"We travellers are in very hard circumstances. If we say nothing but what has been said before us, we are dull and have observed nothing. If we tell anything new, we are laughed at as fabulous and romantic."
"In order always to learn something from others (which is the finest school there can be), I observe in my travels this practice: I always steer those with whom I talk back to the things they know best."
"I, who travel most often for my pleasure, do not direct myself so badly. If it looks ugly on the right, I take the left; if I find myself unfit to ride my horse, I stop.... Have I left something unseen behind me? I go back; it is still on my road. I trace no fixed line, either straight or crooked."
"Life, as the most ancient of all metaphors insists, is a journey; and the travel book, in its deceptive simulation of the journey's fits and starts, rehearses life's own fragmentation. More even than the novel, it embraces the contingency of things."
"The important thing about travel in foreign lands is that it breaks the speech habits and makes you blab less, and breaks the habitual space-feeling because of different village plans and different landscapes. It is less important that there are different mores, for you counteract these with your own reaction- formations."
"Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty--his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure."
"... if there's a house, then there is a wall ... between them and the outside world. The ideal is to stay inside and to never have to go out, and the whole idea of staying home is really important. I think men do get out, but it is not glamorized the way it is here in America, where the big story is to ride out and go someplace and to travel."
"As the Spanish proverb says, "He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him." So it is in travelling; a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge."
"He that travels in theory has no inconveniences; he has shade and sunshine at his disposal, and wherever he alights finds tables of plenty and looks of gaiety. These ideas are indulged till the day of departure arrives, the chaise is called, and the progress of happiness begins. A few miles teach him the fallacies of imagination. The road is dusty, the air is sultry, the horses are sluggish, and the postilion brutal. He longs for the time of dinner that he may eat and rest. The inn is crowded, his orders are neglected, and nothing remains but that he devour in haste what the cook has spoiled, and drive on in quest of better entertainment. He finds at night a more commodious house, but the best is always worse than he expected."