Life is an adventure. Live it. To live is to laugh as if you’ve never known pain. To live is to love as if you’ve never been hurt. To live is to explore the world as if it’s your birth right to do so. When I say “adventure” I don’t focus purely on the adrenaline highs of extraordinary physical activities or wanderings into the unknown (though I may mean exactly that). For me, adventure is living and breathing perfect awareness of the endless possibilities of your existence (creativity and imagination). It also means “exploring life’s possibilities with no stone unturned”.
Here are 20 travel quotes that inspired me to climb mountains, explore islands, and get out of the box (a corporate office job) whenever I can. These are some of the reasons why I seek the Great Outdoors.
1. “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – James Thurber ( The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, movie)
I got bored while on a company-sponsored out-of-town vacation in Subic and managed to escape to the protected forest park of Camp Jest. In my beach shorts and cotton shirt, shoulder sling bag and heeled rubber sandals I trekked approximately 6 hours back and forth in the depths of Ilanin forest with an Aeta guide and had the time of my life learning how to identify medicinal plants, how to extract shampoo from gugo barks and how to find them, how to build a fire and make bamboo cooking utensils using only a sharp bolo. We didn’t reach the waterfalls though, as we were all too slow in trekking and we need to go back to the starting point before dark.
What could have been a zombie moment for me- following the rest of the crowd mindlessly partaking of the hotel’s breakfast buffet- turned into an unexpected adventure and an unforgettable time of my life. I bonded with office acquaintances that became my closest friends until now. Despite blistered feet, sore legs and shoulders, I knew there was no turning back; I will chase my own adventure moving forward.
2. “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” – Andre Gide
Get out of your comfort zone and know yourself more through travel. Nothing will enrich your mind, body and soul the way traveling could. Travelling will make you look inward and finally find that inner child. In rediscovering that inner child (creativity, resourcefulness, positivity, imagination and self-assurance) comes a lightness of being that holds the keys to true happiness.
3. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
The only way to make dreams come true is to stop dreaming and start doing. It all begins in a single step, and this applies not only to a physical journey but also in the general aspects of life. If you’re not used to travelling long distances but would really like to – then go out – take a short vacation out-of-town – then maybe next time you can go further to the nearest island you can cross over to explore. Then set your sights on finally exploring other places outside your country. (I have yet to do that, really.There are still too many places to explore in my side of the world. )
This is exactly the process I went through, and I got hooked to travelling ever since.
4. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag
When I’m feeling down in the dumps I distract myself from the blues and start planning my next trip to somewhere. You see, if I haven’t been everywhere, then at least I have been somewhere and everywhere is now achievable by a series of “somewheres” to go to.
5. “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.” – Jawaharial Nehru
For most of us, the 9 to 5 work lifestyle is inevitable. When was the last time you saw the beauty of the sunrise on an unobstructed skyline? When was the last time you stopped for a while on your own or with your loved one just to behold a magnificent sunset by the bay? Did you have the time to appreciate the best things that life has to offer without you working for it?
6. “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
There are many things I could have done but remained unfinished business. The “what-ifs” of this life can bother me no end. So I took risks. I made a lot of mistakes. I had to start over several times. My point is- don’t live your life asking yourself a series of “what-ifs” hanging in the air of regret. I could have been a bitter woman who hated life in general. But no – I discovered hiking in the process. Hiking is the reason why, despite of it all, I can still call life beautiful.
7. “Travel not to find yourself , but to remember who you’ve been all along.” – unknown
I found I’m happy when I’m trekking for hours just to visit hidden falls, lakes and other wonders of nature. I found happiness scrambling up boulders and rocks to get to a mountain summit. In the process I discovered my limits, my capabilities, and my inner thoughts and aspirations long stilted by practicalities. In other words: I rediscovered who I really am. I have been that confident, self-assured inner child with a polyanna sunshine attitude towards anything and everything even when drenched and soaking wet under the rain. Until I forgot I was a polyanna, and nurtured negative thoughts about life. The law of attraction says you attract what you think. I began the journey inward and tried my best to nurture only the good things in life.
It doesn’t matter how difficult your journey is. What matters is the fulfillment that comes from reaching a destination and the journey itself.
8. Always do what you are afraid to do. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
As much as I hate to admit it but I’m afraid of water depths. Once I was “trying” to enjoy snorkeling at Apo Island near Dumaguete. I did enjoy ogling colorful marine life, not until I felt I couldn’t move in the strong current. I cried out of fear. I can only float myself to safety if the need arises but the phobia can just be paralyzing. I tried to conquer this fear of water depths when I jumped from the top of Bolinao Falls – without a life vest. Friends down below me assured me I’ll be safe with them around. The experience was just another thrill for my adventurous friends, but for me, it was a milestone. I could have just backed out and say it’s not worth the risk. I was silently proud of myself for conquering a lifetime fear.
9. Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!’”-Hunter S. Thompson
Every time I come home from a long road trip or a strenuous multi-day hike, I would wake up in the morning with wound scratches here and there, sunburned skin, aching body and a limp. You’d think I looked like a mess but you know what? My daughter doesn’t think so. She thinks I glow every time I come home from a recent hike, all exhausted and spent. Before I lay my head to sleep in my comfy bed I know that an inner smile lingered remembering how I slept under the stars, or shivering in the cold camping on a mountain, in a tent. Yes, that was quite an adventure, and all my heightened senses are telling me how good it is to be simply alive. I’ll probably do it again for as long as I can.
10. We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us. – Unknown
When we were kids, we were just basking in the joys of “being” and I think all of us did at one point or another, until we had to grow up. We had to live to work to make a living as responsible adults with a timeline of life tasks to tick off, and not simply work to live life. Work to live, not the other way around. Take time to travel.
11. It is not down on any map, true places never are. – Herman Melville
I am enthralled with waterfalls. I chase them whenever I can. They’re often in enchanting fairy-tale setting in the woods except that it’s not a fairy-tale theater setting. It might be an enchanted place for real, or not. Either way most of them cannot be found in maps. And those that are found in maps are often converted to resorts or tourist stops. True places are like these uncharted beauty spots. It could be a spot in a nearby garden. It could be your favorite rock, or a campsite near a lake. That one true thing about these places is how you connected to the spirit of the place and that connection, can’t be labeled on a physical map.
12. To travel is to live. – Hans Christian Andersen
I am still grateful that I am living life in my own way every time I stand on a mountain peak, camp out in remote islands with nothing else but the most basic of camping gears and the natural beauty all around me. I could have worked all my life in an office focusing solely on how to survive- but fortunately I didn’t. I climb mountains and go places every time I got the chance. Twenty years down the road I know these journeys are worthwhile stories to tell with a smile on my face.
13. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
If a blind prodigy knew life is nothing but adventure and adventure is life itself, then we must be missing out on something if we have eyes that see but are blind to the beauty of life and this world we live in. Travel as often as you can. Live life, love life, chase your adventure.
14. A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles. – Tim Cahill
In each journey I make, I get to know new friends. Does it matter how many miles one has travelled? A journey’s a journey and cannot be anything but. But what makes journeys special are the friends you make along the way.
15. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity”-John Muir
I believe that physical, emotional and mental healing takes place the moment you step in the wilderness. Wide open spaces with greenery calms the senses, alerts the mind and increases awareness, and at the same time acts as a natural relaxant. On a personal note, travelling and hiking is a major stress buster when office demands are too high.
16. “The mountains are calling, and I must go. “– John Muir
There are moments all nature-lovers and trekkers have in common- moments when they just have to be hiking somewhere, and looking from the summit of a mountain somewhere. For some reason I get these familiar longings to travel and hike up a particular mountain when the daily stress is creeping up on me and makes me say these infamous words by the most famous American mountaineer and naturalist – John Muir, and I say to myself : “ The mountains are calling, and I must go.” – often to a snicker from an eavesdropping daughter who heard me by chance. “You really have to go, Mom. You’re already talking to yourself.”
17. “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau
I got lost on my way several times. The good thing about being lost is how I managed to be more alert in finding the right path. My mind recalls the past routes I’ve taken up to the point how I got lost in the first place. I tend to stop, think and ask for help if needed. Most of all, I learned to accept things I cannot change. There’s no use wasting time blaming yourself or anybody else. No amount of worrying and panicking can take me back to the right path. I became more adaptable to change. With getting lost, I learned the true meaning of patience.
18. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”-Martin Buber
One word says it all – detours. I love the surprises that detours bring.
19. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Unknown
Travel can enrich your mind, body and soul. Experience lasts longer than any item purchased. Some of the friends you make along the way are like diamonds in the rough, they stand by you forever, and they shine better when buffed and polished with hard times.
In relation to what I just said about experiences, the last quote (#20) sums it all up for me:
20.“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac
This quote applies to anything you want to do in your life. Take that one step and tackle that one obstacle that always seem to block your way. Go ahead and climb your mountain – mountains always have gifts for those who dared to climb.
What are your favorite travel quotes? How are you inspired by these quotes? Please share it with us.