“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”—Henry Miller. ©Eric Rock

Well-known travel writer Pico Iyer once wrote that “Travel for me is all about transformation, and I’m fascinated by those people who really do come back from a trip unrecognizable to themselves and perhaps open to the same possibilities they’d have written off not a month before.”

I’m sure you, as an avid nature and adventure traveler, can relate to that feeling of metamorphosis that happens when you go on a great trip. Somehow, travel seems to open you up to possibilities: it makes you question your long-held beliefs, challenges your worldviews, stretches your heart and stirs your soul.

Below, I’ve gathered together a few quotes about travel from some famous and not-so-famous people. All of them finish the phrase “Travel is … ” (or a close approximation). I hope you’ll use these reflections to inspire your own, one-sentence definition of travel. Then, let us know what you came up with by posting  your creation in the comments section at the end of this piece.

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”—Hilaire Belloc. ©Eric Rock

Travel is an instigator for personal growth

1. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”—Mark Twain

2. “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”—Miriam Beard

3. “[To] travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”—Aldous Huxley

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”—St. Augustine. ©Eric Rock

4. “Travel is like a giant blank canvas, and the painting on the canvas is only limited by one’s imagination.”—Ross Morley

5. “[To] travel is to take a journey into yourself.”—Danny Kaye

6. “Travel, like dreams, is a door that opens from the real world into a world that is yet to be discovered.”—Guy de Maupassant

7. “Travel[ing] is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.’ ”—Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

“I love to travel, but hate to arrive.”—Albert Einstein. ©Eric Rock

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

9. “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”—Francis Bacon

10. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”—Anonymous

11. “Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”—Pico Iyer

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”—Henry David Thoreau. ©Eric Rock

Travel is a complicated undertaking

1. “Travel is the only context in which some people ever look around. If we spent half the energy looking at our own neighborhoods, we’d probably learn twice as much.”—Lucy R. Lippard

2. “Travel[ing] is not just seeing the new; it is also leaving behind. Not just opening doors; also closing them behind you, never to return. But the place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes.”—Jan Myrdal

3. “Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.”―Paul Theroux

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”—Tim Cahill. ©Eric Rock

4. “Travel is the most private of pleasures. There is no greater bore than the travel bore. We do not in the least want to hear what he has seen in Hong Kong.”—Vita Sackville-West

5. “Travel is impossible, but daydreaming about travel is easy.”—B. J. Novak

6. “Travel is very subjective. What one person loves, another loathes.”—Robin Leach

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”—Pat Conroy. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Travel is life

I like to think that travel is so much more than the simple act of getting from here to there. Again, as Pico Iyer writes, “A traveler is really not someone who crosses ground so much as someone who is always hungry for the next challenge and adventure.” Perhaps Hans Christian Anderson puts it most simply and eloquently: “To travel is to live.”

What does the word travel mean to you? Let me know in the comments section below by completing the phrase: “Travel is … .”

I can’t wait to be transported by your thoughts.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,