A window into the minds of some of the world’s greatest travellers

On the occasion of World Tourism Day, we give you 10 travel quotes from 10 travel writers for some travel inspiration.
Wonders of the world
Witnessing the wonders of the world opens your mind, heart and soul to new ways of being. Image: Shutterstock/Ginger Polina Bublik.

Travel and tourism are often considered luxuries. ‘Why do you need to go anywhere?’ people who don’t see the point of vacations often ask. The fact remains, travel is perhaps the best teacher there is. What you will never learn in a classroom, will probably strike you most naturally when you’re hiking up a mountainside or watching the world go by in slow motion from a boat.

Sometimes, words that passed you by in daily life will come back with greater clarity of meaning when you’re in a different setting, encountering new experiences that set your mind free in myriad ways. And of course, there are the obvious health benefits of relaxation and getting away from the stress of toxic work environments or the hurly-burly of city life.

Time to travel
Once it’s safe to be out and about again… Image: Shutterstock/Gustavo Frazao.

Tourism is the art of packaging travel and creating a holistic journey that engages the traveller as well as exciting and educating him or her. At the core of tourism though, is the inherent yearning for travel that humans possess. Over centuries, authors have delved deep into many places, explored a multitude of aspects of the human experience, and encapsulated their worldview in wit and wisdom. Here is our pick of 10 of them to give your travel dreams some wings…

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Renowned poet and author of adventure fiction, it was his many journeys that led to his popular literary works such as Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. Read: An Inland Voyage.


“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.” – Paulo Coelho

The Brazilian lyricist and novelist has authored more than 30 books. Read: The Alchemist.


“With age, comes wisdom. With travel, comes understanding.” – Sandra Lake

Canadian author Sandra Lake writes compelling historic fiction set in Scandinavia. Read: The Warlord’s Wife.


“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” – Anita Desai

One of India’s foremost fiction writers, her writing is often about the journey within. Read: In Custody.


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

The American humourist brings a charming light-heartedness to all of his engaging travelogues. Read: The Innocents Abroad.


“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling

The original Indophile (he was born in Mumbai), the prolific British poet and author has also written about travels in other places. Read: On the Orient.


“No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.” – Chuck Thompson

The wickedly entertaining writer is adept at exposing the seedy underbelly of travel writing. Read: Smile When You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer.


“A person susceptible to ‘wanderlust’ is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.” – Pico Iyer.

The acclaimed essayist and travel writer is an insightful observer of people and their motivations everywhere he goes. Read: Falling off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World

Travelistas feel the fernweh for far away places. Image: Shutterstock/Chiociolla.

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

The American novelist and travel writer has written numerous books and is known for his rich descriptions of people and places, laced with a heavy dose of irony. Read: The Great Railway Bazaar.


“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” – Ib’n Battuta

The Moroccan traveller, who roamed across more than 40 countries including India in the 13th century, understood why travel is so important. Read: Rihlah.

World tourism day
Celebrating the idea of travel on this day. Image: Shutterstock/Evgeniy Kazantsev.

Why World Tourism Day is important

Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27 to foster awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political, and economic value, and the contribution that the sector can make towards reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Never before has it been more necessary to bolster the morale of the industry than in these times, where COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire sector in ways that we are still finding out. It has had a massive social and economic impact, with developed as well as developing economies being hit. This is why, UNWTO as the United Nations specialised agency for responsible and sustainable tourism, is guiding the global sector towards inclusive recovery and growth. UNWTO ensures every part of the sector has a say in its future – including communities, minorities, youth, and those who would otherwise be at risk of being left behind. That’s why, this year, the world is focussing on ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’.

Read more.

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