The Open Road

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


Bamiyan, Afghanistan

There is a path to even the tallest mountain.
– Afghan Proverb

Karnataka, India


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


Forte di Bard, Aosta Valley, Italy

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

Petra, Jordan

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

Himalayan Trek, Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lhasa, Tibet, China

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

US/Mexico Border
Golden Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam

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

By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

To read more about Steve go to

24 replies on “The Open Road”

Your shots always have something magic, special. You can take the perfect catch where we can see just a plan situation. You make everything amazing. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to enjoy such transformation

I just love these photos taken by Steve Mc curry. ” A picture says more than a thousand words”. These photos concretise in visually what the Afkhan proverb tried to explain, or what all the other wise individuals have tried to say in words quoted with photos. The superb photo of the Golden Bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam went straight to my heart. Without words it exemplifies we are all connected with all that exists on Earth. We all need a helping hand always to cross the bridge to find whatever we are looking for on the other side. The photos tell me your sense and sensitivity for beauty, humanity, humbleness, gentleness, respect for nature, culture and the use of technology of the camera! Thank You for sharing these moments you have captured.

Love the quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson – I’d never heard that one before.

Wonderful series of images (as usual) and I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘path’ theme.

This much amazing work from one man seems almost impossible. Steve, are you sure you don’t have a twin brother and sister? Here we are thinking there is one amazing photographer that has set a bar sooooo high that I am tempted to sell all my cameras on eBay. I think we need another photo of your passport!
Just kidding Steve. As usual…you stop me thinking of everything else for a time. A wonderfull break during these dark times!

As always Your photo essays allow us to ponder universal truths and offer us a window to the soul of our beloved planet earth 🌍

Whenever I see one of your posts, I enter into a space of beauty and hopefulness — both in terms of images and the words that you find to pair with the images. As a composer, I have thought many times that I should write music inspired by your work.

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