You actually clicked that link?
Whaddya say! This click bait thing actually works.
Oh well, now that you’re here, might as well stick around and read a little of what I have to say. I mean let’s face it, if not this you’d be doing one of those “If I was a house what kind of house I’d be” quizzes on Facebook and that would just make you seem like a lose… erm, I mean lone… never mind.
Let me put your doubts to rest and inform that that click you just made, the one that led you here, wasn’t in vain. I shall, in fact, be talking about travel quotes, and so what if I find them to be sappy, I respect that many people, very much like yourself, find them to be inspirational.
Now, being a blogger and having spent a considerable amount of my time on Social Media over the last few years I’ve come across quite a few people quote a number of quotes. Little titbits of sayings that supposedly famous people said and are now “words to live by” – which was also probably said by some famous person, or not, I don’t know.
You have the usual inspirational quotes, the movie quotes, and of course travel quotes that make up the top three most read types of quotes out there. I just made that statistic up but considering nothing in this article is true, we can temporarily move on.
Being a travel blogger it’s the travel quotes I notice predominantly. Over time, I’ve realised that it’s the same few quotes that get passed around from one person to another, with next to no variety.
That then led to me think – I do think sometimes, especially about inconsequential stuff – what made these quotes so popular. What’s the story behind them and wouldn’t it be cool to research the origins of the most famous travel quotes in the history of internet-sphere – word-making is another pastime of mine.
No, it would not be cool to research the origins of quotes and I don’t have the time or energy to do that either. Instead, it’s much easier to make up stuff and tell you what I, The All-Knowing, believes is the real truth behind these quotes that are floating around.
I’ve taken eight of the most popular travel quotes out there and shared my thoughts on them. The bonus is that I’ve tried to be funny about it and as ambiguous as my sense of humour is, I’d like you to also think about the quotes and what they could possibly mean, so that if and when you use them again, a little voice in your head tells you to re-think your decision.
Oh! Also, if you’re hearing voices in your head, might be a good idea to see a psychologist.
I can’t disagree with this statement. We need to travel more and read more, but every time someone uses this quote it makes me wonder whether that person themselves have read any other book or for that matter any other quote.
And then, what’s wrong about reading one page of a book. What if it’s a poem; a really deep, spiritual, inspirational poem that answers all life’s questions? What if reading another page would be a waste of time? Isn’t it better to have read one page than none at all or even one too many?
And that brings me back to the excessive use of the quote. When you use the same quote, isn’t it as bad as reading that one page of that unknown book that apparently you would have read if you didn’t travel?
I couldn’t disagree with T. S. Eliot any more than Delhi’s food disagrees with a lot of people eating in the city for the first time (a Delhi-belly joke if you didn’t get it).
Take for instance last year when I challenged this “famous” travel blogging couple about their claim that the kid behind them on a flight kicked their seat for seven hours. Before they blocked me, I managed to ask them, without an answer, how could a child continuously kick a chair for that long, when even an adult possibly can’t. Also, was he kicking both their seats and did they ask the parent with the child to do something?
My point being, had the journey mattered, this wouldn’t have been an issue at all. If I believed in this saying, I’d get down the flight and tweet something inspirational like “look at me you mere mortals, I was kicked down upon for seven hours, and still, here I am, standing tall. Life will throw you hours and hours of discomfort and you just need the courage to withstand it to be successful in life” … you know, something crappy like that.
Or that one guy who recently wrote a really long – very much like this post – Facebook comment on how he disliked travelling with an airline because they did not have any non-vegetarian food option. I kept reading his rant, hoping something interesting would turn up, something to ignite the inner anger in me and everyone else, so we could all discuss it endlessly on social media, but alas, that was all he had to say.
And then more importantly, if arriving does not matter, then why waste money on hotels and visa fees. Just journey from one airport or train station to another. Take your “digital nomadism” to the very next level, where you don’t even stay anywhere for more than the time required to catch a good night’s sleep.
Here’s what I think, everything matters; the journey, the limo ride to the hotel, the four-poster bed, the jacuzzi, a spa, the private plunge pool… every darn thing matters.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you get roads made for no cost at all.
Emerson did the unthinkable in igniting that spark of wanderlust in everyone with his quote and then I imagine sat back waiting till people discovered new routes and left a trail, which he merrily used afterwards. Just as cunning as Robert Frost I must add – I’m coming to him next.
There’s no denying that a sense of adventure and the need to be the first lingers somewhere inside us all, more so among travel bloggers who can’t wait to get back and write about it so that they can get a good Google page ranking and loads of blog hits.
But I also see no harm in following the path, because for all I know, it might be one that takes me to a lovely beachside resort in some distant land where I can relax drinking Mai Tai (I don’t think I’ve ever had one, but it sounds nice to say it) by the beach – I think my brain is telling me something here.
My mind truly wanders whenever I read this quote. I must congratulate Mr Frost on his astuteness. Very much like Emerson (see above) he is trying to get you to do his deed.
