31 Mark Twain Quotes About Travel and the World As He Saw It

Mark Twain travel quotes that are all about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.

Portrait of Mark Twain
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Mark Twain’s words, in some ways, transcend time. Though he penned some of his best work from the 1870s to 1890s, his words feel genuinely applicable to our lives today. His humor, insight, and vast cultural knowledge are so spot on that some Mark Twain quotes feel like they were written in response to our lives in 2019. (Though, admittedly, his use of “shall” dates him a bit.)

When it comes to quotes about travel, Mark Twain will excite and inspire you, while simultaneously bringing you back to reality. Mark Twain’s famous quotes will give you courage, confidence, and a good laugh when you most need one.

Whether you have a quote on the tip of your tongue (trying to remember that one saying from Mark Twain, “travel is fatal to prejudice”… or something?) or you’re a Twain novice, we’ve got you covered. We gathered some of Twain’s best sayings, and verified their legitimacy with the Center for Mark Twain Studies.

Here are 31 essential Mark Twain quotes for every type of traveler:

Mark Twain Quotes About Travel

Friends Hiking in the Woods
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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

“It liberates the vandal to travel — you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born and thought God made the world and dyspepsia and bile for his especial comfort and satisfaction.”

“There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage.”

“Take the universe as a whole, and it is a very clever conception and quite competently carried out, but I don’t think much of this globe as a work of art. It would have been better to take more time to it and do it right, it seems to me, than to rush it through, helter-skelter, in six days, just for reputation.”

“It is a subject that is bound to stir the pulses of any man one talks seriously to about, for in this age of inventive wonders all men have come to believe that in some genius' brain sleeps the solution of the grand problem of aerial navigation — and along with that belief is the hope that that genius will reveal his miracle before they die, and likewise a dread that he will poke off somewhere and die himself before he finds out that he has such a wonder lying dormant in his brain.”

“I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

Famous Quotes From Mark Twain’s Books

Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
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“In our day we don't allow a hundred and thirty years to elapse between glimpses of a marvel. If somebody should discover a creek in the county next to the one that the North Pole is in, Europe and America would start fifteen costly expeditions thither; one to explore the creek, and the other fourteen to hunt for each other.” — "Life on the Mississippi," 1883

"To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else — these are the things that confer a pleasure compared with other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial. Lifetimes of ecstasy crowded into a single moment." — "Innocents Abroad," 1869

"Consider well the proportion of things. It is better to be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise." — “Pudd'nhead Wilson,” 1894

"One gets large impressions in boyhood, sometimes, which he has to fight against all his life." — "Innocents Abroad," 1869

"The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time." — "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," 1876

"It is curious — the space-annihilating power of thought." — "Following the Equator,” 1897

“Be good and you will be lonesome.” ― “Following the Equator,” 1897

"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." — "Life on the Mississippi," 1883

Mark Twain Quotes on Courage

Woman on summit of mountain
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“With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.”

“It is curious — curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.”

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave; it is merely a loose misapplication of the word.”

Mark Twain Quotes About Life

“It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others — and less trouble.”

“Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.”

“Everything has its limit — iron ore cannot be educated into gold.”

“What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth.”

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”

Funny Mark Twain Quotes

“Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink — under any circumstances.”

“Humor, to be comprehensible to anybody, must be built upon a foundation with which he is familiar. If he can't see the foundation the superstructure is to him merely a freak — like the Flatiron building without any visible means of support — something that ought to be arrested.”

“When your watch gets out of order you have a choice of two things to do: throw it in the fire or take it to the watch-tinker. The former is the quickest.”

“The funniest things are the forbidden.”

“Laughter without a tinge of philosophy is but a sneeze of humor. Genuine humor is replete with wisdom.”

“The only very marked difference between the average civilized man and the average savage is that the one is gilded and the other is painted.”

“Of course, no man is entirely in his right mind at any time.”

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

“There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined.”

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