Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

You may be familiar with the words ‘not all those who wander are lost’. It has certainly been featured on travel-related blogs, t-shirts, inspirational quotes on photos, tattoos, etc. quite a few times. Most people know that the original quote comes from J.R.R. Tolkien, but just in case you didn’t know before, now you do. 🙂

That being said, I think there’s a reason this quote in particular has resonated with so many of us in the travel community. It symbolizes a state of mind that many of us who travel possess. The urge to wander is one that grips some of us and never lets us go. To stay in one place is to sit behind the bars of an invisible prison cell. To wander is to be free.

When I travel, I am at my happiest. I feel a freedom and lightness that I seldom feel the rest of the time. To travel is to learn, to discover, to explore. It is happiness and beauty and freedom all rolled into one.

Not all of us possess this need to wander, but for those of us who do, it is essential we get to taste the sweet, sweet freedom of exploration.


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