Two quotes that inspire me in life and in travel

white sands

I’ve never been big on philosophy-type blog posts, the kind that involve deep thinking about what motivates people to travel. A lot of people are into the philosophy of travel, and that’s awesome; it’s just not my thing. I have no interest in psychoanalyzing my desire to see the world. I don’t feel a need to connect with my innermost spirit, or any of that stuff.

That said, I do enjoy carpe diem, “seize the day”-style motivational quotes. Not long ago, Ending the Grind posted a list of the 50 Best “Live Life to the Fullest” quotes.

It’s a fun read. So I’d like to add mine to the list. I have two that have motivated me for years:

“Move beyond your comfort zone.”

“If it doesn’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter.”

I won’t reveal the sources of these quotes until the end, because you’ll almost certainly laugh.

Putting the motivational quotes into action

The quotes provide a gentle kick in the butt if you’re a little reluctant to take a chance and do something, whether travel-related or not.

The “five years” quote is particularly useful, because when you ask yourself the question, “Will this matter in five years?,” more than 99% of the time, the answer is no. Will riding in the World Naked Bike Ride matter five years from now? Nope. Will singing karaoke tonight and embarrassing myself still matter five years from now? No way. Will blowing off work for a day to go to Six Flags matter in five years? Nope! So just do it!

With these quotes in mind, it’s easy to push yourself and try to live life to the fullest. I can’t say I always embrace these quotes all the time. I’m not as fully self-actualized as I would like to be. But I’m moving in that direction, and that’s what’s important.

And now, the sources of the inspirational quotes

“Move beyond your comfort zone” actually came from the back of a classmate’s shirt when I was a student at Penn State. I think it was a PSU volleyball t-shirt. It must have been the team motto. I liked the slogan and stole it.

And “If it doesn’t matter in five years…” came from none other than Cher. I used to teach a course on the history of rock & roll, and when I was putting together a list of interesting musician quotes I came across that one. It resonated with me. I love people who are able to provide a good example of living life with no regrets.

Proof that inspiration can come from unlikely sources!

Do you have a favorite inspiring quote?

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

43 comments on “Two quotes that inspire me in life and in travel

  1. I like the idea of moving beyond your comfort zone. Far too many people box themselves in with very rigid ideas and standards. I’m almost completely flabbergasted when I meet those who aren’t willing to try foreign food or decide even before they taste something that they don’t like it. One of my favorite quotes for traveling/motivation is this: “What you think about expands.” If I’m in a negative or depressed mood I’m more likely to attract more of that into my life, whereas if I’m optimistic I feel I have more confidence to pursue the things I enjoy.
    Nomadic Samuel recently posted..Geysers | San Pedro de Atacama, Chile | Travel Photo

  2. I like both and yeah, was very surprised the second belonged to Cher. although, I do believe Cher is one smart lady!

    Here’s my three favorites!

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”
    ~ Adam Savage

    “Death twitches my ear. Live, he says, ‘I am coming.”
    ~Virgil

    “It is good to feel lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where “Home” is. You know that a place that feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.”
    ~ Erika Harris

    Cyndi & Stumpy @ RVly Ever After
    Cyndi recently posted..Off the Grid: Life On The Mesa

  3. I agree with you somewhat on the whole philosophizing of travel and finding-the-voice-of-your-innermost-spirit. I’d say I do it more for the experience, nothing more. I think it’s great to look back, with your head ringing with nostalgia, and think to yourself, “yeah, I did that, and would do it again”.

    About the quotes, I’m not too sure, off the top of my head there’s one I remember, and it might sound a bit cliche, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu. that motivates me into action.
    Mike Ortiz recently posted..Hotel Credit Card Hacking

  4. After reading that, I almost felt a little attacked there. I love the philosophy of travel! It’s why I can analyze and rant with the best of them! It’s why I am personal and deep like I am in travel confessions. It’s not all naked bike races and big horn ship (ahem…if there really were any!) Mr! 🙂

    Quotes…I am horrible with them! I am sure I will think of one later but I will go with this one for now “Budget travel is not about how much you have to spend but about how much you can experience with what money you have.” You can figure out the author! 🙂
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Where in the world am I?

  5. Hey Scott….I love your psychoanalysis! lol just messing with you. My favorite quotes are:

    “Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”
    -Satchel Paige

    “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” – Aparajito Sen

    When the student is ready, the teacher will come

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abe Lincoln
    Renee recently posted..TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY

  6. Hi Scott,
    I like your quotes especially the “move beyond your comfort zone”. It would not be easy to follow that one since people love their comforts and tend to stick to familiar and habitual things and most are resistant to change, myself included.
    My favorite quote and one that I try to embrace ( no success there yet ) is:
    “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” In life, in love, even in travel.
    Have a nice day!
    Theresa Torres recently posted..Airline Travel Tips

  7. Good inspirational quotes Scott. I agree that moving outside outside comfort zone is something we all must do at some point in our lives… whether with travel or whatever else in life. On “if it doesn’t matter…”, I have a friend that always says a similar line… “if it doesn’t matter, I don’t care”…

    It’s funny how good inspirational quotes can come from anything… not necessarily books.
    Norbert recently posted..Machu Picchu: How To Get the Most Out of Your Visit

  8. i like cher’s quote. and here i was thinking that i couldn’t like her any less. as a martial artist, i’ve heard a few quotes here and there. one that comes from our virtues is “we shall be quick to seize opportunity.” i actually really like it because it works on so many levels.

  9. Oh my gosh – I actually really like Cher’s quote, too! That’s a good way to look at things – I often get too caught up in stuff that just won’t matter in the long run, so I think asking myself “Is this going to count in 5 years?” when I start to stress will really help me! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    ~Heidi

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