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Quotes about traveling

Once, all my journeys were journeys into myself. The only journeys I made then were the ones into the books I was reading. Later I stepped outside of myself and the journeys materialised themselves. Along the way, some of those paths intertwined with some pages I had never read. Some poetry lines started resembling my days. Signs by the road were not signs but poems. The sky above me wasn’t the sky but the canvas upon which the clouds spelled out messages for me.

All these messages had their own atmosphere entangled in different melodies and brought to life by scents and materialised by colours. All of these messages were points on the globe and points in my head. Each of these messages a city. Scattered everywhere over winds, waves, pollen and dust, distant woods, seas and mountains.

They spoke above all else about an internal journey and only then about the real, literal meaning of journeys which were mere exponents of the idea. They spoke about many things but least of all about journeys themselves. Still, this is a syllabary of sayings about journeys, for those who know how to receive it.

  • “Dear God! Why give me a heart which yearns for the distance and the beauty of sceneries unseen? Why make my happiness always reside where I cannot?” Ivo Andrić
  • “Seeking what I needed, unbeknownst to me what it may be, I went from man to man and saw that they had less than me put together, and I who had nothing left a bit of what I lacked and looked for to each and every one of them.” Ivo Andrić
  • “Many do find what they’re looking for, but lose themselves.” Ivo Andrić
  • “Not even travelling helps anymore. What I’m running from comes along with me. It reaches my destination before me and greets me at the station before taking me to the hotel and tailing me around the city. Not even travelling has its charms for me anymore. There are not four sides of the world, but one and that one is nameless.” Ivo Andrić
  • “Travelling? But why? Why look for new faces and sceneries only to arrange the scattered letters of each place into the same answer to the same question? Isn’t it better and more dignified to stay at home? Death will find you there too. I think about how perplexed I was at Paul Valery’s note on the nonsense of travelling, and now I might as well sign my name at the end of it! It seems to me that I had failed my wandering youth, but that would be an inaccurate self-accusation. It is my wandering youth failing me.” Ivo Andrić
  • “The happy and clever travel a bit, but in their rare journeys find everything they need and everything one can get from them. And the unhappy sail and circle around the world, seeking in vain their own journeys. What each man is to find by staying at home is not to be found anywhere in the world.” Ivo Andrić
  • It was said long ago that it is for the best to stay wherever a man might travel, because, should he return, he would not find what he had left at home.” Stevan Sremac
  • “A man sets sails into the world looking for something only to return home and find it.”
  • “I will not be writing letters either! Why should I tell anyone how different I am becoming? If I change, I will not be the same person I was, and if I am already a different person, it is clear that I no longer have acquaintances. To write, then, to complete strangers, people who do not know me, is impossible.” Rilke
  • “He lay in bed, waiting for life to come to him. Since life was not to be seen, he realised he had to get up and look for it himself. ”~Thomas Mann
  • “He just looked through the window in the middle of the lecture one day and told his students: I have to go, I have a meeting with the Spring. And he never returned.“ Mircea Eliade
  • “The goal is more important than the speed. Many never get anywhere by going fast.“
  • “People dream more about coming back than leaving.“ Paulo Coelho
  • “Those who do not move cannot see their binds.” Rosa Luxemburg
  • “I want to go home, but I haven’t found it yet.”
  • “The longer you stay in one place, the more things get out of hand and start rotting and stinking on purpose – only for you. “ Selin
  • “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Terry Pratchett
  • “I feel it deep inside and full of wonderful excitement the importance and beauty of what had happened to me: I had a homeland once! I could, in one small place on this Earth, recognize all the houses, their windows and all the people behind them. If I were a tree, I would still be there. But I mustn’t yearn for what had been. I do it sometimes in my dreams and poems, but do not wish it in reality. From time to time I spend a night in nostalgia. But if I lived there, I would always be nostalgic for the bygone days. That would not be good. It is only sometimes that one should look back at what used to be, if only in dreams, if only ever so rarely.” Hermann Hesse
  • “A man tried to cross the river. He tried many a time and always backed away. Then he saw an old acquaintance on the other side. He called out to him: “How did you cross the river?” And his acquaintance replied: “I have never crossed it, I was born on this side.” There are people who always dream of the other, distant shores. The distant always seem beautiful and have their own allure concealed in the mist. The ocean is just the same. It depends on your own choice. It is not wrong to reach the ocean, but for the right reasons. You may simply be avoiding to take a leap on this side. In that case, even if the boat takes you to the other shore, the moment you set foot on it, you will start thinking about your own, the new distant shore. You must have done this many times in life. Changing the shore without taking a leap.” Osho
  • It was thus announced that all the zen masters laughed upon being awakened. Their students couldn’t understand, nor did their friends. Why were they howling? Why such laughter? They were laughing at the nonsense of it all. They had been looking for something they already were, chasing things they already had in them; they were seeking something concealed in seekers themselves. The seeker is sought after, the traveller is the journey.” Osho
  • “Distance is like the future: as soon as we rush towards it, it becomes our present –same as it had been and we find ourselves in our own destitution again.” Goethe
