Inspirational quotes that will motivate you to live abroad

Inspirational travel quotes


“A true journey is much more than a vivid or vacant interval of being away. The best travel was not a simple train trip or even a whole collection of them, but something lengthier and more complex: an experience of the fourth dimension, with stops and starts and longueurs, spells of illness and recovery, hurrying then having to wait, with the sudden phenomenon of happiness as an episodic reward.”

-Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star (2008)


inspirational travel quotes


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on those 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, Innocents Abroad (1869)


“For if very true love affair can feel like a journey to a foreign country, where you can’t quite speak the language, and you don’t know where you’re going, and you’re pulled ever deeper into the inviting darkness, every trip to a foreign country can be a love affair, where you’re left puzzling over who you are and whom you’ve fallen in love with…All good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the midst of terror and wonder.”

-Pico Iyer, “Why We Travel,” Salon (2000)


inspirational travel quotes


Travel is not a vacation, and is often the opposite of a rest.”

-Paul Theroux, The Old Patagonian Express (1979)


“On that trip it was my good fortune to be wrong; being mistaken in the essence of the traveler’s tale.”

-Paul Theroux, Riding the Iron Rooster (1988)


inspirational travel quotes


“Travel, which is nearly always seen as an attempt to escape from the ego, is in my opinion the opposite. Nothing induces concentration or inspires memory like an alien landscape or a foreign culture. It is simply not possible (as romantics think) to lose yourself in an exotic place. Much more likely is an experience of intense nostalgia, a harking back to an earlier stage of your life, or seeing clearly a serious mistake. But this does not happen to the exclusion of the exotic present. What makes the whole experience vivid and sometimes thrilling is the juxtaposition of the present and the past.”

-Paul Theroux, The Happy Isles of Oceania (1992)


inspirational travel quotes


“The best of travel seems to exist outside of time, as though the years of travel are not deducted from your life.”

-Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star (2008)


“The person who wrote these notes died upon stepping once again onto Argentine soil. The person who edits and polishes them, me, is no longer. At least I am not the person I was before. The vagabonding through our “America” has changed me more than I thought.”

-Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Notas del Viaje (The Motorcycle Diaries), in Jon Lee Anderson, Che (2010)


inspirational travel quotes


“Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life.”

-Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star (2008)


“Travel, its very motion, ought to suggest hope. Despair is the armchair; it is indifference and glazed, incurious eyes. I think travelers are essentially optimists, or else they would never go anywhere.”

-Paul Theroux, Fresh Air Fiend (2000)



Source: The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux (2011)


Photo 1. based on Australia, by Thomas Depenbusch, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Palenquera, by Javier Ignacio Acuña Ditzel, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Huangshan, China (YELLOW MOUNTAIN/LANDSCAPE/HONG VILLAGE) XIX, by Chi King, CC-by-2.0

Photo 4. based on China – Fenghuang, by melenama, CC-by-2.0

Photo 5. based on Johnny Cay, by Joao Carlos Medau, CC-by-2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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