Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.— Paul Theroux
The most fulfilling Paul Theroux quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can't think of one at the moment.
My love for traveling to islands amounts to a pathological condition known as nesomania, an obsession with islands. This craze seems reasonable to me, because islands are small self-contained worlds that can help us understand larger ones.
The Australian Book of Etiquette is a very slim volume.
I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better.
All travel is circular. I had been jerked through Asia, making a parabola on one of the planet's hemispheres. After all, the grand tour is just the inspired man's way of heading home.
Railways are irresistible bazaars, snaking along perfectly level no matter what the landscape, improving your mood with speed, and never upsetting your drink.
Tibet has a very proud people but it's culturally gone and overrun ever since the Chinese took over. It's like saving the rhino. When a species is endangered, it's gone.
Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life
Travel is an attitude, a state of mind. It is not residence, it is motion.
Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.
Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us.
It is usually expensive and lonely to be principled.
The people of Hong Kong are criticized for only being interested in business, but it's the only thing they've been allowed to do.
When I went to Hong Kong, I knew at once I wanted to write a story set there.
Travel is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with existence or the exotic. It is almost always an inner experience.
The amount of hassle involved in travel can be overwhelming.
Gain a modest reputation for being unreliable and you will never be asked to do a thing.
The United States is a world unto itself.
We have mountains, we have deserts, we have a river that equals the Yangtze River, that equals the Nile. We have the greatest cities in the world - among the greatest cities in the world. We have a large population. We have challenges. We have an indigenous population.
The biggest surprise was that a country like Angola, that has so much money, that produces so much oil, would be in such a mess and so difficult to travel in. Something is almost cursed in striking oil. It's like the lottery winner who ends up broke.
Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.
I hate vacations. I hate them. I have no fun on them. I get nothing done. People sit and relax, but I don't want to relax. I want to see something.
Cooking requires confident guesswork and improvisation-- experimentation and substitution, dealing with failure and uncertainty in a creative way
An island is a fixed and finite piece of geography, and usually the whole place has been carved up and claimed.
Banks and donors and charities claimed to have had successes in Mozambique.
I suspected they invented these successes to justify their existence.
Someone who seems doddery is perhaps not doddery at all but only an older person absorbed in squinting concentration, as though on an ultimate trip, memorizing a scene, grateful for being alive to see it.
The Japanese have perfected good manners and made them indistinguishable from rudeness.
Albania in 1994 was the strangest place I've ever seen.
It was like walking into the looking glass: falling apart, paranoid people, anarchy, no one farming, full of thieves. It was beyond any Third World country. They were living in their own private nightmare.
It is almost axiomatic that the worst trains take you through magical places.
Extensive traveling induces a feeling of encapsulation, and travel, so broadening at first, contracts the mind.
Travel is a vanishing act, a solitary trip down a pinched line of geography to oblivion.
I don't think that it's possible to have a truly rewarding experience in travel if it's simple.
You define a good flight by negatives: you didn't get hijacked, you didn't crash, you didn't throw up, you weren't late, you weren't nauseated by the food. So you are grateful.
The monotony of staying in one place is the best thing for writing a novel.
Having regular habits, a kind of security, but especially no big surprises, no shocks.
The measure of civilized behavior is compassion.
Reading alters the appearance of a book.
Once it has been read, it never looks the same again, and people leave their individual imprint on a book they have read. Once of the pleasures of reading is seeing this alteration on the pages, and the way, by reading it, you have made the book yours.
The realization that he is white in a black country, and respected for it, is the turning point in the expatriate's career. He can either forget it, or capitalize on it. Most choose the latter.
Death is an endless night so awful to contemplate that it can make us love life and value it with such passion that it may be the ultimate cause of all joy and all art.
Animal lovers often tend to be misanthropes or loners, and so they transfer their affection to the creature in their control.
Friendship is also about liking a person for their failings, their weakness.
It's also about mutual help, not about exploitation.
Tourists who go to Africa have more of a traditional experience than Africans do. A tourist goes on safari; Africans don't.
... the grand tour is just the inspired man's way of heading home.
In Turkey it was always 1952, in Malaysia 1937;
Afghanistan was 1910 and Bolivia 1949. It is 20 years ago in the Soviet Union, 10 in Norway, five in France. It is always last year in Australia and next week in Japan.
It's only when you're alone that you realize where you are.
You have nothing to fall back on except your own resources.
Anything is possible on a train: a great meal, a binge, a visit from card players, an intrigue, a good night's sleep, and strangers' monologues framed like Russian short stories.
They say that if the Swiss had designed these mountains they'd be rather flatter.
Airplanes have dulled and desensitized us; we are encumbered, like lovers in a suit of armor.
In countries where all the crooked politicians wear pin-striped suits, the best people are bare-assed.
The Peace Corps is a sort of Howard Johnson's on the main drag into maturity.
For years I felt that being respectable meant maintaining a sinister complacency, and the disreputable freedom I sought helped make me a writer.