"But Those Are The Times When I Just Forget"

I collect travel quotes like other people collect stamps. Wait, no-one collects stamps anymore, do they? Well, alright then, I collect travel quotes like other people collect baseball cards. Or coins. Or---seriously, what do people collect these days? Positive eBay feedback? Witty text messages? Unemployment?

I know I've quoted Tennyson's "Ulysses" on here before---which, honestly, is probably one of the best love songs to travel ever written---and I won't post it again, lest I accidentally let my latent English Lit Major show like a saucy petticoat. But you really should know that the world is full of brilliant, inspirational travel quotes, ones that will make you pack a suitcase and just go---or maybe not even bother to pack a suitcase.

Like this one, for example:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that 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 winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
---Mark Twain

And this one:

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
--St. Augustine

And this one:

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
--Robert Louis Stevenson

And this one:

"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain til you see their specks dispersing? It's the too-huge world vaulting us and it's goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."
---Jack Kerouac

And then, dear Internet, there is the wisdom of Holly Burns, Age 8:


My dad scanned and e-mailed this to me the other day after finding it in a box at my grandmother's old flat, which he was clearing out now that she's been moved to a nursing home. "I thought it was so lovely," he wrote, "and obviously presages your hunger to see the world."

Which is true, it does, although the weariness of the "Oh!"s sort of cracks me up, like, seriously, Eight Year Old Self, was racking up all those frequent flier miles really that bad? And also, I'd never actually been to Germany when I was eight, and I still haven't been to Peru, so clearly I was already well-versed in the concept of poetic license.

My favorite part, though, is not only the thematic foreshadowing---if only the me of 1988 had known that almost twenty years later I'd be working for a travel company and living for that moment when you arrive in a strange airport at five in the morning, totally and utterly free---but also the vaguely Tennyson-esque quality of the line "I love to be jolly and never rest." I mean, doesn't it sound just a little like "I cannot rest from travel / I will drink life to the lees" or "How dull it is to pause, to make an end / To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!"?

It sort of does, right? So apparently, even at eight, I was a major nerd. Uh, and also, come to think of it, maybe actually kind of a plagiarist. Although, I don't know, can you even be a plagiarist if you still wear knee socks without irony and your mother does your hair in the morning and you haven't even heard of Tennyson because your one true love is Jordan Knight, and little do you know that he'll grow up to be really kind of dull and average-looking, but even then you'll still sometimes check out his MySpace page at work, because, you know, old habits die hard and all that?

Probably not, I'm thinking. I mean, I'm probably off the hook.

Sarah Brown
Aug 16, 2007

That's so funny, because *I* love to be jolly too! But I rest a whole lot.

Aug 16, 2007

oh! i would like to travel as much as your 8 year old self projected.

Aug 16, 2007

Oh! Holly loves to be jolly!

Did you ever utilise the 'Holly-jolly' rhyme in your poetry?

Carol Snider
Aug 16, 2007

Such a well-timed post, Holly! Thanks! Tom (hubby) had a bit of an... well, an ACCIDENT today (yes, I blogged about it), and we've been deliberating whether we should go to Germany in three weeks, as planned.

Your post is an obvious YES vote, right?

Well, alrighty then! (Which is sort of another take on "holly-jolly"... or sumpin')


Exiled to Canada
Aug 16, 2007

That Mark Twain quote is one of my favorites. It definitely captures the spirit of most travelers.

Unstrung Harpy
Aug 16, 2007

I wish I could find the poem I wrote in the fourth grade that got me sent to the school psychiatrist. They were rhyming couplets all about feeling worried and stressed out, written at the age of NINE. Talk about foreshadowing my adult self. (Am currently about to have a nervous breakdown in preparation for a move to England.)

jive turkey
Aug 16, 2007

That poem is so cute. And it's just plain awesome that you never let go of something you loved so much as a kid.

Aug 16, 2007

How does Jordan Knight STILL look like he did back in the days of NKOTB? Tupperware? It's sort of creepy.

Aug 16, 2007

Wow, so weird... as I was reading this post, an ad on NPR used the St Augustine quote!

Not The Mama
Aug 16, 2007

Now I really want to go on vacation. More so than usual, which is always a whole lot anyway.

And I love your early work. Very clever!

