7 Poems That Will Inspire You To Travel Vol. II

Hoping to inspire you, dear reader, on your journey and beyond.

For as long as there have been travelers, so too have there been poets. Poetry is the language of traveling like love is the language of the heart; it’s a language that’s universally understood and requires no translation. Each poem below is imbued with a sense of impermanence and sober, and often revealing, introspection by the poet, marked by familiar tropes we often associate with the ephemeral nature of traveling (i.e. trains, planes, hostels, open road, loneliness, self-awareness, discovery).

It’s been almost three years since we published our first collection of travel poems from some of the world’s best-known poets. After receiving such overwhelming response from readers, we’ve decided to put together a second volume of collected poems – from Nobel laureates to Pulitzer Prize winners, to literary masters and burgeoning talents – hoping to inspire you, dear reader, on your journey and beyond.

walt whitman
FACEBOOK Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Song of the Open Road, IV

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,

The picture alive, every part in its best light,

The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it

is not wanted,

The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment

of the road.

O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?

Do you say Venture not—if you leave me you are lost?

Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and

undenied, adhere to me?

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I

love you,

You express me better than I can express myself,

You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all

free poems also,

I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,

I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and

whoever beholds me shall like me,

I think whoever I see must be happy.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
FACEBOOK Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)


The railroad track is miles away,

   And the day is loud with voices speaking,

Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day

   But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,

   Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,

But I see its cinders red on the sky,

   And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with the friends I make,

   And better friends I’ll not be knowing;

Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,

   No matter where it’s going.

The Unexplorer

There was a road ran past our house

Too lovely to explore.

I asked my mother once—she said

That if you followed where it led

It brought you to the milk-man’s door.

(That’s why I have not traveled more.)

The Amazing Poems of Carl Sandburg
FACEBOOK The Amazing Poems of Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)


Night from a railroad car window

Is a great, dark, soft thing

Broken across with slashes of light.

Jennifer Grotz
FACEBOOK Poetry Daily

Jennifer Grotz (1971-Present)

Self-Portrait on the Street of an Unnamed Foreign City

The lettering on the shop window in which

you catch a glimpse of yourself is in Polish.

Behind you a man quickly walks by, nearly shouting

into his cell phone. Then a woman

at a dreamier pace, carrying a just-bought bouquet

upside-down. All on a street where pickpockets abound

along with the ubiquitous smell of something baking.

It is delicious to be anonymous on a foreign city street.

Who knew this could be a life, having languages

instead of relationships, struggling even then,

finding out what it means to be a woman

by watching the faces of men passing by.

I went to distant cities, it almost didn’t matter

which, so primed was I to be reverent.

All of them have the beautiful bridge

crossing a grey, near-sighted river,

one that massages the eyes, focuses

the swooping birds that skim the water’s surface.

The usual things I didn’t pine for earlier

because I didn’t know I wouldn’t have them.

I spent so much time alone, when I actually turned lonely

it was vertigo.

Myself estranged is how I understood the world.

My ignorance had saved me, my vices fueled me,

and then I turned forty. I who love to look and look

couldn’t see what others did.

Now I think about currencies, linguistic equivalents, how

   lop-sided they are, while

my reflection blurs in the shop windows.

Wanting to be as far away as possible exactly as much as still

   with you.

Shamelessly entering a Starbucks (free wifi) to write this.

Rita Dove

Rita Dove (1952-Present)


I love the hour before takeoff,

that stretch of no time, no home

but the gray vinyl seats linked like

unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall

be summoned to the gate, soon enough

there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers

and perforated stubs—but for now

I can look at these ragtag nuclear families

with their cooing and bickering

or the heeled bachelorette trying

to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s

exhausted mother waiting to be called up early

while the athlete, one monstrous hand

asleep on his duffel bag, listens,

perched like a seal trained for the plunge.

Even the lone executive

who has wandered this far into summer

with his lasered itinerary, briefcase

knocking his knees—even he

has worked for the pleasure of bearing

no more than a scrap of himself

into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,

they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning

—a little hope, a little whimsy

before the loudspeaker blurts

and we leap up to become

Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.

Sally Wen Mao
FACEBOOK Sally Wen Mao

Sally Wen Mao

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

In Lijiang, the sign outside your hostel

glares: Ride alone, ride alone,

ride alone – it taunts you for the mileage

of your solitude, must be past

thousands, for you rode this plane

alone, this train alone, you’ll ride

this bus alone well into the summer night,

well into the next hamlet, town,

city, the next century, as the trees twitch

and the clouds wane and the tides

quiver and the galaxies tilt and the sun

spins us another lonely cycle, you’ll

wonder if this compass will ever change.

The sun doesn’t need more heat,

so why should you? The trees don’t need

to be close, so why should you?

Jerry Alonzo Leon


Jerry's favorite country to travel to is Spain. When he's on the road, he keeps it real simple with a pen and a pad. His travel style is spontaneous, easygoing, and always in search of a great adventure.

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