33 Inspiring Travel Quotes Guaranteed to Give You Wanderlust - This American Girl



You know when you read something, and it’s as if somehow the person who wrote it broke into your heart, dug out your feelings, and turned them into words? It’s like for the first time, you’re reading out loud, what you’ve known inside all along?


There’s something tremendously healing, when we witness that someone else feels what we feel. It reminds us that we’re all connected, and we’re never alone.


That’s exactly how I felt when I was reading these quotes today. Many made me laugh, some made me cry, and all of them made me remember, that no matter the cost or the challenge, travel is always worth it. Here are my favorite travel quotes, guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. Enjoy!




“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese


(Photo taken in Uluwatu, Bali on the Bukit Peninsula.)


lao tzu


“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu


(Photo taken in Dominical, Costa Rica.)




“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous


(Photo taken on Koh Nang Yuan near Koh Tao, Thailand.)




“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” – Anthony Bourdain


(Photo taken in a food market in Battambang, Cambodia.)




“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


(Photo taken on a boat ride to Koh Phangan, Thailand.)




“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” – Anatole France


(Photo taken in Playa Guiones, Costa Rica.)




“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon


(Photo taken in Ayutthaya, Thailand.)




“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins


(Photo taken in Kuta, Lombok.)




“I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation- a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every states I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.” – John Steinbeck


(Photo taken in Taghazout, Morocco.)


understand each other


“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but, by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou


(Photo taken in Koh Rong, Cambodia.)




“In an all-blue world, color doesn’t exist. If something seems strange, you question it; but if the outside world is too distant to use as a comparison then nothing seems strange.” – Alex Garland, The Beach


(Photo taken in Chefchaoeun, Morocco.)




“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher


(Photo taken in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.)


see the world


“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury


(Photo taken in Imsouane, Morocco.)




“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it’s lethal.” – Paulo Coelho


(Photo taken in the La Amistad National Park, Costa Rica.)




“Traveling 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


(Photo taken in Koh Chang, Thailand.)




“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” – Albert Einstein

(Photo taken at Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos.)



“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” – Pico Iyer


(Photo taken on Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.)


the fishermen know


“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” – Vincent Van Gogh


(Photo taken at Otres Beach, Cambodia.)




“I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby – I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


(Photo taken on Spain’s Costa Blanca.)


travel courage


“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.” – Paulo Coelho


(Photo taken in Koh Tao, Thailand.)




“If I’d learnt one thing from traveling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.” – Alex Garland, The Beach


(Photo taken in the San Blas Islands, Panama.)




“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown, eat interesting food, dig some interesting people, have an adventure, be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about, I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking twelve miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people — Americans and Europeans — come back and go, “Ohhhh.” And the lightbulb goes on.” – Henry Rollins


(Photo taken in Hanoi, Vietnam.)




“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.” -Lewis Caroll


(Photo taken at Paradise Valley in Morocco.)




“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road


(Photo taken in Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.)




“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius


(Photo taken in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.)




“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost


(Photo taken at Kuang Si Falls in Laos.)




“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float; to gain all while you give; to roam the roads of lands remote; to travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen


(Photo taken in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.)




“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.” – Cheryl Strayed, Wild


(Photo taken in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.)




“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” – Anthony Bourdain


(Photo taken in Uluwatu, Bali on the Bukit Peninsula.)




“When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to attach much more importance to the things around you because your survival depends on them. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to help you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favor from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life. At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive.” – Paulo Coelho


(Photo taken in Marrakech, Morocco.)




“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” – Unknown


(Photo taken in the mountains at Akchour in Chefchaoeun, Morocco.)


one more bite


“Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.'” – Nick Miller


(Photo taken in Cambodia, during this experience.)




“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau


(Photo taken in the San Blas Islands, Panama.)


instpirational quote


“And then one day, you get it. You get it that happiness is a choice. You get it that you set the rules in your life. You get it that you don’t have to live in a box. You get it that the great big open world is full of possibility. You get it that even in the darkest of nights, you have nothing to fear. You get it that you are strong, capable, and worthy. You get it that you can do anything. You get it that creating the life of your dreams is entirely up to you. You get it that freedom has been there, waiting for you, all along.” – Me, This American Girl


(Photo taken in my home, my love, my heart, Costa Rica.)


What are your favorite travel quotes, that inspire you to see the world?


Love it? Share it!