I for one don’t trust people easily, so these are the possibilities, in my head, that could be the reason behind Frost’s quote;
- He was afraid of going in the woods and wanted someone else to go in first.
- It is also not clear that both the roads diverge in the general same direction of opposite ones, which could actually make one more travelled depending on the destination to where they led.
- There is also the possibility that he wanted someone, for whatever reason, to get lost in the woods and encouraged them to take the road less travelled because… well, higher probability.
- Basically, he wanted to say “Get Lost” in the most civilized manner ever.
Another issue that arises is, considering the number of people who have taken the road less travelled, after the quote became popular, and trust me my Facebook timeline is full of travellers wanting to go to “offbeat locals”, don’t you think it might be better if you take the original road as you’ll likely find less traffic on it?
Here’s the final nail, and a question that bothers me the most, why is it that this very road is less travelled. There has to be a viable reason for that. Maybe it’s a dead end or the terrain is too bumpy for a non-SUV car, or worse, it leads you to a souvenir shop where they won’t let you go unless you buy something, even if it’s just a tacky key ring.
The possibilities, as they say, are endless…
I have one, and only one, thing to say about this; the debate of whether it is people who take trips or trips who take people can only be discussed after you have consumed a lovely chocolate chip cookie being sold in one of Amsterdam’s “coffee shops” because for me it is always the cookie that takes people on a trip.
It may also be noted that I may or may not have consumed one said cookie right before commencing on writing this article.
The fact that I refer to a blog post as an article might give you a clear indication of my mental state of mind as well.
George has the right idea. Who wants to feel at home when abroad? I don’t want to cook, or clean, or use a community pool where I can’t do one lap without getting hit by a kid or get freaked out whenever I come by an area of the pool that has a yellowish tint to it. Give me a nice plunge pool and endless view of the sea instead (Stop it! Brain).
Who wants to worry about work or bills when abroad especially when you are using your credit card to buy all those expensive branded clothes without a care about the date by which the payment will have to be made.
Let’s face it, the word “homely” is so overrated. What do BnBs know about comfort, I’d rather be another face in rows and rows of similarly styled rooms in building as high as my… okay, I don’t have anything that high, but you get the idea.
I love to be challenged, but there is a certain charm to familiarity as well. It just goes on to show that no matter where we go in the world, we are, in one way or another, same. Yes, everyone pees in the pool.
I have to agree with this. Over the last two years, I’ve begun to rediscover new places in my city. Places that in a weird way came to my notice only after I got my eyes checked and glasses reconfigured – you can say I got “new eyes”. These new pairs of eyes led me to [insert obligatory backlinks to previous blog posts] here (The Lodi Art District) and here (Safdarjung’s Tomb).
But I also can’t help but think of another scenario. Hear me out;
Imagine you reach a foreign country. You have landed safely and are in line for Immigrations.
As soon as you reach the counter, you hand over your documents to the officer and even though you are tired, manage to smile and wish him good morning.
He takes the papers with a stiff look and begins to check the details. He passes the passport under the scanner, makes sure the form is filled in correctly.
Maybe, he asks you a few questions about your visit and you answer them to his satisfaction.
He picks up the stamp, looks at you, then again at the photo in the passport, then back at you. He flips the page to an empty one and just as he is about the stamp the passport he suddenly stops and goes back to the first page.
He then shakes his head in disbelief.
You get nervous.
He mumbles something.
“What is it, officer?” you ask.
“Eyes, it’s the eyes” he says.
Confusion takes over you.
Yougivehima confused look.
“You don’t have “New Eyes”” he finally says actually making those quote-unquote sign with his hands and then goes on to stamp a big fat DENIED!
This quote always reminds me of the time in Greece when my friends and I came across this man as we were making our own trail on a “road less travelled”.
This man came up to us in the burning heat of August and with great difficulty said, “I was out wandering in search of a village, but now I think I’m lost.”
I looked at him. His face red from the sun. His lips dry. His skin so tattered that it seemed to be wrinkling in front of my eyes. His eyes full of hope having found us.
I looked at him a little longer and finally shouted… LIAR!
And then in a commanding voice went on to say the following;
“Listen to me young man (he clearly wasn’t), I have been told by one too many bloggers on my timeline that “all those who wander are not lost”. In fact, never has anyone wondered about those who might actually be lost.
You, young man, must realize that it is the journey and not the arrival that matters, and thus you must embark on this trip, a trip that was destined to take you along, and leave a trail behind on a new path that would henceforth become the road less travelled. You may not under any circumstances require the need feel at home and instead must brave through and see the world with new eyes.”
Then we gave him a bottle of water, explained to him the direction back to the town, and went on to “boldly go where no man had gone before…”
If you have managed to stay with me until the end, then I must congratulate you, and yes, I know that you would have been better off taking that Facebook quiz.
Oh well…there’s a lesson in all this for you.