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Thoughts about travelling

Thoughts about travelling

Quotes about travelling
Meditations on travelling

Thoughts about travelling

Nothing can be compared to the new life that the discovery of another country provides for a thoughtful person. Although I am still the same I believe to have changed to the bones.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey

The traveler, however virginal and enthusiastic, does not enjoy an unbroken ecstasy. He has periods of gloom, periods when he asks himself the object of all these exertions, and puts the question whether or not he is really experiencing pleasure. At such times he suspects that he is not seeing the right things, that the characteristic, the right aspects of these strange scenes are escaping him. He looks forward dully to the days of his holiday yet to pass, and wonders how he will dispose of them. He is disgusted because his money is not more, his command of the language so slight, and his capacity for enjoyment so limited.
Arnold Bennett

This book is nothing more than a pilgrim’s journey towards the sanctuary of stupidity, he is not in good company, which is why he listens to the advice of the wise men of the past and a bit of rebellious and melancholy music. The pitfalls are many, but he is not afraid, he is not a venerator, nor even a flatterer, on the contrary, he is a destroyer.
Carl William Brown

Tourism, a female phenomenon (or of unfeminined males): evasion, but above all digression and dispersion, spreading one’s interests (rather than concentrating them) and therefore being reduced to having no real ones. A tactile-motor stimulus, capable of producing numbness or dizziness that continues even after the occasion has ceased. Another way, perhaps, of “alienating”, of dispossessing oneself.
Guido Morselli

Behold then Septimus Dodge returning to Dodge-town victorious. Not crowned with laurel, it is true, but wreathed in lists of things he has seen and sucked dry. Seen and sucked dry, you know: Venus de Milo, the Rhine or the Coliseum: swallowed like so many clams, and left the shells.
D. H. Lawrence

He who is only a traveler learns things at second-hand and by the halves, and is poor authority. We are most interested when science reports what those men already know practically or instinctively, for that alone is a true humanity, or account of human experience.
Henry David Thoreau

Thoughts about travelling
Thoughts about travelling

Modern tourist guides have helped raised tourist expectations. And they have provided the natives – from Kaiser Wilhelm down to the villagers of Chichacestenango – with a detailed and itemized list of what is expected of them and when. These are the up-to-date scripts for actors on the tourists’ stage.
Daniel J. Boorstin

I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.
Lord Byron

Life, as the most ancient of all metaphors insists, is a journey; and the travel book, in its deceptive simulation of the journey’s fits and starts, rehearses life’s own fragmentation. More even than the novel, it embraces the contingency of things.
Jonathan Raban

The modern American tourist now fills his experience with pseudo-events. He has come to expect both more strangeness and more familiarity than the world naturally offers. He has come to believe that he can have a lifetime of adventure in two weeks and all the thrills of risking his life without any real risk at all.
Daniel J. Boorstin

It must be said of traveling that it arouses new ideas in those who already have many, but on the contrary it extinguishes the few in those who have few. It serves to awaken the notion of the infinite variety of life, with many living beings, many customs, many places, many sufferings, etc. etc. However, not in travel, but only in the solitude of meditation is it possible to discover the depth of life.
Romano Amerio

Thoughts on travels
Thoughts on travels

Objective truth in politics has a rather labile value and incredibly blurred boundaries. Here’s an example. In the great Russia of the pseudo-communist government, a party hierarch during a conference was praising the magnificent progress of a certain locality in the country, when suddenly a listener from the audience spoke up and stated in amazement: “Truly I have been in the places that you have described, but I don’t seem to have noticed all this great progress!”; to which the official’s prompt response was: “Dear comrade, you travel too much and at the same time read Pravda too little.” Pravda, which in Russian means “truth”, was obviously the official organ of the Russian Communist Party.
Carl William Brown

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and they think they have seen something.
Soren Kierkegaard

The important thing about travel in foreign lands is that it breaks the speech habits and makes you blab less, and breaks the habitual space-feeling because of different village plans and different landscapes. It is less important that there are different mores, for you counteract these with your own reaction-formations.
Paul Goodman