Aug 16, 2007

Love love LOVE the travel quotes! The Mark Twain one is probably the theme of my life. Also, love love LOVE Jordan Knight (um, actually, add a "d" to the end of each of those loves... oh, who am I kidding, I still love him. Sigh, NKOTB!)

Aug 16, 2007

Well, this post went straight to my heart. You do have a fellow soul-travel-sister here.

Aug 16, 2007

Damn. I never got much to use the travel bug, since I had my first kid at 23, but this totally makes me want to get all Kerouac on your ass and just hit the road. I remember as a teenager staring out my New Jersey bedroom window and just longing to get out in the big world out there. Motherhood puts paid to those dreams very quickly . . . childless readers, take note!

Aug 16, 2007

I love reading 8 year-old Holly as much as present Holly. What talent!

Aug 16, 2007

And I think it's fabulous that your father used the word "presages" in an email. And Jordan Knight? That is some pretty bad music right there. Eesh.

Aug 16, 2007

Just to add to your collection since I have my own saved in TextEdit on my desktop:

"Living on earth may be expensive but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun." - Can anyone tell me where this quote came from?

“Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.”
- The Dhammapada

“Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.”
- Mohammed

“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

Aug 16, 2007

I leave for West Africa in 34(!) and I am currently oscillating wildly between total excitement and total freaked-out-ed-ness, so your post is perfectly timed. Thanks so much for reminding me about why I started this crazy scheme in the fist place. AND, I just wrote about MY long ago love for the New Kids, although I was more of a Joey fan myself, and usually ended up claiming love for Jordan only by default. My (older) best friend always 'got' Joey. Bitch.

Aug 16, 2007

Oy. That was supposed to be '34(!) days'. Damn.

Aug 16, 2007

wow, amazing, you knew what you wanted to do when you were 8!!


Aug 16, 2007

Adorable even at 8.

Aug 16, 2007

I know I should be telling you what an amazing poet you were at age 8 but... Holy Crap! Jordan Knight has a myspace page? That's too funny.

Aug 16, 2007

YOU were a Jordan Knight girl, too?! I was a Jordan girl! All of my friends were Joeys, even one Donnie and one Danny, but I was all about the Jordan.

I can't believe I just admitted this in a public forum.

Aug 16, 2007

I don't know, Holly. The poems I wrote when I was 8 were about food, presaging only the increasing size of my jeans due to the fact that now 20 years later I happen to love it a whole lot; food, that is. Not the increasing size of my jeans.

Aug 16, 2007

I actually stenciled that Augustine quote on our living room wall this past June - http://www.flickr.com/photos/tlkativ/572202645/. Nice list! :)

Aug 17, 2007

I was a Jordan fan in 1988, too, but I didn't know about his MySpace page! (I'm checking it now...)
I wish I could travel more - I keep telling myself, though, that having a kid young means I will get to travel when I am older, since he'll be 18 when I'm 40. So it will work out better, because I'll have money for it then. I guess I could travel with child, too (except for the not-affording thing)... I hate that I've never been anywhere outside of a tiny, tiny radius around Connecticut.

Aug 17, 2007

I think "I love to be jolly" should be Travelocity's new slogan.

Aug 17, 2007

Not only did I love your poem, but I also love the script-y writing, it really gave the poem a sense of being wise beyond your years. :)

Oh, and also? Jordan Knight was my true love as well. I even puff painted his name on my Keds.

Aug 17, 2007

The words of sage Eight Year Old Self have been ringing through my head for the past 24 hours...you were probably that kid who I was not intelligent enough to yet hang out with in the second grade - only you put up a Jordan Knight fan facade to mask the fact that you were already wise beyond your years!

Aug 17, 2007

My eight year old self was to busy reading Moby Dick (and wishing I could be a sailor or go back to Hawaii again) to even UNDERSTAND Jordan vs. Donnie vs. whoever. With my blue octagonal glasses. I wish I still had some of my poetry from that time! Love yours!

"It's not the destination, it's the journey" is sort of our family motto.

Aug 19, 2007


I hate to admit it, but the fact that your dad scanned that for you and wrote "it was so lovely." made me cry.

Why am I such a baby these days? I swear, I cried. (Maybe because my dad would never take enough interest in my life, as he is too concerned worrying about my soul.)


I have Jordan Knight songs in my mp3 player and I love knowing that not only would you not judge me for that, but you would probably sing along with me were we to be listening to my mp3 player together.

I love Holly, she makes me jolly.