13 Uninspirational Travel Quotes

β€œNot all those who wander are lost”, wrote J. R. R. Tolkien when he wasn’t chasing hobbits. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”, wrote Saint Augustine, probably having a rest between chasing women and chasing God.

Our world is full of inspirational quotes, and the world of travel even more so. The interwebs are riddled with photos of magnificent sunsets emblazoned with a famous person’s words, to stir the spirit and rouse the body out of a comfortable sofa.

As I have an ingrained suspicion (some might say distaste) of motivational speak, most of these pamphlets of vapid stimulation never did manage to induce anything more encouraging than a stifled yawn. Also, I found them at odds with a lot of the more, well, let’s say mundane behavior of fellow wanderers.

Of the myriad quotes, sayings and haikus I’ve come across throughout my reading days, there is only one I’ve felt to be honest enough to merit a sunset (or at least a tweet): “I am a traveller, not an adventurer. Things happen to me in my search for a way out”, wrote Henry Miller when he was chasing life, death and all in between.

Hence, as one year ends and a resolution-packed new one begins, I have unleashed the old curmudgeon within (he shares headspace with the wide-eyed child, the insecure narcissist, the quiet dreamer, etc – insert appropriate Walt Whitman quote here) and created a few uninspirational (or downright ridiculous) quotes, edited from real ones, for those times when a wild sunset reminds you only that you should have brought more mosquito repellent.

Not all those who wander are lemmings

The world is a book travel quote

For my part travel quote

He who does not travel

Tourists don't know

Explore dream dysentery

Do not follow travel quote

A journey is best measured travel quote

Most of my treasured memories

There is no end travel quote

To travel is to discover

Travel is fatal

Two roads diverged travel quote

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56 Responses

  1. Kellie says:

    Explore, Dream, Dysentery is my personal favourite.

  2. Syd says:

    While I love a good Tolkien quote, the blog-o-sphere is over saturated with horribly cliche and absolutely meaningless quotes that, on top of it all, usually also include lewd grammatical offenses. So, basically, I love this post. Here’s wishing you a snarky 2014 πŸ˜‰

    (Recently a friend of mine posted a meme that said “One day someone is going to hug you so tight. That all your broken pieces will stick back together.” I commented that I hoped her broken sentences would stick back together too. She did NOT think it was funny.)

    • FW North says:

      Yes to everything you wrote. After the hundredth inane motivational quote, I’m usually motivated to unplug the interwebs. Your comment to your friend’s meme had me in stitches. I love a good comeback! Wishing you an equally snarky (I first read “sharky”, which could also be fun, if somewhat dangerous) 2014!

  3. Samantha says:

    lol!!! I love all of these, those who travel only read Lonely Planet hahaha. love it!

  4. Jeff Johns says:

    Nice work guys, love these! Breakfast included made me laugh ha. Have a great 2014!

  5. Lol love these!! Especially the lemmings and dysentery quotes

  6. Lol, this is a funny post! Loved the breakfast quote the most. Truly (un)inspirational. Have an awesome 2014!

  7. Franca says:

    I like the one saying “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they are going”, it’s often true! Happy New Year πŸ™‚

    • FW North says:

      Yeah, that one is very popular, and is by Paul Theroux – I just added the last sentence, after spending too many nights in hostels by the beach πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by and happy New Year!

  8. Bwhahaha. You got a guffaw from me on the dysentery quote. I’m the anomaly in the comments here: I like a good motivational quote slapped on a pretty travel photo. But, I love your un-motivational take on these too! I hope you guys had a wonderful New Years Eve. πŸ™‚

    • FW North says:

      Hola Shannon! I’m also fond of the occasional lovely quote/pretty picture combo, but this is more of a cranky reaction to the bewildering ubiquitousness of inspirational travel quotes – and then seeing what a lot of folks actually do while traveling. In the end, it’s more of a fun writing exercise than anything else. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope you had a grand New Years Eve – and continue to rock the travel world with your wonderful stories in 2014. Good luck!

  9. These are great!! Made me laugh!! So going to share some of these πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!!

  10. Bob R says:

    VERY nice. I liked the Dysentery and Breakfast ones best. Maybe I’ll try to combine those two into something really inspirational.

  11. Jess says:

    These quotes seem much more applicable to the people who post them then the usual versions! I admit, I sometimes like a good adventure quote myself, but I don’t want to see the same one fifty times. It’s the same as taking an ultra-exciting National Geographic photo and reposting it on every blog/twitter/facebook in existence – it stops being exciting and starts looking lazy and unoriginal.

    • FW North says:

      Hola Jess! Yeah, this whole thing stemmed from too much time browsing the travel blogging world πŸ™‚ The first quote is fine, and might even be inspiring, but after seeing it 15 times with different backgrounds the mind starts to falter… Also, having one of those quotes next to a post on Top Ways to Get Wasted in Whatever Part of the Developing World doesn’t really help… Thanks a lot for stopping by and good luck in 2014!

  12. LOVE THIS. Although being eaten by lions sounds painful. I’ll pass on that one.

  13. Haha this was funny. I especially love the ‘breakfast included’ as that is an important option for me when traveling πŸ™‚

  14. Love the “Explore. Dream. Dysentery” one! They made me laugh. πŸ™‚

  15. You really had me at ‘Explore. Dream. Dysentery’! Hah.

    The aspirational travel stuff needs an antidote sometimes and you delivered one in a very funny way.

  16. Nina says:

    Best post about travel quotes I’ve ever read, so funny (and some of them are so true!) πŸ™‚ !

  17. These are great! I especially like the “I travel not to go anywhere but to buy souvenirs”. It always feels like I’m buying souvenirs. Thanks for sharing them.

  18. Sandra Wu says:

    “A journey is best measured in facebook likes, not miles”
    Sadly, this is a reality for some people…

  19. Love, love, love. I need to start a funny quotes Pinterest board. I especially love the “A journey is best measured in Facebook likes, not miles.”

  20. Tim says:

    Got a laugh out of the one regarding Lonely Planet. Seems like these days that may be uninspirational but to some degree true; everyone on the road has one.

  21. samiya selim says:

    I laughed out loud at so many of these quotes πŸ™‚ ‘measured by facebook likes ‘eaten by lions’ hilarious! Great post!

  22. Karla says:

    Love it. Thanks for my smile of the day.

  23. Ok, so, this is kinda funny. I especially like the one about Facebook likes. It’s funny because it’s true (at least for some people).

  24. Nita says:

    Hahaha! Awesome! Love all of them.. Hilarious!! Especially the ones about breakfast, getting eaten by lions, and facebook likes πŸ˜€

  25. Explore; Dream; Dysentry….. a backpackers Guide to the world! That could easily be a name for a blog hahaha

  26. lol, this is so funny. My fave is the one about measuring a journey in Facebook likes. It so deftly tears apart this view some people have that if something doesn’t go on Facebook, it didn’t happen.

  27. Adelina says:

    How I haven’t seen these on your site is beyond me, but these are HILARIOUS. Love love love.

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