The country of the tourist pamphlet always is another country, an embarrassing abstraction of the desirable that, thank God, does not exist on this planet, where there are always ants and bad smells and empty Coca-Cola bottles to keep the grubby finger-print of reality upon the beautiful.
Nadine Gordimer

Of journeying the benefits are many: the freshness it bringeth to the heart, the seeing and hearing of marvelous things, the delight of beholding new cities, the meeting of unknown friends, and the learning of high manners.
Sadi Gulistan

Some end up corrupting themselves through long journeys, losing what little religion they had left; from one day to the next they see a new cult, different customs, different ceremonies. They resemble those who enter shops, undecided about the choice of fabrics they want to buy; the large number of those that are shown to them leaves them even more indeterminate, each of them having its own attraction and its own convenience: they cannot resolve themselves, they leave without having bought anything.
Jean de La Bruyère

Thoughts and reflections about travelling
Thoughts and reflections about travelling

When you travel you experience the act of Rebirth in a much more concrete way. You find yourself faced with completely new situations, the day passes more slowly and, in most cases, you don’t understand the language that others speak. This is exactly what happens to a baby just born from the mother’s womb.
Paulo Coelho

I am not much an advocate for traveling, and I observe that men run away to other countries because they are not good in their own, and run back to their own because they pass for nothing in the new places. For the most part, only the light characters travel. Who are you that have no task to keep you at home?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

You don’t need to travel long distances to get answers or experience emotions. If we were authentic in our way of thinking, we would not need to travel a long way because it is a journey that follows the uncertain path of a dream that often leads to desolate areas. The true goal of life is to be able to be at peace with ourselves.
Romano Battaglia

Just as the human race, in blaming present things, praises past things, so the majority of travellers, while travelling, are lovers of their native sojourn, and prefer it with a kind of anger to those where they find themselves. Having returned to their native place, with the same anger they postpone it to all the other places where they have been.
Giacomo Leopardi

Nothing is beautiful and interesting if it does not attract tourists. Training the tourist, controlling the tourist, directing the tourist, is a secret and ruthless science. If Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini, Borromini and all the great artists had known that the recipient of their works would be tourists, perhaps they would have given up. If the tourist disappeared, the world economy would stall. The tourist is sacred, new cults and new rites are celebrated for him.
Fausto Gianfranceschi

The pleasure of travelling
The pleasure of travelling

After the gods had visited our planet, seeing what it was like, they decided to leave as soon as possible, but in order not to have made the journey in vain, they decided that they could give us a gift, or rather, they decided that they could unload an uncomfortable burden for their Olympus, and so it was that they left us as a memory the most stupid and stubborn goddess, ignorance; now it’s up to man to chase her back to Olympus; but the matter is not at all simple.
Carl William Brown

Traveling for profit is encouraged; travel for survival is condemned, much to the delight of traffickers of “illegal immigrants” and in spite of occasional and ephemeral waves of horror and indignation provoked by the sight of “economic emigrants” who ended up suffocated or drowned in the vain attempt to reach land capable of feed them.
Zygmunt Bauman

Travelers are divided into five degrees: those of the first and lowest degree are those who travel and who are seen traveling – they actually “are travelled” and are, so to speak, blind; the latter are the ones who really see the world; third parties have experiences as a result of seeing; the fourth ones relive the experiences they have had within themselves and take them away with them; finally there are some men of maximum strength who must ultimately also necessarily relive outside of themselves, in actions and works, everything they have seen – after experiencing it and experiencing it internally, as soon as they return home. Similar to these five categories of travelers all men generally go throughout the entire pilgrimage of life, the lowest as mere liabilities, the highest as those who act and die without any unused residue of intimate facts.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Our planet is nothing more than a spaceship groping in the cosmic void of the universe, and it is perhaps precisely for this reason that the most far-sighted are already thinking about the possibility that ultragalactic travel could one day allow us to abandon it without regrets. For the moment, however, the only agency that allows these non-return tours still remains the good old funeral home and the most advanced astronauts still remain, despite ourselves, the atavistic and friendly gravediggers.
Carl William Brown

