And, we are at number four in our series of Original Travel Quote Memes. I just verified the date of our last travel meme post, and it was nine months ago. I did not realize it had been that long.
The creation of these memes is quite organic. Typically, when I come across a poem or saying or adage that I like, I design the meme in one sitting and post it on Instagram the following day. After we accumulate five memes, then I know it is time to write a round-up post for Backroad Planet.
FYI: Some of these quotes are our own and others are borrowed, but all of the designs are unique to our site. We hope you will find some quotes here that speak to you, and we encourage you to Pin them, Tweet them, Instagram them, Facebook them, and otherwise fling them capriciously across cyberspace . . . .
This may quite possibly be my favorite travel quote of all time, and I believe this is what I was trying to say with the quote in the very first meme I designed. Undoubtedly, the words of Samuel Clemens are far more eloquent than mine, but hey, my intentions were good. In the past (almost) two years that I have been blogging at Backroad Planet, I have become a member of several online communities of travelers. One of my strongest impressions of these virtual colleagues is their high level of social consciousness. You never hear any prejudicial conversation in any of our forums, and you always see strong vocal support of current equality issues and charitable causes around the world. I believe such behaviors are a direct result of these individuals having traveled far and wide, and en route learning lessons of acceptance and tolerance for human beings of every persuasion.
To me, the central theme in this excerpt from Lord Byron’s “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” is the line “I love not man the less, but nature more . . . .” The first time I heard this phrase, I connected with it immediately. And if I am perfectly honest, sometimes I feel like I do love nature more than man. Jerry is a social butterfly who can effortlessly work a room because he genuinely enjoys the company of many people. Although I have no problem carrying on a robust dialogue with anyone, and I am perfectly comfortable with public speaking, when in a social setting, I typically do not initiate conversations, preferring to wait on others to make the first move. As much as I wish I were more like Jerry in this regard, I am not. And I will confess that people frequently get on my nerves. If I had to choose between a cranking party and a hike in the woods, the latter option would win every time. Don’t get me wrong! I truly love people and have a compassionate heart, but I will always be drawn to “pleasure in the pathless woods” and “rapture on the lonely shore.”
Books have always been my companions, and I have traveled vicariously to multiple destinations around the world through the printed page. I get lost in books that have a strong sense of place, brought to life because the authors have effectively written vivid descriptions of their settings. The genre of travel writing goes above and beyond mere fiction and biography in this respect. One of the first travelogues I recall reading was Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins. I still remember parts of this story decades hence. Years later, I discovered Tony Horwitz and Bill Bryson. My first readings of Confederates in the Attic and A Walk in the Woods ruined me to the point that I still keep a vigilant watch for new releases by these gifted writers.
In her lonely upstairs room, no doubt, Emily Dickinson learned through the pages of books what it means to travel with imagination.
The best lessons learned through travel are the ones we learn about ourselves. I alluded to that on the second travel quote meme I designed. I know I am guilty of making mountains out of molehills and magnifying issues much larger than they really are. But driving from state to state, riding the rails across the country, cruising rivers and oceans, and looking toward earth while soaring 30,000 feet in the air have all helped me put such things in perspective. This truth is not meant to belittle, but to help us remember that we play a supporting role in a much bigger picture.
There is a secret hidden in this meme. The blurred background photo shows “a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” leaving town on their final attempt of the Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights. This is just one example that proves cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead’s powerful quote. Whether it be the struggle for independence in India, stopping the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, or the fight for freedom and equality in the United States, every major movement has grown from a few people who joined forces with a common goal in mind. We travelers are indebted to these selfless individuals, many of whom paid the price with their lives, and in the process changed our world for the better.
Please leave your reflections of our featured quotes in the comments section below and share your favorite travel quotes, as well.
Also, be sure to check out our other Original Travel Quote Memes.
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