4 Quotes About Travel That Are Straight-Up Wrong.

Confession time: I hate inspirational quotes. Hate. Them. Seeing nigh-on meaningless words pasted in fancy fonts on pastel-coloured backgrounds gets my hackles up like nothing else. (Okay, not like nothing else. I’m a very irritable person. But still. It’s up there.) So, in the spirit of cynicism, I’ve compiled a list of all the travel quotes I wish were banned from the internet.

“Travel makes one modest.” – Gustave Flaubert.

Yeah, that’s a STRAIGHT UP LIE. People love to show off all of the beautiful places they’ve been to – myself included. It’s only natural. Social media it’s definitely part of it, but people enjoyed relaying their travelling tales to anyone and who’d listen long before the ‘Gram came along.

Posing in Kuala Lumpur – I’m not even sorry.

“To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen.


There are plenty of people for whom travel is not a priority. I’m not denying its many wonders, but happiness comes from so many other places: friends, family, hobbies, pets… You don’t have to travel in order for your life to be fulfilling or interesting.

Swinging away from the nonsense…

“Quit your job, buy a ticket, get a tan, fall in love, never return.”

This isn’t from any particular author that I can gather, it’s just one of those quotes that pop up on Instagram and Pinterest over and over again. Quitting your job on a whim just isn’t realistic for many people, but the main reason I hate this quote is because SOME OF US CAN’T TAN. PLEASE REMEMBER THE REDHEADS.

It’s also not always sunny on the road…

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you travelled.”

You know how Marilyn Monroe didn’t actually say most of those corny quotes that are attributed to her? Yeah, chances are Muhammed didn’t say this either. It’s not in the Quran and just started appearing on the internet in the late 90s (damn right, I did my research).

It’s hard to believe that so much ignorant privilege can actually appear in one sentence. Yes, travel is a learning experience. It can teach you many things that you can’t learn in the classroom, but being well-travelled sure as hell doesn’t mean you know everything and it certainly doesn’t replace a formal education. People who devalue the importance of education like this seem to forget that not everybody is born with access to decent schooling. (Ironically, though, most people who use this quote in their Instagram bio have university degrees.) Malala was shot for her right to go to school – should she give up Oxford and go backpacking in Thailand instead because travelling is just so much more important?

And today, I learned that 200 steps is too damn many…

To travel is not to live. DO tell me how educated you are. Ok, ok, rant over. Seriously though, next time you post a quote about travel, please try not to sound like a dick.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *