Today you may write a chapter on the advantages of traveling, and tomorrow you may write another chapter on the advantages of not traveling.
Journal, 11 November 1851
How many things can you go away from? They see the comet from the northwest coast just as plainly as we do, and the same stars through its tail. Take the shortest way round and stay at home. A man dwells in his native valley like a corolla in its calyx, like an acorn in its cup. Here, of course, is all that you love, all that you expect, all that you are. Here is your bride elect, as close to you as she can be got. Here is all the best and all the worst you can imagine. What more do you want? Bear hereaway then! Foolish people imagine that what they imagine is somewhere else. That stuff is not made in any factory but your own.
Journal, 1 November 1858
A traveler who looks at things with an impartial eye may see what the oldest inhabitant has not observed.
Journal, 20 August 1851
Give me the old familiar walk, postoffice and all, with this ever new self, with this infinite expectation and faith, which does not know when it is beaten. We’ll go nutting once more. We’ll pluck the nut of the world, and crack it in the winter evenings. Theaters and all other sightseeing are puppet-shows in comparison. I will take another walk to the Cliff, another row on the river, another skate on the meadow, be out in the first snow, and associate with the winter birds. Here I am at home. In the bare and bleached crust of the earth I recognize my friend.
Journal, 1 November 1858
The discoveries which we make abroad are special and particular; those which we make at home are general and significant. The further off, the nearer the surface. The nearer home, the deeper.
Journal, 7 September 1851
Some do not walk at all; others walk in the highways; a few walk across lots. Roads are made for horses and men of business. I do not travel in them much, comparatively, because I am not in a hurry to get to any tavern or grocery or livery-stable or depot to which they lead.
This is a common experience in my traveling. I plod along, thinking what a miserable world this is and what miserable fellows we that inhabit it, wondering what it is tempts men to live in it; but anon I leave the towns behind and am lost in some boundless heath, and life becomes gradually more tolerable, if not even glorious.
Journal, 17 June 1857
It is far more independent to travel on foot. You have to sacrifice so much to the horse. You cannot choose the most agreeable places in which to spend the noon., commanding the finest views, because commonly there is no water there, or you cannot get there with your horse.
Journal, 4 July 1858