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Why and how
(continue) traveling differently:
the Best Travel Quotes to Inspire Your Next TrIP

Laurent Lefèvre

Writers, philosophers, and explorers from yesterday to today have written about travel, taking their experiences, good or bad, near or far, as their inspiration. Extracted from travelogues and travel books, their observations and their thoughts presented here make us smile and think: they open the way. As Jack Kerouac wrote, « I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility. »

Environmentally conscious, here and there, the traveler—who ‘sees what he sees while the tourist sees what he came to see’—can limit his impact on the climate by choosing the least polluting public transport (a substitute for the plane when possible), and by opting for places and periods deserted by mass tourism.

Traveling differently involves favoring local activities and lifestyles, fostering encounters and exchanges with locals, often curious about our beliefs and ways of life: ‘rubbing and polishing one’s brain against that of others.’ For instance, a trek in the desert with camel drivers at the pace of their camels rather than in an air-conditioned 4×4!

This journey, where one takes the time to live and (self) discover (slow tourism), to become familiar with the language and local cultures, requires an extended stay on-site. Instead of ‘doing India’ in three weeks to bring back selfies, it is more enriching to dedicate time to each city or temple visited, to each opportunity to come back with ‘new eyes.’

The emphasis on exchanges, long-term time, and short circuits (consuming locally, staying with locals) can take different forms depending on the countries visited (e.g. in Nepal by participating in local development), on your way of traveling (on your own or with a trekking agency specializing in sustainable tourism).

Travelers of yesterday or today, aware of the climatic issues and societal challenges, why (continue to) explore the world? It is up to each individual to consciously forge the good reasons to hit the road. The answers are to be found in the way you travel and what you accomplish along the way, in what the gaze of the other teaches you and reveals in you, or in the words of the bard: ‘The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.

Why Travel?

The bed is the most dangerous place in the world: eighty percent of people die there.

Mark Twain

To stay is to exist. To travel is to live.

Gustave Nadaud

To live is to pass from one space to another, while trying as hard as possible not to bump into anything.

Georges Perec, Species of spaces and Other Pieces

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. She is lethal!

Paulo Coelho

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

He who never leaves his country is full of prejudices.


Deprived of one’s usual setting, the customary routine stripped away like so much wrapping paper, the traveler finds himself reduced to more modest proportions - but also more open to curiosity, to intuition, to love at first sight. […] It quickly seemed to me that the Earth was given to us as a vast wonder to decipher. With three keys received in my cradle: reading, travel, and writing.

Nicolas Bouvier, 
 The Way of the World

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.

In twenty years you will not be disappointed with the things you have done but with those you have not done. Then lift your anchor, abandon safe ports, catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Do you dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

To travel is to live twice.

Albert Camus

To travel is to rub and polish our brains against the brains of others.


He who travels without meeting the other does not travel, he merely moves

Alexandra David-Néel

Do you want to live a happy life? Travel with two bags, one for giving, one for receiving.


The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.

Saint Augustine

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

Gustave Flaubert

A suitcase, it's like having freedom in your hand.

Albert Londres,
Farewell to Cayenne

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

André Gide

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear the most.


He who does not move learns anything. Yes, depart, divide yourself into parts. No learning avoids the journey.

Michel Serres,
The Troubadour of Knowledge

I can speak to my soul only when the two of us are off exploring deserts or cities or mountains or roads.

Paulo Coelho

No Grass Grows on the Beaten Path.

African proverb

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

"To travel is a celebration: you lock the door, leaving yourself inside. You rendezvous with yourself abroad. You gaze at the streets, the sky, and the houses. You observe yourself in the shop windows, amazed to be where you are – that is, somewhere else. You have changed. You are as fresh as what you see.

Christian Bobin,
 The Woman to Come

What I love in travels, is the surprise of the return.


Like everything that matters in life, a beautiful journey is a work of art.

Travel is a kind of door through which we exit reality, as if entering an unexplored reality that seems like a dream.


Traveling is like dreaming: the only difference is that not everyone, once awaken, can recall their dream. Whereas, everyone has a vivid memory of the trip from which he has returned.

Edgar Allan Poe

Nothing develops intelligence like travel.

Émile Zola

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

John Steinbeck

Traveling outgrows its motives. It soon proves sufficient in itself. You think you are making a trip, but soon it is making you - or unmaking you.”

Nicolas Bouvier, 
 The Way of the World

The road is life. [It] must eventually lead to the whole world.

Jack Kerouac, 
On the Road

Travel leaves you speechless at first, before turning you into a storyteller.

There is no man more complete than the one who traveled a lot, who changed the shape of his thoughts and his life twenty times.

Travels in the East

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.

Jack Kerouac, 
On the Road

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, sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.

To travel is to demand from distance in an instant what time could only provide us gradually.

Paul Morand

Boredom becomes music by the seaside, and ecstasy on the mountaintop.

The fall into Time

A few hours of mountain climbing turn a rascal and a saint into two pretty similar creatures.


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 

Experience is a lantern that you carry on your back and that only lights up the path you have traveled.


Habit, that has such great power over us in all things, has above all the power to teach us to serve .

La Boétie,
Discourse on Voluntary Servitude

Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of you.

Mark Twain

He who has a 'why' to live can bear or deal with almost any how.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Thoughts to Pack in Your Travel Backpack
for Your Journey

A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.

Oscar Wilde

A good traveler should not assert, explain, but remain silent, listen, and understand.

Paul Morand

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Oscar Wilde, 
The Critic as Artist

The shortest path is not the straightest, but the one on which the most favorable wind fills our sail: this is what the rules of navigation teach us.

Friedrich Nietzsche,
 Human, All Too Human

You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.

Helena Blavatsky,
Voice of the Silence

Houses are full of things that gather dust.

Jack Kerouac 

Chance is a law that travels incognito.

Arabic proverb

What's in store for me in the direction I don't take?

Jack Kerouac 

Life can only be understood by looking backward; but it must be lived by looking forward.


The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.


The path is not difficult; it is the difficult that is the path.


Adventures in Good Company

A cheerful companion on a journey on foot is worth a carriage.


I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.

Mark Twain,  Tom Sawyer Abroad

Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.

Oscar Wilde

It is easier to find a travel companion than to get rid of one.

What a trip!

Oh! Embarking on one's honeymoon alone!"

Jules Renard

Niagara Falls is the second great disappointment in the married life of many Americans who spend their honeymoon there.

Oscar Wilde

You can tell German wine from vinegar by the label.

Mark Twain

Ah, the French, they don't travel well, like Camembert!

Claude Zidi,

The Parisian is not opposed to warm hospitality, but only when they are traveling.

Alain Schifres

God created war so that Americans would learn geography.

Mark Twain

Do you know why there are so many churches in Paris? It's so that pedestrians can go in and pray before crossing the street.

They examine passports on the Italian frontier for fear an honest man may slip in.

Mark Twain,
Notebook #16
Drapeau français : le drapeau tricolore
version française

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