Thoughts on Travel From Jefferson to the Grateful Dead
In 1997 Penguin Books published the
[Traveling] makes men wise but less happy.
No man should travel until he has learned the language of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby—so helpless and so ridiculous.
I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.
Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl; it is the imagination of the traveler that does.
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.
In our time the poet Louis Simpson asked:
Where are you, Walt? / The Open Road goes to the used-car lot.
I can wish the traveller no better fortune than to stroll forth in the early evening with as large a reserve of ignorance as my own.
To forget pain is to be painless; to forget care is to be rid of it; to go abroad is to accomplish both.
I have discovered that most of the beauties of travel are due to the strange hours we keep to see them.
My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.
Winter is coming and tourists will soon be looking for a place to mate.
Tourists bothered Rogers. He wrote to President Calvin Coolidge from Europe in 1926: “We, unfortunately, don’t make a good impression collectively. . . . There ought to be a law prohibiting over three Americans going anywhere abroad together.”
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
I rather expect that from now on I shall be travelling north until the end of my days.
What a long, strange trip it’s been.