civilization, man feels once more happy." - Richard Francis Burton, Zanzibar
- "It is the traveler's lot to dine at many table-d'hôtes in the course of many wanderings, but it seldom befalls him to make one of a more miscellaneous gathering than that which overfills the great dining-room at Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo during the beginning and height of the regular Egyptian season. Here assemble daily some two to three hundred persons of all ranks, nationalities, and pursuits; half of whom are Anglo-Indians homeward or outward bound European residents, or visitors established in Cairo for the winter. The other half, it may be taken for granted, are going up the Nile." - Amelia Edwards, One Thousand Miles Up the Nile
- "Of all possible debauches, traveling is the greatest that I know; that's the one they invented when they got tired of all the others." - Gustave Flaubert, Letter to Ernest Chevalier, 1851
- "All the earth is seamed with roads, and all the sea is furrowed with the tracks of ships, and over all the roads and all the waters a continuous stream of people passes up and down - traveling, as they say, for their pleasure. What is it, I wonder, that they go out to see?" - Gertrude Bell, Safar Nameh: Persian Pictures A Travel Book
- "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad
- "To move, to breathe, to fly, to float. To gain all while you give. To roam the roads of lands remote. To travel is to live." - Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography
Modern Quotes About Traveling
Comparatively, modern 20th-century travel is fast and relatively easy. With the jet age, the planet got smaller and near the end of the century, speed replaced the style.
- "Getting there is half the fun." - 1953 Cunard travel ad
- "We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls." - Anais Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974
- "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home." - James A. Michener, Holiday Magazine, March 1956
- "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding V, Four Quartets
- "No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." - Lin Yutang, With Love and Irony
- "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière
- "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - Helen Keller, Let Us Have Faith
- "To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure. You have no idea of what is in store for you, but you will, if you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go on the stream of the unknown and accept whatever comes in the spirit in which the gods may offer it." - Freya Stark, Baghdad Sketches
- "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, On the Road
- "Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux
Funny Travel Quotes
Traveling today is very different from how it was 20 years ago. There are e-tickets, flight and hotel bidding sites, cell phones and GPS. Even with all this technology, travel can sometimes throw a curve ball, so it is important to try to keep a sense of humor.
- "'Why don't you take a trip around the world for us?' he proposed. There was a moment of portentous silence. When a man you scarcely know suggests a trip lasting nine months and covering 27 countries, you are justified in jumping to one of four assumptions: first, he is an imposter, second, that he is hopelessly in love with your wife and will do anything to get you out of the country, third, that you have blundered your way into an Alfred Hitchcock film, and fourth that you have succumbed to a combination of ennui de moyen age, wanderlust, paranoia and brandy." - J.S. Perelman, Westward Ha!
- "One certainty when you travel is the moment you arrive in a foreign country, the American dollar will fall like a stone." - Erma Bombeck, When You Look Like Your Passport Photo It is Time To Go Home
- "I love it when the flight attendant says, 'Your seat cushion becomes a flotation device.' Well why doesn't the plane just become a boat?" - Steve Shaffer
- "I've been to almost as many places as my luggage." - Bob Hope
- "Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas. Take your next trip in kilometers." - George Carlin
- "In America, there are two classes of travel - first class, and with children." - Robert Benchley, Pluck and Luck
- "Don't worry about the world ending today, it's already tomorrow in Australia." - Charles M. Schulz
- "The only way to explain how some people dress for the airport is they think no one else will be there." - Andy Borowitz
On the Road
The reasons why people travel all over the globe are often personal. Many love to experience new places and people, others like the challenge of travel that expands perspectives and teaches everyone to appreciate different cultures.
- "It's an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you've been and what's happened. In the end, you're just happy you were there - with your eyes open - and lived to see it." - Anthony Bourdain, The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones
- "I have been called many things in my life, but if there has been one constant, one barb, one arrow flung my way time after time, it is the accusation is that I am an escapist. Escapism, we are led to believe, is evidence of a deficiency in character, a certain failure of temperament, and like so many -isms, it is to be strenuously avoided. 'How do you expect to get ahead?' people ask. But the question altogether misses the point. The Escapist doesn't want to get ahead. He simply wants to get away." - J. Maarten Troost, Getting Stoned with Savages
- "Boy, those French. They have a different word for everything." - Steve Martin
- "Paris is always a good idea." - Audrey Hepburn, Sabrina
- "I opened Africa Overland. 'Nowadays one can read of travelers getting lost,' the introduction began, 'and getting into trouble, or even dying in the attempt to cross Africa, but the reasons for this is simple. The first and most important reason is insufficient planning.' This was somewhat unsettling. My planning had mostly consisted of one trip to Hatchard's bookstore to buy the books that evidently were now going to enumerate all the preparations I had not made." - Stuart Stevens, Malaria Dreams, An African Adventure
- "The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality and, instead of thinking how things might be, to see them as they are." - Dr. Samuel Johnson
Be Inspired by Travel Quotes
In addition to beautiful images of destinations, travel quotes are often inspirational and range from those that are amusing to those that are profound. Sometimes a simple quote can spawn the planning of a journey or heighten memories of past trips. Travel is what you make it and these pearls of wisdom may help you plan an adventure or remember one.