The Best Travel Quotes To Help Inspire, Dream And Live By

I thought it might be fun to do a little post comprising of my favourite top 10 best travel quotes. There are some wonderful travel related quotes that exist out there and this is my personal ‘best of’ list. Many of them are quite old and you may have heard some of them before, but they all feel snug and comfy like a pair of well worn-in shoes or a hot chocolate on a winter’s day.

I find all of them inspiring in one way or another. Some of them provide sage travel advice and some of them make me think and dream, I think they’re all good quotes for any traveller at heart to embrace.

Travel Quotes - Backpack Over Paris

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” ~ Lin Yutang

It’s easy to be travelling and get this sudden yet sneaky feeling that you’re somehow not taking enough advantage of where you are and the array of possible cultural offerings. Any pillow can become that old, familiar pillow – and sometimes that pillow is comforting in its own way, but when you’re travelling suck it for all it’s worth.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ~ Mark Twain

Can’t really add to that perfect sentence from Mr. Twain.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~ St. Augustine

This is pretty heavy stuff from St. Augustine, but the man has a point. Some people don’t like books (outrageous!), so we should update the quote a little – “The world is a movie, and those who do not travel only watch the opening credits.” Zing!

“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

Twain has done it again with this beauty. This is the one to read if you’re having a dilemma about leaving a full time job or the comfort zone and familiarity of your home town or city to head off backpacking. Those trade winds aren’t going to sail themselves 🙂

Explore. Dream. Discover.

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” ~ Robert Frost

This one rings a few faint school bells of recollection, but I think current Tom appreciates it a lot more than school boy Tom. It’s just a smarmy way of saying “try to avoid tourist traps on the road” – still, try and define a tourist trap and things can get a little more complicated.

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” ~ Tim Cahill

Love this quote. One of the main benefits I always raise when promoting backpacking and travel in general is all the new and like-minded friends you’ll meet along the way. This quote sums things up perfectly 🙂

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

This ISN’T supposed to encourage you to stay home, but rather to embrace the unique food, customs and culture that you’ll find residing in every country of the world.

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” ~ William G.T. Shedd

I really like this quote. It could be because I really like ships, but for me it exactly defines what is meant when people talk about a ‘sense of adventure’. I don’t think humans were built to sit cooped up in air conditioned offices all day. I think we’ve all got a little explorer in us.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~ Susan Sontag

Everywhere is on my to-do list 😀

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.” ~ Glenn Clark

Be a better person when you travel… and then be a better person when (if) you ever arrive to a place called home.

13 Responses to “The Best Travel Quotes To Help Inspire, Dream And Live By”

  1. Kevin says:

    Hey Tom,

    Nice post! Really liked ‘a ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built fore’. Sometimes really feel like this when i’m sitting behind my desk. haha. When I was traveling I read this quote from alex Garland in The Beach:

    Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a vida, pack a bag, and it just happens.”
    ― Alex Garland, The Beach

    Think this really describes the Go With The Flow feeling of traveling. Watch the road before you, don’t know where you sleep that night.

    I hope to see you this summer!


    Kevin Okkema

    • Tom says:

      Hey Kevin! Thanks for leaving a comment!

      I love The Beach (both the book and the movie) – that’s a great quote! It’s such a great book to read when travelling, you can just imagine finding some island haven in some remote spot of Thailand and a bunch of backpacker’s setting up camp there haha.

      We’ll definitely all catch up this summer (I hope it stays summer for a while :D)


  2. Louise says:

    Hi Tommy…love this whole are great with your commentary on each favourite is St. Augustin’s cause I love books too..are there really people who don’t like books? Weird!

  3. Lucy says:

    I love the Explore. Dream. Discover. one. It’s always been a favourite and the reason behind much of my travelling 🙂

  4. Marnie Byod says:

    I love this one. “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.” ~ Glenn Clark. Some quotes touches our hearts and some also won’t. Traveling is one of the things I want in life. Many thanks to you for sharing this you really inspire me.

  5. selina says:

    I love beautiful quotes about travelling and I love those pictures added by you. Keep going on.

  6. Kristen says:

    Love all these quotes! Another good one is ” life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all ” Helen Keller. this is my travel saying…so much so I got it tattooed on my arm!

  7. Sandra says:

    I just discovered your blog and I’m reading with great enthusiasm :-))

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