Quotes I Love

…about travel and writing and life.


By going and coming, a bird weaves its nest.
-Ashanti proverb
By words the mind is winged.
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. 

-Oscar Wilde
The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory.
-Chinese proverb
I tell you: one must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you still have chaos in you.
Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing.
-Walt Whitman
Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.
-Christian Morgenstern
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
The world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only one page.
-St. Augustine
Journals should be–must be–uncensored cross dressers.
-Sera Beak
Writing has been a way of explaining to myself the things I do not understand.
-Rosario Castellanos
Even now, at this late day, a blank sheet of paper holds the greatest excitement there is for me—more promising than a silver cloud, and prettier than a little red wagon.
-E.B. White
Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
Take the time to come home to yourself every day.
-Robin Cesarjean
It’s not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one’s thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.
-Isabel Colegate
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
-Vladimir Nabokov
People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.
– Dagobert D. Runes
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

-Dr. Seuss
What is traveling? Changing your place? By no means! Traveling is changing your opinions and your prejudices.
-Anatole France
The reason we want to write memoir is an ache, a longing, a passing of time that we feel all too strongly.
-Natalie Golderg
Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.
-Toni Morrison
I am going away with him to an unknown country where I shall have no past and no name, and where I shall be born again with a new face and an untried heart.
-Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
I have a picture of the Pont Neuf on a wall in my apartment, but I know that Paris is really on the closet shelf, in the box next to the sleeping bag, with the rest of my diaries.
-Thomas Mallon
Make voyages! Attempt them! There is nothing else.
-T. Williams
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leondardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
-H. Jackson Brown
Be regular and orderly in your life … so that you may be violent and original in your work.
-Gustave Flaubert
Traveler’s heart

Never settled long in one place

Like a portable fire

-Basho (1644-1694)
That’s what I like about traveling — you can sit down, maybe talk to someone interesting, see something beautiful, read a good book, and that’s enough to qualify as a good day. You do that at home and everyone thinks you’re a bum.
–Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan, Before Sunrise screenplay (1995)
Each instant is a place we’ve never been.
-Mark Strand
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.
-Ayn Rand
To pay attention is our endless and proper work.
-Mary Oliver
Your travel life has the essence of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it. It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again. It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longing…. But you are like the Vikings or the master mariners of the Elizabethan age, who have gone into a world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.
-Agatha Christie
We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

-Mark Strand
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
- Albert Einstein
But time is one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time. Time gives us a whirl. We keep waking from a dream we can’t recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end. All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.
-Annie Dillard
Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, “I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.”
-Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
–Howard Thurman
It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look…. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
–Henry David Thoreau
Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about. . . . Is what I say true? Say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from the beginning of the universe.
In a pond koi can reach lengths of eighteen inches. Amazingly, when placed in a lake, koi can grow to three feet long. The metaphor is obvious. You are limited by how you see the world.
-Vince Poscente, Olympian
People don’t take trips—trips take people.
-John Steinbeck
Peculiar Travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.
-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
The real meaning of travel, like that of a conversation by the fireside, is the discovery of oneself through contact with other people, and its condition is self-commitment in the dialogue.
-Paul Tournier
There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.
-George Santayana
The opposite of love is not hate but indifference.
-Elie Wiesel
The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was before you came in.
-James Baldwin
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
-Chinese Proverb
Approach that which repulses you; go to places that scare you; try to help those who you think cannot be helped.
-Buddhist saying
They sicken of the calm that know the storm.
-Dorothy Parker
This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs: they are foreign and will not always conform to our whim.
-James Reston
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
-Edward Abbey
The journey is the reward.
-Taoist saying
The first experience can never be repeated. The first love, the first sunrise, the first South Sea island, are memories apart and touched a virginity of sense.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
-Lewis Carroll
This was the moment I longed for every day. Settling at a heavy inn-table, thawing and tingling, with wine, bread, and cheese handy and my papers, books and diary all laid out; writing up the day’s doing, hunting for words in the dictionary, drawing, struggling with verses, or merely subsiding in a vacuous and contented trance while the snow thawed off my boots.
–Patrick Leigh Fermor
I used to think that people who regarded everyone benignly were a mite simple or oblivious or just plain lax — until I tried it myself. Then I realized that they made it only look easy. Even the Berditchever Rebbe, revered as a man who could strike a rock and bring forth a stream, was continually honing his intentions. “Until I remove the thread of hatred from my heart,” he said of his daily meditations, “I am, in my own eyes, as if I did not exist.”
-Marc Barasch
Certainly, 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
Writing of every kind is a way to wake oneself up and keep as alive as when one has just fallen in love.
-Pico Iyer
To write a diary every day is like returning to one’s own vomit.
-Enoch Powell
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.
-Soren Kierkegaard
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
-E. L. Doctorow
Beyond myself
I wait for my arrival.

