The essence of the tourist adventure is exhibited in the contours of the excitements that it provides. And these contours are best inferred from the stories that are told and re-told with animation to relatives, friends and colleagues at home. It is virtually never what has been seen that is recounted with enthusiasm. When the sites are described it is in the form of ritualized cliches: the Eiffel Tower really is a wonder—we went up it, and you get such a nice view. It is rather the personal moments of the tour, moments of near-crisis, that in retrospect were exciting: when one of the suitcases failed to arrive off the luggage chute at Frankfort Airport. Touring itself has been turned into a routine, restricting adventure to those moments when routine breaks down.
Sceptical Sociology (ch. 8), John Carroll
Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.
Travel is the realm of the improbable adventure, the quick fix, the ship passing in the night. It entitles you to meet interesting people, whom you would never meet, even if you laid traps or advertised for them. Not only do you meet them, but also unmeet them, all in the space of, it often seems, a mere compacted evening. As there is so little time, bodies in motion drop their guard and immediatly get on with their stories. Then the proverbial ships part, each to its destination, never again to brush each other’s wake.
Last Places: A Journey in the North, Lawrence Millman
I didn’t get the big picture until I saw this country from a distance. Traveling in Europe made me understand that America has an island mentality: No one exists except us. There’s a whole other world out there, but most Americans - all they know is America, the marketing plan.
'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said, 'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,' he said, 'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.
All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.
"On Travel and Travel Writing" in The Norton Book of Travel, Paul Fussell
We travel to learn; and I have never been in any country where they did not do something better than we do it, think some thoughts better than we think, catch some inspiration from heights above our own.
You wake up at SeaTac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, Mountain, Central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. You wake up at Air Harbor International. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?
Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!
Traveling is a return to the essentials.
Tibetan Proverb (via travel-quotes)
A traveler must have the back of an ass to bear all, a tongue like the tail of a dog to flatter all, the mouth of a hog to eat what is set before him, the ear of a merchant to hear all and say nothing.
The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.
To travel is to see, to return is to talk.
African Proverb (via travel-quotes)
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