Best Quotes About Travel Books

I (Paul Heller) love collecting the Best Quotes About Travel Books for my Fifty Plus Nomad blog. I spend hours searching to find quotes that:

  • Reflect how I feel about a place or a travel-related issue
  • Add a new or interesting perspective to a discussion about a place or issue, even if I don`t agree with the author’s viewpoint.
  • Make me laugh, cry, or smile.
  • Perfectly capture a place, emotion, or issue.

I don’t include quotes about unknown places or travel experiences.

All my blog posts lead off with a quote relevant to the post’s subject. I frequently post quotes on my Facebook group: Long Term Traveling and Living Abroad Over 50.

In addition, I have added several previously unseen quotes I discovered while putting together this page.

I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Let me know if you have any additional quotes to add to this page.

8 Quotes About Travel Writing

Unless there is a strong sense of place there is no travel writing, but it need not come from topographical description; dialogue can also convey a sense of place. Even so, I insist, the traveler invents the place. Feeling compelled to comment on my travel books, people say to me, “I went there” China, India, the Pacific, Albania” and it wasn’t like that.” I say, “because I am not you.”
Paul Theroux 

“Great travel writing consists of equal parts curiosity, vulnerability and vocabulary. It is not a terrain for know-it-alls or the indecisive. The best of the genre can simply be an elegant natural history essay, a nicely writ sports piece, or a well-turned profile of a bar band and its music. A well-grounded sense of place is the challenge for the writer. We observe, we calculate, we inquire, we look for a link between what we already know and what we’re about to learn. The finest travel writing describes what’s going on when nobody’s looking.
Tom Miller

  “Anyone telling about his travels must be a liar . . . for if a traveler doesn’t visit his narrative with the spirit and techniques of fiction, no one will want to hear it.”
Paul Fussell

“Travel the world, learn other languages, demand liberty, despise violence, read books, and keep a dictionary nearby.” –
Jeff B. Davis

“The travel writer seeks the world we have lost – the lost valleys of the imagination.
Alexander Cockburn

“In this way, writers are indeed, as Henry Miller suggested, traitors to the human race. We may turn a light on inequity, injustice, and oppression from time to time, but we regularly kill what we love in insidious fashion.”
Anthony Bourdain, The Best American Travel Writing 2008

To write is to carve a new path through the terrain of the imagination, or to point out new features on a familiar route. To read is to travel through that terrain with the author as a guide– a guide one might not always agree with or trust, but who can at least be counted on to take one somewhere. “
Rebecca Solnit

“As Theroux famously said, it doesn’t matter where or how far you go – the farther commonly the worse – the important thing is how alive you are. Writing of every kind is a way to wake oneself up and keep as alive as when one has just fallen in love.”
Pico Iyer

12 Quotes About Travel Books

A guide book is addressed to those who plan to follow the traveler, doing what he has done, but more selectively. A travel book, in its purest, is addressed to those who do not plan to follow the traveler at all, but who require the exotic or comic anomalies, wonders and scandals of the literary form romance which their own place or time cannot entirely supply.”
 Paul Fussell

“We travel to ancient times by reading history books.”  
Lailah Gifty Akita

The study of maps and the perusal of travel books aroused in me a secret fascination that was at times almost irresistible.
Alain de Botton

“I think people read travel books either because they intend to take that trip, or because they would never take that trip. In a sense, as a writer you are doing the travel for the reader.”  
Paul Theroux

The appeal of travel books is also the sense that you are different, an outsider, almost like the Robinson Crusoe or Christopher Columbus notion of being the first person in a new place.
Paul Theroux

“Reading old travel books or novels set in faraway places, spinning globes, unfolding maps, playing world music, eating in ethnic restaurants, meeting friends in cafes . . . all these things are part of never-ending travel practice, not unlike doing scales on a piano, shooting free-throws, or meditating.
Phil Cousineau

“Travel books are all sorts – some are autobiographies, some are about falling in love. Some are about having great meals, some are about suffering. There are as many different kinds of travel books as there are novels. People think a travel book is one thing. It’s many things.
Paul Theroux

“Travel books are, by and large, boring. They lodge uncomfortably between fact, fiction and autobiography.”
Arthur Smith

“I travel because I want to know. Books and documentaries will only get you so far. If you want to know, you will have to go.” 
Henry Rollins
¨

All my books reflect travel adventures of some kind, and all have a soul: a spiritual or mystical underpinning.”
O. R. Melling

“I travel, a lot, to research the locales for the books. I have professional contacts that I can ask questions of or show them scenes to vet.”
Jeff Abbott

“My grandfather says that’s what books are for,” Ashoke said, using the opportunity to open the volume in his hands. ‘To travel without moving an inch.”
Jhumpa Lahiri

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Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.

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