Everybody needs a little kick in the mojo sometimes. A jolt of energy to get life shocked back into. A dose of pure inspiration from the voices and the pens of travelers, philosophers, dreamers, and doers. Hell, sometimes you just need someone to slap you and shout, “Get off your ass and chase your dreams fool!”
But, as always, it is up to you to be the one to get the gears turning and the momentum building toward living the life you want. I’m just going to share some life motivation with you because for myself at the moment, I’m feeling kinda’ lazy these days. In a funk.
So here are my top 10 favorite travel quotes to help you and I get inspired when we need it, so we can once again hit the road!
STARTING LINE, ‘MURICA //
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”
– Lolly Daska
A little balancing act on decaying pillars of a pier in the Salton Sea, California. Though I was raised in the United States, I thought I’d share this bonus photo to kick-start the list since I am now exploring the US.
1: NEW ZEALAND //
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
New Zealand, my first affair, and the ravishing country that stole my travel virginity. It was only in 2010 that I left the United States for the first time. It took overcoming immense fear to do it, and as a result helped me begin pursuing my dream. Fear holds us back from our own greatness, so each day do something that scares you — from just making small talk with a stranger, to skydiving, to trying a new food. Trust me, on the other side of fear is your dream.
Read about how to conquer your fears HERE!
2: HAITI //
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.“
The second country I ever visited was after returning from traveling New Zealand. That trip, though amazing, also brought to light something I struggled with for most of my life. I felt like a failure since I had to return back to the US after telling everyone that I would be gone for 2 years. Even worse, I was still trying to prove everyone else wrong, including my brother who disowned me for wanting to travel. This sent me into a deep depression, and one where I nearly took my life because I no longer felt worthy.
But here’s the kicker — I finally started focusing on living my own life, for myself, and that truly saved me. What it also did was give me strength and clarity like I never had before, and now I truly know that my life and my dreams are my own.
Read about how to take hold of life for yourself HERE!
3: CANADA //
“There are no short cuts to any place worth going.“
– Beverly Sills
Oh Canada! You would think that I would have visited the afro of the United States, AKA Canadia, before any other country. Yet, I would visit Canada for the first time on, and would explore it from Newfoundland to Ontario on an epic 30-day road trip. Many times during that trip we hiked and explored, and it became clear that after a long and grueling trek, what waited at the end was worth the effort. Doing things the easy way yields what you can expect: Nothing spectacular. But the greatest things in life take the most effort to achieve, but what waits at the end when you choose the path less taken is extraordinary. It’s your dream.
4: THAILAND //
“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75“
– Benjamin Franklin
The big exotic trip to Asia was finally here! Thailand was the fourth country I had ever been to, but also marked another nearly year-long trip abroad. That whole 25th year of my life I saved up to travel to Southeast Asia where I wanted to teach English and explore. Most importantly, I left the United States and landed in Thailand on my 26th birthday, vowing to not die or decay at 25 by the confines of societies norms, but to keep living my life the way I wanted.
5: CAMBODIA //
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.“
– Napoleon Hill
Cambodia and the ancient temples of Angkor Wat! On a visa run from Thailand to Cambodia, a friend and I stopped by Siem Reap to see what the hype was about. There was a moment when there were no tourists in the temple, and we waited for our driver to scoop us, when I realized that no time is the right time, and it never will be the right time to chase your dream. Things won’t just be laid before you, you must choose that now is the time to start pursuing your dream.
6: ITALY //
“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.“
– Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
Italy was a place I always dreamed of visiting, ever since I was a wee lad. And though it was my 6th country that I visited, it will forever be the first European country I visited, the way it was meant to be. There, as I was running out of money, I still had experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. Above is one such moment, and unbelievable moment, where I was on the island of Ponza and went cliff diving in the crystal blue Mediterranean. What a sensation it was to dive into those depths, come up for air feeling the rush of life. Let nothing be lost upon you.
7: CZECH REPUBLIC //
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.“
– John Lennon
While traveling through Europe, I had a chance to visit the stunning and fantastical city of Prague! There in the city is a memorial to John Lennon and his beliefs about life, all painted by strangers who share the dream. I chose instead of looking at the wall like all of the others, to get a different perspective. We are always so busy working and trying to make a living that we actually forget to live. So turn things upside-down.
8: AUSTRIA //
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.“
– George Eliot
Vienna was a short shot from Prague, so I visited this pristine city and checked out all of the historic sights and beautiful churches. Here in the city hall of Vienna, I spotted a reflection of the clock tower with pedals floating in a puddle. It was a beautiful moment, and now looking at the photo, made me reflect on time. Most people think that past failures or attempt that didn’t work out make it useless to keep trying. But it is never too late to be what you might have been, so stop wasting time!
9: BUDAPEST //
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.“
– Maya Angelou
Here in Budapest, the scenes of this ancient city rich with culture and architectural splendor, surely are breath-taking. So many of us, myself included before, are always worried about some ticking clock, our age growing and life dissipating with every passing year. Well, its a given that we will grow older, but stop wasting your breath and life on the mundane, and start doing things that take your breath away!
10: GERMANY //
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sale away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.“
– Mark Twain
The last country I visited by 2014 was Germany, and the one that capped off my last 8-month trip abroad. Before heading back to the United States, I visited Munich Germany, and tasted delicious beers and Bavarian food. I also had the opportunity to sail for the first time, with a friend’s father letting me take the steering rudder and glide over the lake. The boat quivered at my will as the sails bellowed with wind and the hull sliced over the water. It reminded me of the famous Mark Twain quote above, and it felt great to know that my life was in my hands, and I was the one sailing to explore, dream, and discover.