"Seen with the terrestially sullied eye, we are in the situation of travelers in a train that has met with an accident in a tunnel, and this at a place where the light of the beginning can no longer be seen, and the light of the end is so very small a glimmer that the gaze must continually search for it and is always losing it again, and, furthermore, both the beginning and the end are not even certainties."
"People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and they think they have seen something."
"A route differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point with another. A route has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points that it connects. A road is a tribute to space. Every stretch of road has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A route is the triumphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time."
"The pleasure of leaving home, care-free, with no concern but to enjoy, has also as a pendant the pleasure of coming back to the old hearthstone, the home to which, however traveled, the heart still fondly turns, ignoring the burden of its anxieties and cares."
"One might compare the journey of the soul to mystical union, by way of pure faith, to the journey of a car on a dark highway. The only way the driver can keep to the road is by using his headlights. So in the mystical life, reason has its function. The way of faith is necessarily obscure. We drive by night. Nevertheless our reason penetrates the darkness enough to show us a little of the road ahead. It is by the light of reason that we interpret the signposts and make out the landmarks along our way."
"Spirit of place! It is for this we travel, to surprise its subtlety; and where it is a strong and dominant angel, that place, seen once, abides entire in the memory with all its own accidents, its habits, its breath, its name."
"Travelling, gentlemen, is medieval, today we have means of communication, not to speak of tomorrow and the day after, means of communication that bring the world into our homes, to travel from one place to another is atavistic."
"Exploration belongs to the Renaissance, travel to the bourgeois age, tourism to our proletarian moment. ... The explorer seeks the undiscovered, the traveler that which has been discovered by the mind working in history,the tourist that which has been discovered by entrepreneurship and prepared for him by the arts of mass publicity. ... If the explorer moves toward the risks of the formless and the unknown, the tourist moves toward the security of pure cliché. It is between these two poles that the traveler mediates. ..."
"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."
"The age of independent travel is drawing to an end," said E.M. Forster back in 1920, when it had been increasingly clear for decades that the mass production inevitable in the late industrial age had generated its own travel-spawn, tourism, which is to travel as plastic is to wood. If travel is mysterious, even miraculous, and often lonely and frightening, tourism is commonsensical, utilitarian, safe, and social, "that gregarious passion," the traveler Patrick Leigh Fermor calls it, "which destroys the object of its love." Not self-directed but externally enticed, as a tourist you go not where your own curiosity beckons but where the industry decrees you shall go. Tourism soothes, shielding you from the shocks of novelty and menace, confirming your prior view of the world rather than shaking it up. It obliges you not just to behold conventional things but to behold them in the approved conventional way."