Last weekend, I accompanied my husband, Dan, on an impromptu road trip to New Orleans . Ostensibly, we'd decided to make the lengthy, two-day journey from our summer home in northern Michigan  in order to secure a new apartment in the Big Easy – since our old building had unfortunately been sold last spring. Well, I'm happy to report that we were successful in our search: Last Monday, we found a cozy, high-ceilinged pad in the historic French Quarter , situated just a few blocks from Jackson Square  (pictured above) and boasting a private courtyard, a feature that Dan and I have long desired.
Of course, while down in the Pelican State, we took some time for a little recreation. Over the week that we were there, we hung out with the locals at The Kerry Irish Pub , listened to live jazz at The Spotted Cat Music Club , and, not surprisingly, savored some of the city's yummiest delicacies, such as muffulettas and fried seafood at Cafe Maspero , Mardi Gras pasta at the Mona Lisa Restaurant , gourmet pizzas at Domenica , seafood gumbo at Mother's Restaurant , snowballs at the French Market , and beignets at Café Du Monde . Needless to say, we were feeling rather stuffed by the time we headed out of town on Friday afternoon.
While we enjoyed our brief stay in the Big Easy, I have to admit that neither Dan nor I was eager to experience a two-day road trip twice in one week – especially since we were under the gun and had no time to explore Birmingham, Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis, and the other places that we passed via various interstates. So, it was rather serendipitous to spot a particular blog post on Tripbase  entitled “10 Travel Quotes that Inspire Me” . Written by Jo Fitzsimons, this post offers a lot of food for thought and reminds me of how travel can fortify the soul – no matter where you go or how you get there.
According to Jo, “Travel can be expensive, time consuming and exhausting, yet each year millions of people pack their belongings into a bag and set out in search of new sights. For millennia, men and women have been fascinated with distant lands, and those that have even the slightest hint of wanderlust will understand this insatiable need to travel.” For a bit of inspiration, she's listed 10 of her favorite travel-related quotes (11 if you count the intro one by Jack Kerouac) – with some explanation as to how each quote applies to her own global adventures.
As Moon's American Nomad, I was delighted to find a few words of wisdom from some of my favorite writers, including these five quotes:
A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles. – Tim Cahill
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life. – Jack Kerouac
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go... – Dr. Seuss
Not all who wander are lost. – J. R. R. Tolkein
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
Naturally, I've been inspired by countless other travelers over the years, and I've discovered more enlightening quotes than I could possibly list in this post. Here, though, are nine more that aren't on Jo's list:
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. – Maya Angelou
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. – Gilbert K. Chesterton
Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection. – Lawrence Durrell
You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world. – William Hazlitt
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. – Ernest Hemingway
We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. – Anais Nin
I am not a great cook, I am not a great artist, but I love art, and I love food, so I am the perfect traveller. – Michael Palin
I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. – Robert Louis Stevenson
Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going. – Paul Theroux
So, do you have a favorite travel-related quote? If so, feel free to share it in the comment section below. After all, I'm always eager to hear from my fellow travelers...
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Disclosure: While I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and Moon travel guides is my unbiased reflection of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Photo of Jackson Square at night / Text © 2012 Laura Martone
Laura Martone is Moon’s American Nomad  and the author of Moon Michigan , Moon Florida Keys , Moon Baja RV Camping , and the upcoming Moon New Orleans , which will be available soon.