It is said that Socrates, when someone complained that he had received no benefit from his travels, said to him: «It is natural that it should be so; you traveled in your own company.” Oh, how much it would benefit some people if they could get away from themselves! In reality they are oppressed by themselves, they worry, they damage themselves, they are dismayed. What good is it to cross the seas and go from city to city? If you want to escape the evils that beset you, you must not go to another place; you must be another man.
Lucius Anneus Seneca

We take everything we are with us on the journey. We carry the home of our soul with us, as a turtle does with its shell. In truth, the journey through the countries of the world is a symbolic journey for man. Everywhere he goes it is his own soul that he is looking for. This is why man must be able to travel.
Andrej Tarkovskij

Reflections about travelling
Reflections about travelling

Not so many years ago there was no simpler or more intelligible notion than that of going on a journey. Travel – movement through space – provided the universal metaphor for change. One of the subtle confusions – perhaps one of the secret terrors – of modern life is that we have lost this refuge. No longer do we move through space as we once did.
Daniel J. Boorstin

I have not often seen more natural acting than that of these masks. It is such acting as can only be sustained by a remarkably happy talent and long practice. While I am writing this, they are making a tremendous noise on the canal under my window, though it is past midnight. Whether for good or for evil, they are always doing something.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Good literature makes us travel everywhere, dreams and imagination become foresight and memory at the same time, the past becomes present, and the future past, and through the mythical arcana of thought we go away from these murky meanders, leaving the our beloved politicians on this earth to rot with those who have faith in them.
Carl William Brown

For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes.
Charles Baudelaire

I have spent the day well just looking and looking. It is the same in art as in life. The deeper one penetrates, the broader grows the view.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To be a tourist is to escape accountability. Errors and failings don’t cling to you the way they do back home. You’re able to drift across continents and languages, suspending the operation of sound thought. Tourism is the march of stupidity. You’re expected to be stupid. The entire mechanism of the host country is geared to travelers acting stupidly. You walk around dazed, squinting into fold-out maps. You don’t know how to talk to people, how to get anywhere, what the money means, what time it is, what to eat or how to eat it. Being stupid is the pattern, the level and the norm. You can exist on this level for weeks and months without reprimand or dire consequence. Together with thousands, you are granted immunities and broad freedoms. You are an army of fools, wearing bright polyesters, riding camels, taking pictures of each other, haggard, dysenteric, thirsty. There is nothing to think about but the next shapeless event.
Don Delillo

The experience of travelling
The experience of travelling

He that travels in theory has no inconveniences; he has shade and sunshine at his disposal, and wherever he alights finds tables of plenty and looks of gaiety. These ideas are indulged till the day of departure arrives, the chaise is called, and the progress of happiness begins. A few miles teach him the fallacies of imagination. The road is dusty, the air is sultry, the horses are sluggish. He longs for the time of dinner that he may eat and rest. The inn is crowded, his orders are neglected, and nothing remains but that he devour in haste what the cook has spoiled, and drive on in quest of better entertainment. He finds at night a more commodious house, but the best is always worse than he expected.
Samuel Johnson

A route differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point with another. A route has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points that it connects. A road is a tribute to space. Every stretch of road has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A route is the triumphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time.
Milan Kundera

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. In other words, I don’t improve, in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable.
John Steinbeck

I feel lost in Berlin. It has no resemblance to the city I had supposed it was. There was once a Berlin which I would have known, from descriptions in books–the Berlin of the last century and the beginning of the present one: a dingy city in a marsh, with rough streets, muddy and lantern-lighted, dividing straight rows of ugly houses all alike, compacted into blocks as square and plain and uniform and monotonous and serious as so many dry-goods boxes. But that Berlin has disappeared. It seems to have disappeared totally, and left no sign. The bulk of the Berlin of today has about it no suggestion of a former period. The site it stands on has traditions and a history, but the city itself has no traditions and no history. It is a new city; the newest I have ever seen. Chicago would seem venerable beside it; for there are many old-looking districts in Chicago, but not many in Berlin. The main mass of the city looks as if it had been built last week, the rest of it has a just perceptibly graver tone, and looks as if it might be six or even eight months old.
Mark Twain


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