Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose…
– Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road“
There is a path to even the tallest mountain.
– Afghan Proverb
In the canvas of life, a flat landscape would be boring. It is the valleys and the mountains that help us to appreciate the flatlands. It is the dark that makes us appreciate the light, and the cold that makes us appreciate the warm.
– Anne Copeland
I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads.
Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.
– Rosalia de Castro
… All landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. ‘I am watching you — are you watching yourself in me?’ To tune in, without reverence, idly — but with real inward attention… You can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle, you’ll be there.
— Lawrence Durrell, Spirit of Place; Letters and Essays on Travel
The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human; the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape,
to risk the unknown …
– Paul Theroux
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
– J.R.R Tokien, The Lord of the Rings
Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
You could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go… well, anywhere at all.
– Stephen King
We are the children of our landscape; it dictates behavior and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it.
– Lawrence Durrell
When I was younger I used to see the earth as a fundamentally stable and serene place, possessed of a delicate, nearly divine balance, which humans had somehow managed to upset. But as I studied trails more closely, this fantasy gradually evaporated. I now see the earth as the collaborative artwork of trillions of sculptors, large and small. Sheep, humans, elephants, ants: each of us alters the world in our passage. When we build hives or nests, mud huts or concrete towers, we re-sculpt the contours of the planet. When we eat, we convert living matter into waste. And when we walk, we create trails. The question we must ask ourselves is not whether we should shape the earth, but how.”
― Robert Moor, On Trails: An Exploration