13 Travel Quotes To Inspire Your Next Big Trip, Because Nothing Is More Exciting Than Adventure

If you've ever started a story with the words, "Well, when I was in..." and proceeded to insert whatever city, state, country, or continent you've had the fortune to visit, then these beautiful and inspiring travel quotes are for you. Whether you're a jet-setter who regularly jumps the pond, or someone who only occasional journeys out to the small town next door, anyone who has had even a small taste of travel can attest to the fact that there are some things you can only learn while traveling.

You can peruse Google Images for postcard-perfect images of Santorini to your heart's content, but that will never be the same as watching one of the legendary sunsets from a rooftop terrace with a glass of wine in hand. You can live vicariously through the pages of National Geographic, but the experience of going on a safari in Tanzania to watch lion hunt prey can't easily be found in a magazine. You can watch Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel as he reacts to the notoriously foul odor of durian fruit in southeast Asia, but you can't fully grasp just how nauseating it is until you've tried it for yourself. OK, maybe that last one is a bad example, because I have tried it, and you honestly don't want to — but my point is that once the travel bug bites, you're hooked. A new thirst for knowledge will never be quenched, but there are some things only traveling can teach you. As prominent historic figures have proven, here are 13 quotes and accompanying lessons that can only be learned through the infectious nature of travel.

1. “To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” Danny Kaye

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It doesn't matter whether you go on a solo trip, or venture out with a large group of friends. When you travel to a different environment, you'll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. Being displaced reveals your strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations.

2. "When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable."Clifton Fadiman

You can't establish the boundaries of your personal comfort zone until you have abandoned them. Perhaps you'll find yourself clinging to what is familiar, or maybe you'll surprise yourself with how easily you're able to adapt to new situations.

3. "Walking 10 thousand miles of world is better than reading 10 thousand scrolls of books." — Chinese Proverb

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There's a reason we were all introduced to the joy of field trips at an early age in elementary school. Visiting a new place teaches you about it faster than any history textbook ever could.

4. "To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries." — Aldous Huxley

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You can read news articles about world events, criticize politics, watch global Snapchat stories, and rely on the opinions of others, but you can't identify with local people from so far away. Along with preconceived notions of life in other countries, we have limited views on global affairs. You can't truly know what's going on in a place until you've been there first-hand in real time.

5. "No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." Lin Yutang

Sometimes we travel to escape the mundane routine of home. But other times, it takes squatting down on a bizarre toilet (or lack thereof) in Japan to realize just how much we appreciate the things we've been accustomed to back home. Until you've left it behind, you probably never realized how much you valued things like clean water, clothes dryers, street signs in plain sight, and peanut butter.

6. "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela

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Language acquisition is no easy task, but there is no better way to learn than by immersion. Sure, you can travel the world and survive with solely your native tongue, but you'll never truly communicate with other people until you at least attempt to share a core part of their culture.

7. "Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." Maya Angelou

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One of my favorite parts of travel is realizing how we're all human beings with similar intrinsic values. Our music, traditions, religions, and social norms may differ slightly, but we're really not so different after all — even on the other side of the world. Ironically, acceptance of cultural diversity is the most unifying factor there is.

8. "He who would travel happily must travel light." Antoine de St. Exupery

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After a weekend getaway or short road trip, if you're able to manage with no more than a couple of outfits tucked away in a small backpack, you realize you don't need all the extra — and literal — baggage to survive. It's refreshing to know you can still enjoy life with very little. Yes, even without Wi-Fi, cases of makeup, or your designer heels.

9. "There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." Robert Louis Stevenson

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Traveling makes you more open-minded, and broadens your perspective. You'll feel more connected to everything around you when you stop disregarding the unfamiliar.

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

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The smells (and tastes) of foods are always more authentic in their places of origin, and every region of the world has unique flavors to explore. Nothing compares to Maine lobster in Maine, you can't beat homemade arepas in Venezuela, and Indian food in the streets of Delhi is unmatched. That's just the way it is.

11. “Half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness.” – Ray Bradbury

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When you get lost on accident or even on purpose, you'll take away more memories from the spontaneity of your actions. Maybe you'll find a different route that leads you to discover an unforgettable cafe. You can feel satisfied in your abilities to figure things out on your own, even in ways that may be off the beaten path.

12. "Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien

And then, at the same time, traveling helps you learn how to navigate. Both literally and metaphorically, you'll understand where you've been, and where you're going.

13. "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." — Unknown

In the years to come, you'll forget about the chunky souvenirs collecting dust at the back of your closet. You may wish you spent a little less on those materialistic impulse buys, but you'll never regret splurging on travel. The experience itself is worth more than anything money can buy.

Images: Calsidyrose, Moyan Brenn, Chris Brown, Megan Schüirmann, Marisa Ross/Flickr; Getty (9)