–Octavio Paz
The open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.
-William Least Heat-Moon
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
-Martin Buber
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
-Charles Kingsley
I have a trunk containing continents.
Beryl Markham
To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.
-Freya Stark
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.
-William Henry Channing
The road was new to me, as roads always are, going back.
–Sarah Orne Jewett
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want, more than all the world, your return.
-Mary Jean Irion
Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.
-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers, that the mind can never break off from the journey.
– Pat Conroy
Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
-Tom Stoppard
The healthy wayfarer sitting beside the road scanning the horizon open before him, is he not the absolute master of the earth, the waters, and even the sky? What housedweller can vie with him in power and wealth? His estate has no limits, his empire no law. No work bends him toward the ground, for the bounty and beauty of the world are already his.
-Isabelle Eberhardt
Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.
-John Keats
Through travel I first became aware of the outside world.
-Eudora Welty
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

-William Carlos Williams
To a worm in horseradish, the whole world is horseradish.
-Yiddish proverb
The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality.
-Samuel Johnson
Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.
-Lawrence Durrell
I recommend that you take care of the minutes: for the hours will take care of themselves.
-Earl of Chesterfield
I write as if an eye were upon me.
-Sylvia Plath
Do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be stronger.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks.

- Phillips Brooks
There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.
-Henry Van Dyke
Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never regains its original dimensions.

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
I have found that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
-Mark Twain
If you ask me what I came to do in this world…I am here to live out loud.
-Emile Zola
Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence?
-Shirdi Sai Baba
Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.
-Nikos Kazantzakis
Poetry is the overflowing of the soul.
-Henry Theodore Tuckerman
The purpose of life, after all,
is to live it,
to taste experience to the utmost,
to reach out eagerly and without fear
for newer and richer experience.

-Eleanor Roosevelt
To stop being a tourist, sometimes all you have to do is start standing still.
-Taras Grescoe
And the time came when the risk it took to remain in a tightly closed bud became infinitely more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-Anais Nin
I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the Stern Fact, the Sad Self, unrelenting, identical that I fled from.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
To have striven, to have made an effort, to have been true to certain ideals-this alone is worth the struggle. We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can from, life.
-Sir William Osler
To travel is to take a journey into yourself.
-Dena Kaye
I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I give myself to it.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
You must pray that the way be long, full of adventures and experiences.
-Constantine Peter Cavafy
We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.
-Carl Jung
The road recedes as the traveler advances, leaving a continuous present.
-Richard Le Gallienne
You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.
-James Allen
The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.
Rudyard Kipling
When you are alone you are all your own.
- Leonardo da Vinci
Words form the thread on which we string our experiences.
-Aldous Huxley
We either make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves strong.
The amount of work is the same.

-Carlos Castenada
A good holiday is one that is spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.
-J.B. Priestly
As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins.
-Albert Schweitzer
Our lives don’t really belong to us, you see–they belong to the world, and in spite of our efforts to make sense of it, the world is a place beyond our understanding.
-Paul Auster
It’s not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one’s thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.
–Isabel Colegate
There is only one journey: going inside yourself.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
–John Steinbeck
Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

-Albert Einstein
Writing has been a way of explaining to myself the things I do not understand.
–Rosario Castellanos
All it takes to fly is to hurl yourself at the ground–and miss.
-Douglas Adams
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.

—J.R.R. Tolkien
Traveling carries with it the curse of being at home everywhere and yet nowhere, for wherever one is some part of oneself remains on another continent.
-Margot Fonteyn
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to

-Oprah Winfrey
…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
A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.
-John Steinbeck
I never completely forget myself except when I am writing and I am never more completely myself than when I am writing.
-Flannery O’Connor
I am not my memories.
I am my dreams.

