In the age of Instagram, lifestyle travelers and digital nomads, it’s hard-pressed to not find wanderlust inspiration everywhere you look. But contrary to the old saying, a picture isn’t always worth a thousand words. That’s why so many literary legends, iconic travelers and educated globetrotters have left us with their words of wisdom — in the form of books, mantras and travel quotes.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Most of us are familiar with this quote from Helen Keller or Hans Christian Andersen’s “To travel is to live” — How could we forget? These inspirational travel sayings were etched into memory years ago. But today, we’re focusing on some of the lesser covered travel quotes and wise words that will inspire you to expand your cultural horizons, set off on a cross-country road trip or catch that window seat on your next flight. Some are inspirational, others will leave you laughing and a few are a bit unconventional, but every single one will encourage you to make your life a fulfilling adventure.
Take the time to read all the way through because, who knows, one of these travel phrases may inspire you to hit the open road or be a mantra to keep you exploring the world for years to come. Here are 61 inspiring travel quotes — complete with custom postcard printables — that will inspire you to go forth and explore.
Inspirational Travel Quotes
Travel is not only self-fulfilling, but its many lessons teach us to be, overall, better people. In our journeys around the globe we learn about ourselves, new cultures, what it means to be grateful and expand our horizons. These quotes sum up the great teachings of wanderlust.
- “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.” — Lovelle Drachman
- “I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” — Diane Acke
- “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal!” — Paul Coelho
- “Adventure is a path. Real adventure, self-determined, self-motivated, often risky, forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world” – Mark Jenkins
- “A person susceptible to “wanderlust” is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.” – Pico Iyer
- “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” — Gustave Flaubert
- “You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” — Eugene Fodor
- “I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.” — Carew Papritz
- “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” — Tim Cahill
- “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
- “Don’t just tell your children about the world. Show them.” — Unknown
- “The most beautiful country is the one I’ve never been to.” — Unknown
- “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” — Benjamin Disraeli
- “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” — Mohammed
- “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.”— Robert Louis Stevenson
- “A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” — John A. Shedd
- “And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” — Randy Komisar
- “Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” — Alan Keightley
Wanderlust Quotes Inspired by Female Travelers
These days, solo female travelers aren’t hard to find. In fact, some of the greatest and most empowering advice has come from women. So we’re taking a moment to thank those who’ve gone before and acknowledge the incredible sense of pride and strength that comes from being a female traveler in a foreign country.
- “Travel is more than seeing the sights; it is a change that goes on deep and permanent in the ideas of living” — Miriam Beard
- “I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” — Mary Anne Radmacher
- “Girls don’t wait for the prince anymore, they just pack and travel the world.” — Unknown
- “Paris is always a good idea.” — Audrey Hepburn
- “To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” — Freya Stark
- “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller
- “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”— Miriam Adeney
- “Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” —Hannah Arendt
- “A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places.” — Isabelle Eberhardt
- “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.” — Melody Truong
- “An adventure may be worn as a muddy spot or it may be worn as a proud insignia. It is the woman wearing it who makes it the one thing or the other.” — Norma Shearer
- “As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” — Virginia Woolf
- “Everything you’re sure is right can be wrong in another place.” — Barbara Kingsolver
Travel Quotes to Make You Laugh
Earlier, we mentioned that some of the best travel quotes were downright funny and unconventional. Well, here you have it. Travel shouldn’t be taken too seriously — of course this might depend on your sense of humor and where in the world you’re visiting, but we know some of the funniest travel memories happen when you’re least expecting them and spontaneity is on the table.
- “When in Asia, drive like you stole it.” — Unknown
- “When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.” — Anthony Bourdain
- “I once traveled to Adelaide on Emu Airways. I was 5,000 feet up in the air when someone pointed out to me that emus can’t fly.” — Billy Connolly
- “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” — Ernest Hemingway
- “He who would travel happily must travel light.” — Antoine de St. Exupery
- “There should be sympathy quotes for having to go back to work after vacation.” — Unknown
- “Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” — Charles Kuralt
- “Jet lag is for amateurs” — Dick Clark
- “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” — Anthony Bourdain
- “Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.” — George Carlin
- “You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars.” — Charles Kuralt
- “Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.” – Al Gore
Wanderlust Quotes from Literary Legends
Literary travel authors have inspired us for centuries. Before there were travel hashtags and endless Instagram feeds to inspire wanderlust, there were books. Some, of which, have offered the greatest travel advice of all time. Maybe these words of wisdom even inspire you to crack open the books from these infamous authors.
- “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
- “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”― Jack Kerouac
- “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
- “Every traveler has a home and he learns to appreciate it more from his wanderings.” — Charles Dickens
- “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes up.” — John Steinbeck
- “Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block
- “Live, travel, adventure, bless and don’t be sorry.” — Jack Kerouac
- “Culture shock is often felt sharply at the borders between countries, but sometimes it doesn’t hit fully until you’ve been in a place for a long time.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson
- “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 goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” — Jack Kerouac
- “For mine it’s a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.” — Alex Garland
Iconic Travel Quotes for Remembering Anthony Bourdain
If it was possible to name someone the most iconic traveler of all time, without a doubt, it would be Anthony Bourdain. He championed travel as not just a pastime but as a pathway to deeper empathy and understanding of cultures all over the world. He was a man with a passion for life, and boy, was he was fearless. To honor him, we’ve covered some of his greatest words in the below section.
- “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”
- “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch. Move.”
- “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”
- “It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough – to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”
- “The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”
Travel quotes serve as an inspiration to explore our beautiful world, but they do more justice outside of the computer screen. Use our postcard printables to customize your own wanderlust quotes. Hang it in your bathroom, office or bedroom as a daily reminder to go forth and explore.
By now you should feel pretty inspired to set off on your next travel adventure. From flights and train travel to road trips and rentals, the beautiful part about exploring the globe is there are many ways to get from point A to point B.