10 Quotes That Illustrate Why Travel is So Important
The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page. Saint Augustine wrote those words 1,700 years ago. Today, many Americans have been inculcated with the notion and seem to think their culture of conspicuous consumption, ball games, with plenty of working, shopping and eating to excess is the sin qua non of human existence. Other cultures also feel that way. The Chinese feel their culture is the best one. Russians feel their culture is. The truth is each culture has its own set of pros and cons.
There is no way of knowing which is the best fit for you unless you venture out and immerse yourself in something different. After only a few years of traveling I began to realize the materialism and consumerism of the West repulsed me.
Since my “friends” were either too broke or too dull to come with me, each trip I made had to be by myself. For someone who had never traveled across the world before, a 10,000 journey alone seemed like quite a feat to accomplish. Not only did I pull it off flawlessly, but I wanted to do it again and again. It was great to be in places where buying crap was not the sole purpose in life. Here are 10 quotes that helped get me started as I began my travel adventures, and hopefully they will help get you started, too.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao Tzu | Whether it is buying that first plane ticket to a far off destination, or refusing to be talked out of your travel goals by curiosity seekers and closed-minded fools, taking the first step is both the easiest and hardest goal for the newly minted traveler to take.
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 | This quote from the great Samuel Clemens is insightful. The most closed-minded people I have known are those who have not ventured out of their tiny corner of the world and made an honest effort to meet others. I have been in several corners of the world already and have never failed to meet quality people. They all have different beliefs and different cultural practices, but so much is the same about people.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust | Travel does indeed give one a new set of eyes, and William Blake put it, the eye altering alters all. One begins to see the world, and himself differently when he realizes there are other ways of living than the getting money and spending money obsession of Anglo America.
Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere. -Isabelle Eberhardt | Once experiencing one destination the traveler truly loves, the lust to see more and more destinations usually sets in. Suddenly, a life in a cramped apartment when its 20 degrees outside doesn’t seem as “normal” as it did before. In fact, you may be like me and view it as being chained up, attached to a job you can’t live without. Or can you?
Travel brings power and love back into your life. -Rumi | I have never traveled without having adventure and romance along the way. My recommendation is to avoid the tourist spots and delve into the real adventures that await in your country of choice. Western style resorts are repellent to me, I want to fully experience each place I am in, and I can’t do it if I stay in a bubble.
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign. -Robert Louis Stevenson | We are all human beings, no matter where we roam. You may begin to notice you have much more in common with these strangers than you ever realized.
The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. -G.K. Chesterson | Traveling the world as a traveler, not a tourist, is deadly to myopia. A tourist is just another consumer, lapping up expensive meals, spending time in a spa, drinking in a hotel bar, but never fully experiencing the city or country they’re in. A traveler gets outside his comfort zone and sees things as they really are; freed from the island of Western shopping and eating that follows tourists to their all-inclusive resorts.
Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. -Gustave Flaubert | It is very hard for me to look down my nose at other people, as many Americans like to do. Why? Because I have been with so many other people their way of life often seems richer and fuller to me than the sterilized existence I ran away from. It took me 35 years to realize what a small person I was before I purged my cultural indoctrination file.
To travel is to live. -Hans Christian Andersen | It does not take large sums of money to travel. Personally, I enjoy finding $7 to $15 a night hotels and crashing there, because during the day and evening hours I’m usually so busy living I don’t worry myself with what the room looks like and what bed I’m going to crash in.
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. -Henry Miller | This is the biggest reason travel is so important. Just when you think you have figured it all out, you should set yourself off in the middle of a foreign country for a couple of weeks and you will begin to realize your way of seeing the world is not the only way of seeing the world.
My recommendations for travel suit the adventurer type of man, someone who craves new experiences, challenging his way of thinking, and someone who’s body and mind have not been softened and weakened by living in a bubble. Avoiding shopping and eating traps laid for fat Westerners, i.e. resorts and all-inclusives is probably the single most important recommendation for the novice traveler. One cannot experience a country if they do not venture outside into the “real world” of their destination. Find a cheap hotel, stay there, and spend most of your time doing things rather than scratching your belly waiting on the next meal.
Travel light. For a couple of weeks, a couple of bags will do. When you run out of clean clothes get a wash done at the local laundry. Usually, you can pay to have someone wash your clothes for you. I paid $5 to have a week’s laundry immaculately cleaned and pressed in Thailand.
Also, while caution is always advised, even if you are strolling down Main Street in your hometown, the Western media intentionally makes many countries seem more dangerous than they really are. Destroy your TV for several reasons, but not the least of which is their fear and consumption campaign. If I had listened to the media I would have never had years of adventures in Mexico. Don’t be a scaredy-cat.
Experience romance. Women abroad are totally different from the male-haters in Anglo America. My recommendation is experience this, and relish it, before the American cultural Matrix destroys it sometime this century as it assimilates everyone into its profit making schemes.
Repeat. One successful trip is enough to make travel become an obsession. Two weeks at a time simply will not be enough to satiate you, especially when coming back to a culture that seems to have forgotten its humanity. There’s a whole world burning out there, and a life most men dare not dream of if they would only get up off the couch and take the initiative.
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