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Traveller quotes, The Drifters, James Michener

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These are from “The Drifters” by James Michener:

Gretchen suggested, ‘Why don’t you try India? A lot of people find the answers…the illumination…in India.’
Now Big loomis broke in: ‘You would be out of your mind to waste one minute in that country. No fable of our time is more ridiculous than the one which says that India has the answer to anything.’
‘I was speaking of the spirituality,’ Gretchen replied.
‘So was I,’ Loomis said. ‘I lived in India for the better part of a year….also in Sikkim and Nepal….good grass…..good conversationamong the Europeans. But the illumination referred to by starry-eyed kids in Greenwich Village and Bloomsbury…it’s not there. That’s an illusion sponsored by half-ass professors in half-ass American colleges.’

‘People who live in grass houses shouldn’t get stoned.’

When I’m lonely, dear white heart,
Black the night or wild the sea,
By love’s light my foot finds
The old pathway to thee.
-‘Eriskay love lilt’

Our country is wherever we are well off. -Cicero

Jungle, desert, tundra, icecap, the long wastes of the sea……
these are the mansions of the lonely spirit.

Lasca used to ride
On a mouse-gray mustang close to my side,
With a blue serape and bright-belled spur;
I laughed with joy as I looked at her!
Little she knew of books or creeds;
An Ave Maria sufficed her needs;
Little she cared, save to be at my side,
To ride with me, and ever to ride…
-Frank Desprez

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. THe great affair is to move. -Stevenson

A steady patriot of the world alone,
The friend of every nation but his own.
-Canning

Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today you can do it again tomorrow.

A man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher; but he who goes from country to country guided by blind impulses of curiosity is only a vagabond. -Oliver Goldsmith

Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the long course of rivers, the vast compass of the ocean, and the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass themselves by. -St. Augustine

Young men should travel, if but to amuse themselves.-Byron

I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry, ‘Tis all barren.’ -Laurence Sterne

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Filed under: Travel Inspiration

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3054 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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