My Favourite Quotes

Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck, so I often turn to my favourite quotes for inspiration and motivation. Hope you enjoy them too.  

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? (Rumi)

To people the world over, pilgrimage is a spiritual exercise, an act of devotion to find a source of healing, or even to perform a penance. Always, it is a journey of risk and renewal. For a journey without challenge has no meaning; one without purpose has no soul. (Phil Cousineau, ‘The Art of Pilgrimage’)

For only then shall we know that the end of our explorations will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. (T.S. Eliot)

Your freedom matters more than anything. And you win that freedom the moment you make the decision to hit the road. (Jenn Miller)

…any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travels or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else. (Bertrand Russell, ‘The Conquest of Happiness’)

You can’t help how you feel, but you can help how you behave. (Margaret Atwood, ‘Handmaid’s Tale’)

Each man has his own areas of exploration, both within himself and the world at large. Some people do it to prove themselves, some for nationalistic reasons, some for material gain,…some do it to escape a humdrum life, whatever that is, some to sort themselves out,…and some for the pure poetry of it, and these I’m with all the way. Because it’s there – that’s the most human reason of all. (Tristan Jones, ‘Yams’)

My greatest skill has been to want little. (Henry David Thoreau, ‘Walden’)

It wasn’t just that he was now in another country. It felt as though he’d opened a path to another life. (Chris Guillebeau, ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’)

For those of us fascinated with the spiritual quest, the deepening of our journeys begins the moment we begin to ask what is sacred to us: architecture, history, music, books, nature, food, religious heritage, family history, the lives of saints, scholars, heroes, artists? (Phil Cousineau, ‘The Art of Pilgrimage’)

Belloc pays little homage to the great cities, the famous monuments, or works of art along the way. He chooses to celebrate rather the way of life of the little people, not the sites beloved of tour books. (Michael Novak, commenting on Hillaire Belloc’s 1902 book, ‘The Path to Rome’)

Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter. (John Muir, 1888 letter to his wife)

Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. (Joseph Campbell)

If fate throws a knife at you, you can catch it either by the blade or the handle. (Ancient Persian proverb)

This is a great moment when you see, however distant, the goal of your wandering. The thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly becomes part of the tangible world. (Freya Stark)

How long the road is. But, for all the time the journey has already taken, how you have needed every second of it in order to learn what the road passes by. (Dag Hammarskjoeld, ‘Markings’)

Travel is the best way we have of rescuing the humanity of places, and saving them from abstraction and ideology. (Pico Iyer, ‘Why We Travel’)

A few hundred years hence, in this same place, another traveler, as despairing as myself, will mourn the disappearance of what I might have seen, but failed to see. (Claude Levi-Strauss, ‘Tristes Tropiques’)

Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we sense them. The least we can do is try to be there. (Annie Dillard, ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’)

Lost, on a painted sky, where the clouds are hung for the poet’s eye. (Neil Diamond, from the song ‘Be’)

As long as you still have questions, continue. (Jonathon Blow)

The paradox: there can be no pilgrimage without a destination, but the destination is also not the real point of the endeavour. Not the destination, but the willingness to wander in pursuit characterizes pilgrimage. (Patricia Hampl)