Wise words written
about the psychology of travelling!

Selected by Erik Pontoppidan, Copenhagen, Denmark

Photos: Erik Pontoppidan

For danish version of this page, please click HERE!

From the souk in Marrakech, Morocco

Just another town, another train
Waiting in the morning rain
Look in my restless soul, a little patience
Just another town, another train
Nothing lost and nothing gained
Guess I will spend my life in railway stations
Guess I will spend my life in railway stations

(ABBA, 1973)

Click HERE to read the whole songtext and listen to the song with ABBA on YouTube

  • "If you could just disappear and become part of the conversation between two casual humans on a casual train running across a casual continent, you would be closer to the secrets of life".

    By the danish writer Karsten Jensen.

  • “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you´ve got to keep moving”

    Albert Einstein (German scientist, 1879 – 1955)

  • “Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it”

    Cesare Pavese (Italian writer, 1908 – 1950)

  • “A traveller without observation is a bird without wings”

    Saadi (Persian poet, 1184 – 1283)

  • “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the world and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”

    Mark Jenkins (American adventurer)

  • “A man´s mind grows narrow in a narrow place”

    Samuel Johnson (British poet 1709 – 1784)

  • “If you have too much expectation, you may come away disappointed”

    Dalai Lama, Tibetan religious leader, born 1935

  • “A traveller´s life is one that includes much pain amidst its enjoyments. His feelings are forever on the stretch; and when he begins to sink into repose, he finds himself obliged to quit that on which he rests in pleasure for something new, which again engages his attention, and which also he forsakes for other novelties.”

    Mark Shelley (British writer, 1797 – 1851)

  • “The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”

    Samuel Johnson (British poet, 1709 – 1784)

  • “The first condition of understanding a country is to smell it”

    Rudyard Kipling (English writer, 1865 – 1936)

  • “Once you have travelled, 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 (American writer, born 1945)

  • “We travel not to escape life, but so life doesn´t escape us.”


  • “Once the travel bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happy infected until the end of my life.”

    Michael Palin (British actor and writer, born 1943).

  • “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”

    James Michener (American writer, 1904 – 1999)

  • “The journey, not the arrival, matters.”

    T.S. Eliot (British poet, 1888 – 1965)

  • “Travelling 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 also there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes”

    Jan Myrdal (Swedish writer, born 1927)

  • "Travelling puts you in a heightened state of awareness. It stimulates your brain and makes you call up all your intellectual, spiritual and physical resources. Journeys are necessary for human beings; otherwise we stagnate. Change is essential for everyone, and travelling presents a high rate of change."

    By the canadian writer Lynne Shuttleworth.

  • "Often I feel to go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes - with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.

    I eventually realized that direct experience is the most valuable experience I can have. Western man is so surrounded by ideas, so bombarded with opinions, concepts and information structures of all sorts, that it becomes difficult to experience anything without the intervening filter of these structures. And the natural world - our traditional source of direct insights - is rapidly disappearing. Modern city-dwellers cannot even see the stars at night. This humbling reminder of man's place in the greater scheme of things, which human beings formerly saw once every twenty-four hours, is denied them. It's no wonder that people lose their bearings, that they lose track of who they really are, and what their lives are really about.

    So travel has helped me to direct experiences. And to know more about myself".

  • ..."Eventually, I realized that many of the most imporant changes in my life had come about because of my travel experiences. For, however tame when compared with the excursions of real adventures, these trips were genuine adventures for me. I struggled with my fears and limitations, and I learned whatever I was able to learn".

    Written by Michael Crichton (author of the legendary, filmed book "Jurassic Park") as part of the preface to his novel collection "Travels".

    Family in a rice field on the island of Lombok, Indonesia

    This page is edited by Erik Pontoppidan, Copenhagen, Denmark. If you want to contact me,, then send a mail to pontoppidan214@gmail.com .

    If you want to see my main home page with plenty of useful links and photos about travelling and trekking, please CLICK HERE!