Recently I started reading about Freya Stark (31 January 1893 – 9 May 1993) who was an English- Italian explorer and travel writer. She wrote extensively about travelling in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and blazed the trail for solo female travellers.
By 1931 she had completed three dangerous treks into the wilderness of Iran.
Her incredible bravery with travelling was awe-inspiring, and I wanted to share five pearls of wisdom of hers that will inspire us to go deeper and explore more when we travel.
- Travel brings the pleasures of the unknown
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the most pleasant sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure.” Freya Stark
2. Travelling reveals the beauty and kindness of the human spirit
“If I were asked to enumerate the pleasures of travel, this would be one of the greatest among them – that so often and so unexpectedly you meet the best in human nature, and seeing it so by surprise and often with a most improbable background, you come, with a sense of pleasant thankfulness to realise how widely scattered in the world are goodness and courtesy and the love of immaterial things, fair blossoms found in every climate, on every soil.”
3. When you travel, forget yourself and the life you normally lead
“One can only really travel if one lets oneself go and takes what every place brings without trying to turn it into a healthy private pattern of one’s own and I suppose that is the difference between travel and tourism.” Freya Stark
4. Keep our spirits young with curiosity & knowledge seeking
“I have no reason to go, except that I have never been, and knowledge is better than ignorance. What better reason could there be for travelling?” Freya Stark
5. Travel nourishes our spirit into old age
“Good days are to be gathered like grapes, to be trodden and bottled into wine and kept for age to sip at ease beside the fire. If the traveller has vintaged well, he need trouble to wander no longer; the ruby moments glow in his glass at will.” Freya Stark
I completely agree – and talked about this in my short video that I made a while back.
I hope you enjoyed these shots of wisdom!
More reading about Freya Stark:
- Freya Stark’s books
- My favourite travel book, by the world’s greatest travel writers
- Travelling tales of a reluctant virgin
- East is West – exploring the life of Freya Stark