Non-Cliche Travel Quotes You've Probably Never Heard Before
Musings, Travel

30 Non-Cliché Travel Quotes You’ve Probably Never Heard Before

Call me a sucker, but I love a good travel quote. For me, it’s about so much more than my deep-rooted love of travel–when someone is able to use the written word to capture how travel makes me feel, well, that’s a special kind of magic.

Because that’s kind of what I do around here–try to put into words the inner turmoil, the upheaval, the frustration, the confusion, joy, and delight caused by traveling the world. Sometimes I do it well, but other times, the words elude me.

And when I first began traveling myself, I clung to those travel quotes we all know too well:

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Augustine of Hippo

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -JRR Tolkien

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

I clung to those quotes because they spoke to me. They spoke to an inner yearning, a passion that was inside of me waiting to flower. They made sense to me; made me feel less alone.

I needed those words, to feel like I wasn’t crazy for my neverending desire to chase new horizons.

But now that I’m at a different stage in my life and in my travels, these tired old quotes simply don’t speak to me in the same way anymore. I need something different–something deeper.

What I need now are the words that capture how much travel has changed me. Perhaps the ones that capture why I’ve never been able to stop moving–why travel has always been a priority in my life, even when my heart began to crave other things.

I’m not the same person I was when I began. I have this wide, wonderful world to thank for that.

So I went out in search of some non-cliché travel quotes to express how I’m feeling at this more mature, more experienced, better-traveled juncture.

These non-cliché #travelquotes will resonate with even the most seasoned traveler Click To Tweet

Here are some of the best ones I found, for those of you who seek new experiences for the depth they add to your life, and those of you who will always understand the intrinsic value of a mundane moment in a faraway place.

30 of the Best Non-Cliché Travel Quotes

“Maybe true travel is not the transportation of the body, but a change of perception, renewing the mind.”
― Ben Okri, The Age of Magic

“Travel does not exist without home…If we never return to the place we started, we would just be wandering, lost. Home is a reflecting surface, a place to measure our growth and enrich us after being infused with the outside world.”
― Josh Gates, Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter

Travel quote by Paul Theroux

“The value of your travels does not hinge on how many stamps you have in your passport when you get home–and the slow nuanced experience of a single country is always better than the hurried, superficial experience of forty countries.”
― Rolf Potts, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

“It’s funny. When you leave your home and wander really far, you always think, ‘I want to go home.’ But then you come home, and of course it’s not the same. You can’t live with it, you can’t live away from it. And it seems like from then on there’s always this yearning for some place that doesn’t exist. I felt that. Still do. I’m never completely at home anywhere.”
― Danzy Senna

“Looking at these photographs, I know that I will never understand the world I live in or fully know the places I’ve been. I’ve learned for sure only what I don’t know – and how much I have to learn.”
― Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach

“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

“Travel is the only context in which some people ever look around. If we spent half the energy looking at our own neighborhoods, we’d probably learn twice as much.”
― Lucy R. Lippard, On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art, and Place

Travel quote by Roman Payne

“It was during my enchanted days of travel that the idea came to me, which, through the years, has come into my thoughts again and again and always happily—the idea that geology is the music of the earth.”
― Hans Cloos, Conversation with the Earth

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
― Bill Bryson

“If you walk a city, if you love a city, if you put in your miles and years with open heart and mind, the city will reveal itself to you. Maybe it won’t become yours, but you will become its–its chronicler, its pilgrim, its ardent lover, its nonnative son or native daughter or defender.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

“Quite some years ago, I started traveling the planet. I thought this would teach me something about the world we live in. I was wrong… It taught me something about myself. It changed me. And nothing will ever be black-and-white again.”
― Maarten Schafer

“Life is fast, and I’ve found it’s easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I’m slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us.”
― Andrew Forsthoefel, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time

Travel quote by Patrick Rothfuss

“Expectation is the dirtiest word in a traveler’s vocabulary.”
― John Early, Tales of the Modern Nomad

“It’s in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.”
― Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip

“I can go on the road–because I can come home. I come home–because I’m free to leave. Each way of being is more valued in the presence of the other. This balance between making camp and following the seasons is both very ancient and very new. We all need both.”
― Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road

“Travelers understand, instinctively and by experience, that travel and adventure change and elongate time, even while navigating the deadlines of airline and train departures.”
― Paul Sheehan

“Life is a concept, like the ‘universe’, that expands as soon as we reach what we think is its edge.”
― Kamand Kojouri

Travel quote by Colum McCann

“I made my first home there and had been happy, because to be alienated in one’s own country, in one’s own hometown, among one’s kin and peers, was problematic, but nothing could be more natural than to be alienated in a foreign country, and so there I had at last naturalized my estrangement. This may be one of the underappreciated pleasures of travel: of being at last legitimately lost and confused.”
― Rebecca Solnit, A Book of Migrations

“Great growth comes from loneliness. You have time to develop, dwell in your own mind and go a bit mad. All great people are a bit mad. That’s good to remember. Don’t escape it.”
― Charlotte Eriksson

“How will I know who I can become if I don’t give myself the chance to try new things, to push myself beyond my normal boundaries? Who might I be if I am away from the things that I currently use to define myself?”
― Eileen Cook, With Malice

“I don’t think someone’s worth can be measured by the number of cities he visited, the number of countries he traveled to or the number of seas and oceans he crossed.
One can be a traveler even by simply going to the end of the street.”
― Laure Lacornette

“Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.”
― Thor Heyerdahl

Travel quote by Roman Payne

“If you don’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

“When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel.”
― Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road

Do non-cliché travel quotes inspire you like they do me? Share some of your favorites in the comments below!


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4 Comments

  • Reply Lisa January 18, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Great list, Leah!

    This is my personal favorite:

    “Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.”
    ― Thor Heyerdahl

    • Reply Leah Davis January 19, 2018 at 8:45 am

      I loved that one too! It’s so funny how we’ve assigned these invisible dividing lines to the earth, as if we own it!

  • Reply Josie January 18, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Such a nice list! Really great pictures. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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