Packed full of adventure in far-off beautiful places that you could only dream of visiting, books are a huge reason I love to travel. From the mystical lands of Narnia, to the Gothic castle’s in Dracula, you can find all sorts of travel inspiration in a book, and none more so than within the pages of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.
I was introduced to the tales of Tolkien at a young age, and have loved his stories ever since. As today marks his 127th birthday, I’m going to share some quotes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy that have helped inspire me to get out into the world, conquer my fears, and live my life to it’s fullest. Hopefully they will fill your 2019 with a little more wanderlust too.
‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to’ – Bilbo
Travelling can be daunting. It’s full of the unknown – strange lands, unheard languages and unrecognisable people. Even if you’re as prepared as you could ever be, some things just don’t go to plan, and there’s nothing you can do about it except go with the flow. Some of the best experiences I’ve ever had have occurred because something went wrong. Go off the beaten path, stray away from the norm, and you might just find the most wonderful things in the most beautiful places.
‘All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us’ – Gandalf
Unlike the Elves of Middle-Earth, none of us regular folk are immortal, which means we have to make the most of what little time we do have on earth. When you’re old and grey and struggling to walk, do you want to look back on life with regret? I want to know that I lived my life exactly how I wanted to, and that I took advantage of every possibility, so make sure you use your time wisely and exactly how you want to.
‘Not all those who wander are lost’ – Bilbo
It’s not uncommon for people to ‘find themselves’ when travelling, but just because you don’t have your life mapped out in a conventional manner, doesn’t mean you are lost. Through travelling, I have discovered more about myself than I ever thought imaginable, In fact, every time I visit a different country and try new things, I learn more about not only me as a person, but humanity as a whole, and the entire world around me.
‘The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps greater’ – Haldir
With all the war, poverty and heartache circulating this earth, it’s easy to forget that there is anything good left in the world. Sometimes you just want to lock yourself up from all the bad and live in your own bubble, but there are so many amazing people out there who you just haven’t met yet – people who lead incredible lives and will inspire you. You owe it to yourself to meet them and see everything out there that will give your life more beauty. Don’t let the bad things stop you from seeing the good.
‘Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens’ – Gimli
Everyone has to go through some sort of pain throughout their lifetime, it’s part of being human, and unfortunately, it’s inevitable. What you don’t know at the time is that it’s only temporary. As much as it may feel like you are not going to get out of that hole of despair, you will, and you’ll come out of it so much stronger than you could ever imagine. Don’t let the darkness stop you from living your best life.
‘The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can’ – Bilbo
One of the best things about travelling is that it is endless. I think it’s safe to say that if you visited a new place every single day of your life, you still wouldn’t be able to see 1% of the entire world. There may come a time that you think you have seen all you need to, but there is so much more out there, unexplored, so even if one path ends, don’t let that stop you from finding another.
‘Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story’ – Bilbo
Travelling doesn’t just fulfil your wanderlust, it gives you memories – precious memories that you can hold onto when things aren’t going quite as planned. My fondest memories are the one’s I’ve created in obscure places, whilst having fun with family and friends, or complete strangers – and I know I’ll remember them until I’m grey and old, and that my adventures will forever live on in the stories I tell my children and grandchildren one day.
‘I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again’ – Frodo
Just because you love to travel doesn’t mean that there isn’t always a home waiting for you somewhere. It could be a physical place like Frodo’s Bag End, but it doesn’t have to be – home could just be where your loved one’s are, and as long as you know they are safe, and that you can return whenever you need to, there’s no reason to feel guilty about being apart from them and wanting to see more.
Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate, and though I oft have passed them by, a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run west of the moon, east of the sun’ – Frodo
I am all too familiar with that overwhelming feeling you get when you just don’t have enough time in a single day to fit in everything you want to. It’s easy to forget that you have a lifetime ahead of you and even though you may want to live each day as if it’s your last, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. There is always tomorrow, and that secret gate isn’t going anywhere.
‘Though here at journey’s end I lie in darkness buried deep, beyond all towers strong and high, beyond all mountains steep, above all shadows rides the sun and stars for ever dwell: I will not say the day is done, nor bid the stars farewell’ – Sam
The worst part about going on any type of adventure is always when it ends and you have to go back to normality. I find it best not to think of anything as an ending, but as a moment of respite. You’re just having a break from travelling the world to go back to work for a while. You don’t have to say goodbye, just live in the hope that you will be back there someday.