‘The Traveler’: A Literary Look At The Two Words

The Traveler. Has a ring to it, no? The two words paired together make for a faultless marriage – perfectly mysterious and ever romantic. It’s almost like there’s a misty haze around the combination. The Traveler: Who could he or she be? Where has he or she been? And above all, where is he or she going?

Either we see The Traveler in ourselves, or we want to be The Traveler. There’s no in between. And more often than not, writers cite this mystifying person – The Traveler has become a reoccurring motif.

Much like myself, people love to constantly read about the idea that is this intangible person. Here are some quotes that mention the enigmatic figure we’ve come to admire:

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
― G.K. Chesteron

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”
― Roman Payne, Cities & Countries

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

“The two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extra human architecture and furious rhythm. Geometry and anguish.” – Federico Garcia Lorca

“Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.” – Henry David Thoreau

“There is nothing so good for the human soul as the discovery that there are ancient and flourishing civilized societies which have somehow managed to exist for many centuries and are still in being though they have had no help from the traveler in solving their problems.” – Walter Lippmann

“When the traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself.” – Libert Hyde Bailey