Why We Love Travel

26 December 2017
Read Time: 5.9 mins

As we careen toward December 31, most people’s travel plans for next year are an open book waiting to be filled with ideas and inspiration. With travel becoming more accessible as well as more covetable, it’s the perfect time to stand back and ask ourselves: Why do we travel?

The immediate answers rush in – we need to break from routine, we need change, we need to have some fun. But then we dig deeper. Every traveller has their own unique motivation for travel. Perhaps it’s the desire to shake ourselves out of routine and see the world with new eyes. It could be to mark the change from one phase of life to another and to use travel as a kind of modern ritual for transformation. Perhaps we have some kind of bucket-list burning a hole in our pocket or we need to experience something out of our comfort zone to feel alive.

It’s not easy to answer this timeless question, but the idea of travel has kept us fascinated ever since travel became a thing. Here are some of our favourite thoughts on travel...

hot air balloons over bagan, myanmar Hot air balloons rise over Bagan, Myanmar. Image: Getty

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Confucius, Chinese philosopher, born 551 BC


Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland, under the northern lights. Image: Vicki Fletcher

Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

Ibn Battuta, Moroccan scholar born 1304


asian woman with head out of window of train A train journey through Chaing Mai, Thailand. Image: Getty

Take only memories, leave only footprints.

Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, born 1786


Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. Image: Getty

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

Gustave Flaubert, French novelist, born 1821


two people in the desert A dramatic change of scene... escape to the desert. Image: Getty

A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer born 1756


two pairs of legs and scenery lake gerold bavaria germany Soaking up the scenery near Lake Gerold, Bavaria, Germany. Image: Getty

Not all those who wander are lost.

J.R.R. Tolkien, English writer and poet, and author of The Lord of the Rings, born 1892


girl with camera on train station To document your travels is a universal passion. Image: Getty

Travelling 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, English novelist, born 1953


man walking through rocky terrain You never know what's around the next corner... Image: Getty

A good traveller has no fixed plans and it not intent on arriving.

Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher, born 604 BC


father and son in water, africa Introducing a child to new experiences is one of life's magic moments. Image: Getty

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer born 1803


Friends leap off rock at Te Arai Point, North Island, New Zealand. Better with friends... Te Arai Point, North Island, New Zealand. Image: Getty

Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.

Seneca, Roman philosopher, born 4BC


tent on ledge in norway Ah, the serenity. Some me-time in Norway. Image: Getty

It is not down on any map; true places never are.

Herman Melville, American novelist and author of Moby-Dick, born 1819

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Erin Bennion

Based in Brisbane, Erin is a writer and content creator with a penchant for using fancy old French words wherever possible and an insatiable hankering for trawling through vintage markets in small Scandinavian towns (no really). One of her dreams is to take her family to see General Sherman in Sequoia National Park and give that big, old guy a group-hug.