Hey there.

Welcome to the world through my eyes. I'm an internationally published travel writer and photographer who has travelled to 75+ countries, and has tried to capture some of that along the way. Travel means the world to me, and my goal is to offer tips and advice to help you feel the same! 

Ancient Travel Quotes Worth Remembering

Ancient Travel Quotes Worth Remembering

I've always been fascinated by the wisdom that has endured the test of time. I think that's largely because, growing up, I was always told that we're essentially the pinnacle of humanity, that it's never been in any better. In my adulthood, I've started to unravel that notion, and it's been one of the most gratifying mental exercises for me. 

I started scouring the earth for ancient words that resonated with me, some true ancient words of wisdom. Funny enough, when you start your search you end up in a minefield of complicated ancient prophecy and yet, the most prominent ancient travel quotes that I came across were those that were direct, pure, and uncomplicated. As human beings, I think we often have a problem recognizing the correlation between simplicity and profundity. We search for complicated mystic, ancient saying and ancient proverbs as if the more time we must spend unraveling a quote, the better it must be. 

What endures the test of time does so with the utmost resistance. Nowadays, you can post something online and BOOM, there's a record of it. But centuries and millennia ago, information that was worth it was passed on, either orally, in writing, or otherwise. That fascinates me. And, from a travel perspective it intrigues me even further. I've written previously about travel quotes that inspire me, and I've written about just quotes in general that I find touching, but it occurred to me that I've yet to reach all the back to the ancients, at least exclusively. Moreover, there are some fantastic posts on travel quotes in general, but that's not what I'm after. 

So, here's yet another thought experiment lived out, since I've got this blank canvas known as my blog with which to dabble in my thoughts. Here are the travel quotes from the ancients I particularly adore. I should note for the sake of posterity that I'm attempting to reach back much further, but I'll mostly accept anything from the mid-nineteenth century and backwards. 

Top 1-25 Ancient Travel Quotes 

 Ancient Travel Quotes, Scotland, ancient words of wisdom, ancient sayings, ancient prophecy

1. "Adventure is worthwhile." - Aristotle

2. “Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.” - Euripides

3. "Travel brings power and love back into your life." - Rumi

4. "Wherever you go, there you are." - Confucius

5. "A traveler without observation is a bird without wings." - Saadi

 Ancient Travel Quotes - Ancient China, Confucius, Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Travel

6. “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” - Lao Tzu

7. "Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you travelled." - Mohammed

8. “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” - Francis Bacon

9. "Look at the stars lighting up the sky: no one of them stays in the same place.” - Seneca

10. "The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page." - St. Augustine

 Ancient Travel Quotes, ancient words of wisdom, ancient prophecy, ancient sayings, short inspirational quotes

11. "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.“ - Lao Tzu

12. "He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” - Moorish proverb

13. “Voyage, travel, and change of place impart vigor.” - Seneca

14. “Empty-handed I entered the world, Barefoot I leave it. My coming, my going - two simple happenings, That got entangled." - Kozan Ichikyo

15. “He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left.” - Chinese proverb

 Ancient Travel Quotes - ancient words of wisdom, ancient sayings, short inspirational quotes, pompeii

16. "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." - Confucius

17. “People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.” – St. Augustine

18. “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” -Gustav Flaubert

19. “To Travel is to Live” – Hans Christian Andersen

20. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Ancient Travel Quotes - Japan, Japanese, Travel, Hiroshima, Landmark

21. “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” -Chief Seattle

22. “Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.” - The Dhammapada 

23. “Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.” - George Eliot 

24. “When you’re traveling, ask the traveler for advice / not someone whose lameness keeps him in one place.” - Rumi 

25. “The autumn leaves are falling like rain / Although my neighbors are all barbarians / And you, you are a thousand miles away / There are always two cups at my table.” - Tang Dynasty Poem

Top 26-50 Ancient Travel Quotes

 Ancient Travel Quotes, Ancient Words of Wisdom, Travel Quotes

26. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” – John A. Shedd

27. "The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are." - Samuel Johnson

28. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”   — Marcel Proust

29. “A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place…”   — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

30. “Roam abroad in the world, and take thy fill of its enjoyments before the day shall come when thou must quit it for good.” ― Saadi

 Ancient Travel quotes, travel quotes, ancient words of wisdom, ancient prophecy 

31. “The man who seeks to educate himself must first read and then travel in order to correct what he has learned.” ― Casanova

32. “Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

33. “The bold adventurer succeeds the best.” – Ovid

34. “The journey itself is my home.” – Matsuo Bashō

35. “Walking 10 thousand miles of world is better than reading 10 thousand scrolls of books.” — Chinese Proverb

 Ancient travel quotes, ancient sayings, ancient words of wisdom, ancient prophecy 

36. “Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries.” – René Descartes

37. “He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.” – Dutch Proverb

38.  “I was not born for one corner. The whole world is my native land.” – Seneca

39. “Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep.” – Chinese Proverb

40. “To shut your eyes is to travel.” ― Emily Dickinson

 Ancient Travel Quotes, ancient sayings, ancient proverbs, travel quotes. 

41. “If you can’t live longer, live deeper.” – Italian Proverb

42. “It is better to travel than to arrive.” – Buddha

43. “Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.” – Uzbek proberb

44. “No road is long with good company.” – Turkish proverb

45. “I tramp a perpetual journey.” — Walt Whitman

 Ancient Travel Quotes, ancient sayings, travel quotes, ancient words of wisdom

46. “How can you wonder your travels do you no good, when you carry yourself around with you?” — Socrates

47.  “I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more.” — Thomas Jefferson

48. “If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.” ― Seneca

49. “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

50. “For walk where we will, we tread upon some story.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

 Ancient Travel Quotes - ancient words of wisdom, ancient sayings, short inspirational quotes, China

I've mentioned this innumerable times on my blog before, but ancient words of wisdom mean something to me, and particularly ancient travel quotes. I have notebooks full of quotes that I rarely keep far from me chest pocket whether I'm on a plane, train, or anything in between. There's always been something about ancient quotes, ancient sayings, and ancient proverbs that just stayed with me. Unconsciously, or perhaps consciously, I felt the need to give them more respect.

That's largely because, as I alluded to in the introductory paragraphs, these messages were carried on parchment and in the minds of the people. Nowadays, our digital footprint is unthinkably large, but, historically speaking, you'd be lucky to even have a quote to be remembered by, even by your later family. You simply vanish, but perhaps that's another story altogether.

I know that I probably wasn't able to get every single ancient travel quote, so I'd love it if you wanted to comment below with what you would add. If not, comment below and let me know which of the quotes that I selected resonated with you. As always, I try to respond to each and every comment on my blog. Thanks a lot for stopping by. 

The Art of the Multiple Exposure

The Art of the Multiple Exposure

Listen to My Interview on Adam Rozenhart's Podcast, "The Expats"

Listen to My Interview on Adam Rozenhart's Podcast, "The Expats"