"One of the great natural phenomena is the way in which a tube of toothpaste suddenly empties itself when it hears that you are planning a trip, so that when you come to pack it is just a twisted shell of its former self, with not even a cubic millimeter left to be squeezed out."
"In America there are two classes of travel--first class, and with children. Travelling with children corresponds roughly to travelling third-class in Bulgaria. They tell me there is nothing lower in the world than third-class Bulgarian travel."
"The Ultimate Day really begins the night before, when you sit up until one o'clock trying to get things into trunk and bags. This is when you discover the well-known fact that summer air swells articles to twice or three times their original size."
"In order to get to East Russet you take the Vermont Central as far as Twitchell's Falls and change there for Torpid River Junction, where a spur line takes you right into Gormley. At Gormley you are met by a buckboard which takes you back to Torpid River Junction again."
"All my life I have lived and behaved very much like [the] sandpiper--just running down the edges of different countries and continents, "looking for something" ... having spent most of my life timorously seeking for subsistence along the coastlines of the world."
"Not so many years ago there there was no simpler or more intelligible notion than that of going on a journey. Travel--movement through space--provided the universal metaphor for change.... One of the subtle confusions--perhaps one of the secret terrors--of modern life is that we have lost this refuge. No longer do we move through space as we once did."
"There is a wonderful, but neglected precision in these words. The old English noun "travel" (in the sense of a journey) was originally the same word as "travail" (meaning "trouble," "work," or "torment").... Significantly, too, the word "tour" in "tourist" was derived by back-formation from the Latin "tornus," which in turn came from the Greek word for a tool describing a circle. The traveler, then was working at something; the tourist was a pleasure-seeker. The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him."
"When you are waiting for a train, don't keep perpetually looking to see if it is coming. The time of its arrival is the business of the conductor, not yours. It will not come any sooner for all your nervous glances and your impatient pacing, and you will save strength if you will keep quiet. After we discover that the people who sit still on a long railroad journey reach that journey's end at precisely the same time as those who "fuss" continually, we have a valuable piece of information which we should not fail to put to practical use."
"Travel is like adultery: one is always tempted to be unfaithful to one's own country. To have imagination is inevitably to be dissatisfied with where you live. There is in men, as Peter Quennell said, "a centrifugal tendency." In our wanderlust, we are lovers looking for consummation."
"I don't care very much for literary shrines and haunts ... I knew a woman in London who boasted that she had lodgings from the windows of which she could throw a stone into Carlyle's yard. And when I said, "Why throw a stone into Carlyle's yard?" she looked at me as if I were an imbecile and changed the subject."
"Scholarship cannot do without literature.... It needs literature to float it, to set it current, to authenticate it to all the race, to get it out of closets and into the brains of men who stir abroad."
"Professors of literature, who for the most part are genteel but mediocre men, can make but a poor defense of their profession, and the professors of science, who are frequently men of great intelligence but of limited interests and education, feel a politely disguised contempt for it; and thus the study of one of the most pervasive and powerful influences on human life is traduced and neglected."