  • “I’ve seen the crossing of the ocean from here to there. Returning home, I always thought about that yearning to go somewhere from the place we were at our happiest. I have always had this desire to disappear into the distance. To travel, depart, desert. It was no good, I told myself, but another voice spoke I was wrong. There was no greater happiness than in our birthplace, where we spent our childhood. It is necessary for a man to realise ha can no longer go back to understand how happy he had been.” Miloš Crnjanski
  • “There were mere seams drawn in the night skies left in me of any town I had ever dwelled in. That is how I have eternity in me and no cares at all.” Miloš Crnjanski
  • “Though we travel the worldover to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Once you leave, the space behind you merges like water. Do not look back, for there is nothing without you, but within. Space is just time perceived in a different manner. We never leave places we love. “
  • “The age of snowfalls is upon us. Heaven help those who have no fatherlands.” Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “A man is not a tree and his clinging to a place is his downfall. It discourages him, threatens security. By tying himself to one place, a man accepts all terms and conditions, even the unfavourable ones and scares himself with looming insecurities. Any change seems an abandoning, the waste of one’s investments as if someone else would usurp his space and force him to start anew. Rooting oneself to a spot is a harbinger of the old age, as young do not fear starting anew. By staying, one accepts or attacks. By leaving, one preserves his freedom, ready to change the place and set the conditions himself.” Meša Selimović
  • There is something wrong with either the world or me. Or nothing is wrong with me nor the world, but either way we cannot seem to find common ground. Do others succeed or just lie, pretending there is no discord, feigning indifference only to uphold the illusion? I do not choose what I have ben given. I did not choose any of it – not the family, not my name, not my hometown, region or people. They were all given to me. What makes it even more strange is that I turn those gifts into love. For something bmust me mine, because everything else belongs to other already, and I accept the streets, the city, the place and the sky I’ve looked up to since I was young. For fear of emptiness and the world without me in it, I do. I take it, I give myself to it and my street and the sky do not care. I do not want to know about that lack of caring, I shall only give them my emotions, breathe into them my love only to have them given back to me.” Meša Selimović
  • “I found that heaven of his strange. He may have just tied his view of the beautiful life as he imagines it to this town, with no explanations and reasons but mere desire to make it so. To think about it as he observes our desperation. And maybe there is more – the desire to have a town of his own somewhere, a country where life shall no longer be pain and injustice. If it exists somewhere, why not here? This imaginary town was born out of the desire for its existence. It does not exit, but he refuses to acknowledge this.” Meša Selimović
  • “For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I’m suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home.” A quote from the movie Gattaca
  • “I myself am the seed of the time yet unborn. I do now know the world, I merely recognize it. I do not seek to discover it, only to recall it as some distant memory. For I have many a time been there where I have not yet set foot. And I have many a time lived that which I do not yet know. And many a time have I embraced what yet has no shape. That is why I seem so lost, looking over my shoulder, smiling inwardly. For, in case you missed it, the world is a wonderful toy. How could we ever get lost in some time and place if we within us carry all times and spaces?” Mika Antić
  • “Don’t you find it ruefully silly, this little waiting room between wanderings and wanders? Miroslav Antić
  • ”My home is my country and you will find it in the skies. My home is therefore in the skies. And the skies are in the universe. My home is therefore the whole universe. And the universe is in my head. Therefore I have no homeland but my own self! Miroslav Antić
  • “Rare are those who grasp the limits of liberty. Rarer are those who grasp the liberties of limits.” Miroslav Antić
  • “Am I wherever I leave my traces on? Who knows what I became a part of without even touching it. And yet you could have me, strange as it might seem. Travelling with me is dangerous for I never tire. More often I think I have no shape, but that I sail through my own drunkenness at the disposal of Sun’s winds coming and going. And yet you could have me, strange as it may seem. Yearning is dangerous with me for I never surrender. I am not tarnished by experience in my strange solitary existence. Sometimes I make up the present, only to have place to spend the night. I have seen far too much to dare to make assertions; I have learnt far too much to claim I have evidence. And yet you could have me, strange as it may seem. Loving is dangerous with me for I never forget. I try to understand the teachings that understand me. I find faith faithful to me odd. It is not easy, being bound by my kind of freedom. I contend well with unrest, and yet cannot peacefully rest. And yet you could have me, strange as it may seem. Dying is peculiar with me, no less, for I do not end.” Miroslav Antić
  • “They give birth to someone somewhere along the way and sentence them to homeland there” Miroslav Antić
  • “Kierkegaard claimed: There is no here nor there. There is some everywhere and nowhere. And the good old Richard Buck claimed the opposite. They were both right.” Miroslav Antić
  • “It would be good to devote some three years to drawing maps. And of course, intentionally leaving out that one town. That one has been long gone anyway.” Miroslav Antić
  • “I was born in the plains, the lands with no echoes, where no cry is returned. The distance absorbs them all.” Mika Antić
  • “I am free because I’m lost.“ Franz Kafka
  • “What you seek is seeking you.“ Rumi
  • “It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.” The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • “There are two types of nomads. Those who belong everywhere and those who belong nowhere.”
  • “You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.” Breakfast at Tiffany’s

“We travel in words and think in steps.” Milan Mladenović

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