-Terry Hostetler
This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, argue, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek. To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers.
-Terry Tempest Williams
A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
—Albert Einstein
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
—Oscar Wilde
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
The writer’s job is to get the reader to see the world as a question
—Milan Kundera
Don’t be yourself. Be someone a little nicer.
Mignon McLaughlin
You out there, brother, sister, you too live in the center of the world. No matter where or what you think you are.
-Edward Abbey
What is important is not what someone is but what he is waiting for. Not the events of his life but its possibilities.
-Dorothee Solle
All travel is circular. I had been jerked through Asia, making a parabola on one of the planet’s hemispheres. After all, the grand tour is just the inspired man’s way of heading home.
-Paul Theroux
Your road is everything that a road ought to be…and yet you will not stay on it half a mile, for the reason that little, seductive mysterious roads are always branching out from it on either hand, and as these curve sharply also and hide what is beyond, you cannot resist the temptation to desert your own chosen road and explore them.
-Mark Twain
Don’t surrender your loneliness
So quickly
Let it cut more deeply.
Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new

- Jean Houston
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
A border is always a temptation.
-Larry McMurtry
Most travelers content themselves with what they may chance to see from car-windows, hotel verandas, or the deck of a steamer…clinging to the battered highways like drowning sailors to a life raft.
-John Muir
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
-Nido Qubein
I have decided to keep a full journal, in the hope that my life will perhaps seem more interesting when it is written down.
-Adrian Mole
Vocations which we wanted to pursue, but didn’t, bleed, like colors, on the whole of our existence.
-Honore de Balzac
Because I know that time is always time
And that place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual for only one time
And only for one place,
I rejoice that things are as they are.
For what is done is not to be done again.

-T.S. Eliot
What is art but a way of seeing?
-Thomas Berger
Travelers never think that they are the foreigners.
-Mason Cooley
Finding oneself is the most difficult and arduous journey; it is also the most rewarding.
-Evelyn Loeb
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

-Thich Nhat Hanh
Promise me you will always remember You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

-Christopher Robin to Pooh
No muse appears when invoked, dire need
Will not rouse her pity.

-May Sarton
Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional.
-Mark Sanborn
One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.
- Iris Murdoch
Those who do not change their minds cannot change anything.
-George Bernard Shaw
To know another language is to have a second soul.
-Charlemagne, King of the Franks
I shut my eyes in order to see.
-Paul Gauguin
If you don’t find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further.
If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people.
-Timothy Leary
If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.
-Glenn Clark
There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place.
-Washington Irving
The traveler’s-eye view of men and women is not satisfying. A man might spend his entire life in trains and restaurants and know nothing of humanity at the end. To know, one must be an actor as well as a spectator.
-Aldous Huxley
I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
-Duke Ellington
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
-Henry Miller
Only those willing to risk going too far can find out how far they can go.
-T.S. Eliot
Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.

-The Dalai Lama
There are many who are living far below their possibilities
because they are continually handing over their individualities to others.
Do you want to be a power in the world?
Then be yourself.
Be true to the highest within your soul
and then allow yourself to be governed
by no customs or conventionalities or arbitrary man-made rules
that are not founded on principle.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Without darkness, there are no dreams.
-Karla Kuban
When you are everywhere, you are nowhere.
When you are somewhere, you are everywhere.

After all, tomorrow is another day.
-Margaret Mitchell
There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.
-Freya Stark
Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.
-Comte de Bussy-Rabutin
There are hundreds of paths up the mountain,
all leading in the same direction,
so it doesn’t matter which path you take.
The only one wasting time is the one
who runs around and around the mountain,
telling everyone else that their path is wrong.

-Hindu Teaching
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
—Jack Kerouac
This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
-Sir Winston Churchill
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
-Dolores Ibarruri
If we all did the things we are capable of doing
we would literally astound ourselves.

-Thomas Edison
Throw your dream into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, or a new country.
-Anais Nin
Don’t ever live vicariously. This is your life. Live.
-Lavinia Spalding

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Writing Away

Writing Away

A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler
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