When young people take off to do a bit of traveling they often make the flippant remark that “travel is an education in itself”.
And then they go and spend most of their gap-year lounging around on some Thai beach!
Anyway, here are some more quotations on the theme of travel (with a few comments by yours truly of course :)
“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ”J.R.R. Tolkien (English Writer)
Sure it’s dangerous but equally your house could burn down too.
“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” Paul Theroux (American travel Writer and Novelist, b.1941)
Probably the most painful thing in the world (next to finding yourself in the same room as a naked Thai dancer only 2 hours after a circumcision) is to take a 48 hour bus journey from Medan to Bengkulu in Sumatra. Ouch!!!!
“Travel teaches toleration.” Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister and Novelist. 1804-1881)
I’m not sure of the differences between toleration and tolerance but, in any case, who wants to be taught toleration - the willingness to “put up with, countenance or suffer”? Surely “respect” would be a much better word?
“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” G. K. Chesterton quotes (English born Gabonese Critic, Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1874-1936)
A lot has been made about the differences between a tourist and a traveler. In fact, a surefire way to rise the ire of a young backpacker is to call them a tourist – a far worse slur than to call them by any common expletive. They will turn red, steam will come out of their ears, and they may even try to punch you. But when you think about it there ain’t much difference is there? I mean, could you tell the tourists apart from the travelers on Bali’s Kuta Beach?
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine (Ancient Roman Christian Theologian and Bishop of Hippo from 396 to 430. One of the Latin Fathers of the Church. 354-430)
Sort of puts me on chapter seven.
“Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.” Dave Barry (American Writer and Humorist)
Well that’s the wonderful Yanks for you, but the funny thing is that with the rapid globalization there may actually come a time when all “foreign people” do speak English.
"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” Ernest Hemingway (American novelist and short-story writer, Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, 1899-1961)
True enough - traveling is often stressful – but that’s every reason not to travel with your other half. Unless of course you’re planning to get divorced.
“I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” Caskie Stinnett (American writer)
Tell me about it.
“Journeys end in lovers meeting.” William Shakespeare
This quote from the old bard pretty much explains why restless, anti-authoritarian hippies complete the transformation to conventional 9-5 office slaves with such aplomb. It’s cos of the misses stupid!
“Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.” - Unknown
This rather reflective quote is better appreciated while on a “higher” plane, if you know what I mean.
“The photograph reverses the purpose of travel, which until now had been to encounter the strange and unfamiliar.” Marshall McLuhan (Canadian communications theorist Educator, Writer and Social Reformer, 1911-1980)
A photograph is nice but never a substitute for the real thing. A bit like sex toys really. However good they make them, people will always want the real thing.
“Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, advanced a stage or two upon that road which you must travel in the steps they trod.” Aristophanes (The greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, 450-385 BC)
I ain’t ever heard of this Aristophanes joker before but never has a truer word been said in jest.
“You don't have to travel around the world to understand that the sky is blue everywhere.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It’s the old “people are the same everywhere” sentiment and he is of course right on that.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” Anais Nin (French born American Author of novels and short stories, 1903-1977)
No matter how far we go there is always something else to find. Bit like information overload on the net really, except we can simply switch the PC off.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” Aldous Huxley (English Novelist and Critic, 1894-1963)
Especially the embassies and their out-of-date and totally askew travel warnings.
"One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." –- Henry Miller
I’ve never understood why Indonesians like to barge into queues. And those buses? Bloody filthy!
“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” Clifton Fadiman (American radio Host, Author and Editor)
So tough titties if you don’t like being woken up at 4.30am.
"He who would travel happily must travel light." Antoine de St. Exupery
I’d like him to speak to my wife.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu
Long live the wandering hippie!
“If you are in a spaceship that is traveling at the speed of light, and you turn on the headlights, does anything happen?” Stephen Wright (American Actor and Writer, b.1955)
Nothing can go faster than the speed of light, so the bulbs must crack right?
“A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” George Moore (English Philosopher one of the fathers of the analytic philosophy. 1873-1958)
But what is home?
“I have traveled more than any one else, and I have noticed that even the angels speak English with an accent.” Mark Twain quotes (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)
There may be many English accents but Glaswegian English is as incomprehendible as you can get.
"Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.” Ernest Hemingway (American novelist and short-story writer)
It’s that 48 hour bus journey in Sumatra again…
“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll quotes (English Logician, Mathematician, Photographer and Novelist, especially remembered for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 1832-1898)
I’m a huge fan of Lewis Carroll so read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction.
"Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries." René Descartes
"If you look like your passport photo, you're too ill to travel." Will Kommen
"Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned." Samuel Johnson
Especially so in Indonesia.
"Let your memory be your travel bag." -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Chuck the camera away.
"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan
Try that in Jakarta and you’d be dead in two weeks.
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." -- Jawaharal Nehru
My sentiments exactly Jawaharal. So where to next?