Best Travel Quotes: words of wisdom and inspiration for your next adventure

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Want some inspiration for your next adventure? We’ve collated the best travel quotes and words of wisdom handed down through the ages from the Buddha to the literary masters of more modern times.

A great quote encapsulates what travelling is all about; in just a few words, the essence of adventure is laid out in simple black and white. Yet those words awaken something more – a yearning in our souls to hit the road once again.

We hope you enjoy reading our collection of best travel quotes and if you use Pinterest remember to save your favourites.


John Muir travel quote: the mountains are calling and I must go
Image: Barnyz

We love the mountains and have spent many a happy road trip in Scotland and Wales in our old motorhome. And it’s true what John Muir says; the mountains do call us and we long to return again and again.

The original photo that accompanies this quote is by ‘Barnyz’ and was taken in Austria. What a great shot!

RELATED CONTENT: Read about some of our best mountainous road trips in the UK

best travel quotes: David Whyte "sometimes it takes a great sky..."
Image: Tom Strecker

Whether an amazing sunset or the gathering of storm clouds, a great skyscape really can stir something deep within.

Gav recalls being alone in the Pyrenees, surrounded by the encroaching menace of Cumulonimbus clouds. Closer to home, we’ve been lucky enough to see ‘apocalyptic clouds’ right on our doorstep along the Suffolk Coast.

These lines, from David Whyte’s poem, The Journey, encapsulates perfectly what many of us are searching for when travelling: that ‘wedge of freedom in your own heart’. Beautiful.

best travel quotes: Climb that goddamn mountain - Jack Kerouac
Image: Barnyz

Jack Kerouac’s books have always inspired the ‘wanderlust’ in us and this quote pulls the rug from under our complacent feet.

Come the end of our lives, it won’t be the humdrum mundanity of the everyday that accompanies us to the underworld but those majestic adventures we dared to take.

“Climb that Goddamn mountain,” indeed!

RELATED CONTENT: Read the reviews of our favourite van life and travel books

Setting off, whether on foot or by car, bike, RV, train, plane, bus, or in this instance canoe, fills us with a mixture of anticipation, excitement, and trepidation.

Perhaps it really is the ‘gladdest moment in human life’, especially for those of us with an adventurist spirit.

best travel quotes: live your life by a compass not a clock - Stephen Covey
Image: Barnyz

How wonderful it is to travel and forget about clock time!

This shot, taken in the Scottish Highlands – a place where time stands still – reminds us to leave our clocks and watches behind and immerse ourselves in the majesty of the moment.

RELATED CONTENT: Read about our Scottish Highlands honeymoon road trip

best and most inspirational travel quotes: mountains are not stadiums...Anatoli Boukreev
Image: Doug88888

The mountains always elevate our spirits; perhaps that’s why we climb them, to be closer to God?

As Robert MacFarlane points out in his excellent book, Mountains of the Mind, us humans have had a fascination with mountains over the last few hundred years and it seems more and more of us want to reach the heights.

And this is not just a feat of physical endurance or achievement; something happens to us psychologically when we venture higher. As suggested in this quote, the mountains are seen as being sacred.

This anonymous quote has become something of a cliche but we love it nonetheless.

We think this very attitude is at the heart of van life. Road-trips, adventures, and travel as a whole is not about escapism but about trying to capture the very essence of life. Each journey awakens something new in you.

RELATED CONTENT: Why we think van life is a call to adventure

We love this quote and it’s so true; you really do feel more connected to a bigger reality when wandering in the hills, fields, mountains and woodlands.

It reminds us of that old Latin phrase, often attributed to St. Augustine: “Solvitur Ambulando” (It is solved by walking).

How often have you wandered, head full of thoughts and worries, only to find them gone after a little while? And this is more than just a distraction technique. It’s as if walking not only clears your mind but helps you find solutions as well.

RELATED CONTENT: How to stay mentally healthy on the road

We love Paulo Coelho’s books so we had to get at least one of his lines in our list of best travel quotes. He also said, “Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.” Nice.

His multi-million best seller, The Alchemist, is a book we always have with us in our van. What a story!

This image reminds us of the movie, The Motorcycle Diaries, which tells the story of Che Guevara’s travels through Chile on his Norton 500. It’s one of our favourite road trip movies.

The quote itself reminds us that travelling should never just be about ticking destinations off our ‘bucket list’ but should help us open our hearts and souls and fall in love with the places we visit.

most inspirational travel quotes: wilderness is not a luxury...
Image: Sheing Tjioe

Stepping out of your comfort zone and onto ‘the road less travelled’ can lead you deep into the wilderness. It’s something Chris ‘Alexander Supertramp’ McCandless was searching for, as documented in the epic book ‘Into the Wild‘.

In such places we get back to nature and reconnect with our essential selves, laying aside the day-to-day dramas that too easily entrance us.

best travel quotes: into the wild, Alexander Supertramp McCandless
Image: Elise

We love that quote and it kind of encapsulates travel and, in particular, van life where you can wake up to a new horizon everyday.

It was John Muir who said…

Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

But sometimes it takes longer than just a week…

Henry David Thoreau’s book ‘Walden’ recounts his two year retreat in the woods; a beautifully written true story of solitude, simplicity, self-sufficiency and the transformative power of nature.

inspirational quotes: Henry David Thoreau 'Walden'
Image: Mark Irvine

Speaking of walking, we had to include a quote from Hobo Gav’s philosophy hero, Friedrich Nietzsche.

Maybe he was taking a leaf out of Hippocrates’ writings when he said, “Walking is man’s best medicine,” over 2000 years ago.

See more Nietzsche quotes

And what about this one? We guess it’s one of the things we love about travelling; the anonymity it gives you. Nobody knows your past or future, but only as you present yourself there and then, in the moment.

Perhaps by stripping away our histories we become more of who we truly are?

We’d never heard of William Least-Heat Moon until we found this quote. And then, a few days later we stumbled upon his book Blue Highways – a journey into America – in a secondhand shop for 50p. What a bargain – and what a great read.

The reviews say it’s better than Kerouac’s On the Road and we’d have to agree. It recounts his adventures right across the back roads of the USA in an old van and stories of the people he met along the way.

Perhaps his travels could be summed up in the following quote…

best travel quotes: 1930s black and white photo of couple standing beside tent and old Model T
Image: Ed Yourdon

And the next quote pretty much sums up what we think travel does…

It’s not just a case of escaping the 9 to 5 and ‘losing ourselves’ for a week or two on vacation. Far from it.

Travelling to other places, experiencing different cultures, meeting new people, and sometimes immersing ourselves in moments of solitude can actually help us come home to ourselves.

Talking of different cultures, the following quote might just help this fractured world – and the people who inhabit it – piece itself back together…

After the last few years of political division, the pandemic, terrorism and wars raging in various locations throughout the world – not to forget the ongoing climate and financial crises – it’s time to challenge our preconceptions…

best travel quotes: western travellers meeting native Tibetans
Image: Wonderlane

And finally (for now) a quote from one of our favourite poets, T.S. Eliot. A famous quote that we simply had to include…

travel quotes: T.S. Eliot
Image: anoldent

We hope you’ve enjoyed this page of best travel quotes. We’ll add more as we find them.

If you feel inspired to hit the road make sure to check out our best road trips in the UK and download our free ebook.

And to help plan your next epic adventure, read our top 10 travel planning tips.

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All images on this page are from Creative Commons and we have credited the artist/photographer for each image we’ve used. If you see a copyright issue please contact us and we will put it right asap.

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