21 inspirational travel quotes

All travellers need inspiration. No matter who you are and how much you’ve traveled, there will always be moments on the road when you need to reminded of where you’re going and why you chose to get there. Fortunately, human history has always been full of intrepid adventurers jotting down their thoughts on the inspiration and meaning of travel.

So, we intrepid adventurers here at Safari have decided to share some of our favourite travel quotes with you. If you’re out on the road and need some inspiration, or if you need some inspiration to get yourself out onto the road, we hope this post inspires you just the same!

Inspirational travel photo taken at Afrika Burn Festival in South Africa

© Kim Shaw

“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

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd

 “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

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

Inspirational photograph of the flow of a stream in a forest

© Sean Messham

“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – JRR Tolkien

“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

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James A. Michener

 

“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

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling

“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

“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

 “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

© Sean Messham


“A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place…” - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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

“All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes, but tries new places all the time.” – Paul Fussell

“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.” – D. H. Lawrence

 

Barefoot and free on the beach

© Rich Pearce

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

“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

“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

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