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...
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
Confucius, Chinese philosopher, born 551 BC
Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
Ibn Battuta, Moroccan scholar born 1304
Take only memories, leave only footprints.
Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, born 1786
Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
Gustave Flaubert, French novelist, born 1821
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
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
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
A good traveller has no fixed plans and it not intent on arriving.
Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher, born 604 BC
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
Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.
Seneca, Roman philosopher, born 4BC
It is not down on any map; true places never are.
Herman Melville, American novelist and author of Moby-Dick, born 1819