If you're fortunate enough to be able to travel, it can be a truly life-changing experience. Here are just a few quotes to inspire you to explore the world around you whenever you can.
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." — Helen Keller
In 1940, Helen Keller wrote a book entitled Let Us Have Faith. This particular line was almost immediately picked up by the media, and it has continued to be popular for the past 80 years. It's short, sweet, and straight to the point, forcing the reader to immediately reevaluate what's truly important.
Born in 1880, Keller was left blind and deaf at the age of two after being struck by a fever. Despite the challenges she faced, Keller became an iconic humanitarian and was a co-founder of the ACLU.
"Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." — Ibn Battuta
This quote from The Travels of Ibn Battutah really emphasizes one of the best parts of traveling: the ability to collect stories and experiences from everywhere you go.
Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan traveler, writer, and scholar born in 1304. He traveled over 75,000 miles during his life, eventually writing one of the most famous historical books on travel: the Rihla. If anyone's an expert on travel, it's definitely him.
"Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you." — David McCullough
Social media does an amazing job connecting people, enabling the rise of activism, and letting people share their talents. But it can also encourage people to live their lives in a very performative way. While it's definitely fun to capture the perfect picture to share with the world, it's important not to focus so heavily on creating the ideal image that we forget to actually enjoy the moment. This quote by teacher David McCullough is a nice reminder to travel for ourselves, not for our followers.
"The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends." — Shirley MacLaine
It's easy to fear what we don't understand. One incredibly powerful aspect of traveling is its ability to broaden our horizons, open our minds, and connect us with people who we might otherwise never have known. This quote comes from the book Don't Fall Off the Mountain by Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine.
"Why do you go away? So that you can come back." — Terry Pratchett
This quote from Terry Pratchett's novel A Hat Full of Sky is a great reminder of the ways that travel impacts every aspect of our lives. Seeing new places can completely change our perspective, meaning that we see familiar things through a new lens even once we've returned home.
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." — J.R.R. Tolkien
There's a reason The Fellowship of the Ring is such an iconic book. Despite its purely fantasy plot, the novel itself is full of quotes that cut to the core of what it means to be human. This theme of intense empathy, even in the face of danger and unfamiliarity, is likely due to Tolkien's experiences fighting in World War I, which acted as a heavy inspiration for much of the book. This quote, in particular, drives home the importance of living with purpose and seeking out meaningful experiences wherever we can find them.
"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
In her book Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Maya Angelou makes the important point that travel can help connect people by removing the sense of distance and fear caused by unfamiliarity. It's easy to romanticize travel. But Angelou observes that, while it can't solve everything, it can certainly make a difference in the world. And she should know! Throughout her life, Angelou was an avid civil rights activist, changing the world through both her words and her actions. Her seminal book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, made history as the first nonfiction bestseller written by an African-American woman.
"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls." — Anais Nin
This quote is from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974. For anyone who has ever experienced wanderlust, truer words have never been spoken. Nin was born in France in 1903, and she traveled back and forth between Europe and the United States throughout her life. She is most well known for her series of personal diaries. Her uniquely lyrical writing style is perfectly suited for capturing the bittersweet feelings that often surround the experience of traveling.
"I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." — Mary Anne Radmacher
Author and poet Mary Anne Radmacher is no stranger to aphorisms, and this quote is a perfect example of that. Traveling turns the familiar into something new and strange so that even the moon seems different when seen from somewhere you've never been.
"The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are." — Samuel Johnson
Born in England in 1709, Samuel Johnson lived his life as a poet, critic, essayist, and biographer. He contracted a lymphatic strain of tuberculosis early in his life, and although he had a difficult childhood, Johnson went on to become renowned for his writings. Included in that is The Vanity of Human Wishes and a periodical called The Rambler. Johnson's quote on travel serves once again to emphasize the fact that experiencing new places and cultures can help to remove the preconceived notions we hold. Doing so makes us better able to interact with the world in an educated, empathetic way.