Travel Quotes to Inspire You to See the World

Travel Quotes to Inspire You to See the World

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

I decided to write a pretty lighthearted post about the most inspiring travel quotes of all time. I’ve compiled here a list of sayings and quotes that have really spoken to me as a traveler. I’ve also included who said them (if we know who) and a little background info.

Read on for some of the best Travel Quotes to Inspire You to See the World!

Best Travel Quotes

"Travel - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller."
Ibn Battuta
14th-century Muslim traveler, covered an insane amount of ground

If I had to pick one single favorite quote about travel, this would probably be it. It’s short, poetic, and speaks volumes. 

Ibn Battuta traveled over 72,000 miles by foot, camel, horse, and sailboat, leaving the likes of Marco Polo in the dust. He basically saw all of the Old World, passing through the Mongol Khanate, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, and writing about his experiences. You can read the entirety of his travels in his book Rihla (formally: A Masterpiece to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling). 

"Travel isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind."
Anthony Bourdain
American chef, host of travel show Parts Unknown

I admit that I was not a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain when I first saw his show. Thank god I’ve since come to my senses in the years since. He really did put his own little spin on the travel show format, focusing not only on local cuisine but also on humor. He definitely brought an edge to travel shows while still faithfully presenting cultures from around the world. 

He will be missed. 

"He who would travel happily must travel light."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer and air mail pilot, author of "The Little Prince"

His problematic views on colonialism notwithstanding, this guy could write. Aside from The Little Prince, he also wrote Wind, Sand, and Stars, one of my favorite adventure books ever. 

This particular quote is so true. I learned pretty quick not to overpack early on, fitting only what I would need in my travel backpack

"The life you have led does not need to be the only life you have."
Anna Quindlen
American journalist, winner of Pulitzer Prize

Quindlen’s quote speaks to me on a deep level. I didn’t start travel blogging until I was 28 years old, which in this business would be considered “late in the game.” I didn’t even start globetrotting in earnest until a few years prior. I felt like I was embarking on a journey that other people my age had already come back from, minds full of memories, ready to dig in and make money. When I saw the movie Tenet, I realized that I was feeling…inverted. Like I was doing everything backwards from the way it should be done. 

I still feel that way, but I’ve also become more confident in the direction I want my life to take. 

"If there's one lesson I've prized from my years of travel it's this: no place is ever as bad as they tell you it's going to be."
Chuck Thompson
Travel writer, author of "Smile When You're Lying"

Before anyone jumps down my throat about this quote, I am fully aware that certain destinations present way more risk than others. That risk isn’t just crime; it can also take the form of regional diseases or political instability or natural disasters. 

HAVING SAID THAT…Mr. Thompson is correct. I caught so much flak for traveling to Mexico City, and later Guatemala. I even had one supervisor at a job seriously ask me if I was worried about getting shot when I told her I was traveling to Chicago

I didn’t get kidnapped by cartels in Mexico. I didn’t get beaten to death in Guatemala. And I was never mugged nor murdered by gangs in Chicago. The very worst thing that ever happened was I got my phone taken off me on a Mexico City subway. I found an internet cafe to tell everyone what happened, and then found a Mobo store and bought a cheap new phone. The world didn’t end. 

Yes, all of those places have areas that are *extremely* high crime. But people conflate those horrible neighborhoods for the whole city or even the whole entire country, and that’s simply not true. I write more about this and how you can get realistic information in my article “Don’t Be Scared, But Be Smart.”

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
St. Augustine
Ancient Roman philosopher

St. Augustine was one of the foremost thinkers of his time, and this quote of his perfectly sums up my personal philosophy on travel. There’s simply too much to see out there!

I want to be clear about one thing though, and that’s that I don’t think of traveling as making you a better person than those who cannot or chose not to travel abroad. I just think that there’s simply too much human and natural history in this world to not appreciate it to the best of your ability. 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do."
H. Jackson Browne, Jr.
Writer, author of "PS I Love You"

Often incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, this is another quote that resonates with me. I travel because I don’t want to have regrets. I don’t want to be on my deathbed wondering what it’s like to see the Pyramids of Egypt. Even if I go and it turns out that they’re not really sitting in quiet contemplation the middle of the desert, but rather right on the edge of an expanding metropolitan area and replete with vendors. At least I went and I saw. 

Obviously, travel isn’t everything, and this quote can equally apply to your career, love life, or any other goal. 

"Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer."

Good quote, even if it does make me think of this funny-because-it’s-true skit:

"You don't have to be rich to travel well."
Eugene Fodor
Hungarian founder of Fodor's Travel Guides

Boom. This right here. This is everything 9 to 5 Voyager is about. 

It is a sad fact of life that some of the “best” travel opportunities and experiences are for those with significant priviledge in this world. But when I started this blog, I set out to prove that you don’t have to be rich to experience and enjoy other countries and cultures. You can save money buy staying in shared accommodationflying budget airlinesleveraging travel points, and eating at cheaper, local restaurants outside of the main tourist centers. 

There are all kinds of ways to land yourself in a foreign country on a budget.

"Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure."
Irving Wallace
American writer and pipe smoker extraordinaire

This is so true. My life has been more similar to that movie Joe Versus the Volcano than I care to admit, sitting at a desk and doing the most inconsequential (for me) tasks in a drab office with disagreeable coworkers and supervisors. Sometimes it’s up to us to bring personality back into a flat world. 

"Not all those who wander are lost."
J.R.R. Tolkien
Writer and linguist, author of Lord of the Rings

Adorning Facebook profiles everywhere, this is a quote whose ubiquity has done nothing to diminish its luster.

I will say one thing about this quote. Technically, the way it’s used in the novel Lord of the Rings, is to convey that even those who stray from the righteous path can bounce back. It wasn’t quite meant the way most people nowadays interpret it. 

Having said that, good writing can be interpreted any number of ways, and I take Tolkien’s wordds to mean that just because someone’s not following the standard path doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know where he’s going in life. 

Indeed, success comes in different forms. 

"Take half of what you need, and twice as much money."

So. Freaking. True. 

Seriously, I’ve learned this time and time again on my own voyages. Learn to sacrifice weight for mobility, and budget how much money you’re going to need and then add more. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve had to leave behind something from my pack and withdraw more local currency than I planned on.  


I hope these quotes have given you inspiration, whether to travel or to pursue other goals in life!

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4 Responses

  1. Sandra Ans says:

    I love different quotes and of course, travel quotes are one of my favorites! I really liked that you also included some extra information, it was realy interesting to read!
    From your list my favorite is: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” I am toatlly in love with this quotes!

  2. Anthony Bourdain’s travels and thoughts were amazing, he was a wonderful soul. I love the quotes you’ve included here — definitely given me a bit of the travel bug!

  3. fpdorchak says:

    “Travel”: it’s not just a word…it’s a destination. And you can quote me on that! 🙂

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