Robyn Davidson quotes:

  • Australia's arid western region, from the town of Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean coast, is a beautiful, haunting, but largely empty land. Dominated by the harsh, almost uninhabited Great Sandy and Gibson deserts, the region is known only to Australian Aborigines, a handful of white settlers, and the few travelers who motor across it.

  • The agricultural revolution transformed the earth and changed the fate of humanity. It produced an entirely new mode of subsistence, which remains the foundation of the global economy to this day.

  • At the age of 25, I gave up my study of Japanese language and culture at university in Brisbane and moved to the town of Alice Springs.

  • You can trick yourself into doing things by doing it one step at a time and never letting yourself see the overall picture.

  • The truth is I'm not really interested in travel writing as it's generally conceived, and even less so in female travel writing.

  • In every religion I can think of, there exists some variation on the theme of abandoning the settled life and walking one's way to godliness. The Hindu sadhu, the pilgrims of Compostela walking past their sins, the circumambulators of the Buddhist kora, the haj.

  • After thirty years of being 'the camel lady,' believe me: One becomes inured to the spotlight.

  • Thank God for being a writer, because you do sort of find out what you think by the process of writing.

  • The two important things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision.

  • Some instinct - and I think it was a correct one - led me to do something difficult enough to give my life meaning.

  • In 10000 BC, all human beings were hunter-gatherers; by 1500 AD, 1 percent were hunter-gatherers. Less than .001 percent of people are hunter-gatherers today.

  • The French word for wanderlust or wandering is 'errance.' The etymology is the same as 'error.' So to wander is to make mistakes. In other words, to make mistakes, to make errors is sort of the idea of learning through trial and error, allowing the mistakes to be part of the process.

  • The desert is natural; when you are out there, you can get in tune with your environment, something you lose when you live in the city.

  • I don't want to be bored; I don't want to be with someone I don't respect.

  • By taking to the road, we free ourselves of baggage, both physical and psychological. We walk back to our original condition, to our best selves.

  • During these last ten thousand years, we have made massive, unprecedented changes to the environment, creating problems for ourselves that we may not be able to solve.

  • When 'Tracks' first came out, I was courted by Sydney Pollack. I had lunch with him, and he opened the conversation with, 'Honey, you ain't gonna like what I'm gonna do to your book.' I really liked him, but I turned him down, because - well, I was stupid. I also turned down a great deal of money.

  • I do not mean to say that we should, or could, return to traditional nomadic economies. I do mean to say that there are systems of knowledge and grand poetical schemata derived from the mobile life that it would be foolish to disregard or underrate. And mad to destroy.

  • It is always interesting being on films sets - I have done it before with other actor friends - and I just find it fascinating. I just love that collaborative film family that develops around a project.

  • There are worse things than being called 'the camel lady,' I suppose.

  • The genre has moved into this commercial aspect of itself, and ignored this extraordinarily rich literature that's filed everywhere else except under travel.

  • Some of the best conversations I've had are sitting around a camp fire.

  • I love the desert and its incomparable sense of space.

  • The most difficult part of any endeavour is taking the first step, making the first decision.

  • The idea of finding things out, I hope that will stay with me until I drop.

  • The romantic view would be that nomads are wonderful people, better than us; they care about the environment.

  • Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Find out what you're capable of.

  • Life's the adventure. You don't have to drop your bundle and go bush. It's about being brave within the context that you're in.

  • I'd always loved writing, in the same way that I'd loved painting. I wouldn't have seen it as a career.

  • That arrogance of youth and that kind of ignorant confidence can get you through a whole lot of things, and then life does its stuff, and you get smashed around and beaten up. You get full of doubts, and you end up making a person out of those bits and pieces.

  • My thoughts can sometimes be spurred by what I read, but my reading is extremely eclectic.

  • As we've lost this idea of pilgrimage, we've lost this idea of human beings walking for a very, very long time. It does change you.

  • You apply the skills you use to produce your own book to make an anthology. Shaping. Rhythm.

  • Camels are still trained in Alice Springs for tourist jaunts and for occasional sale to Australia's zoos.

  • Camels are wonderful animals. Witty, intelligent and sensitive.

  • If you think of all the enduring stories in the world, they're of journeys. Whether it's 'Don Quixote' or 'Ulysses,' there's always this sense of a quest - of a person going away to be tested, and coming back.

  • I do believe that the genre reached its peak before the First World War.

  • People who wander are nicer to be with. Movement militates against hoarding possessions and against bigotry, because you are constantly moving across boundaries and having to negotiate with people.

  • Its highest point was The Worst Journey in the World. Then you see this decline, and this harking back, using the 19th-century form when we're not in the 19th century. That way of writing a book about the world out there - you just can't do it anymore.

  • I just don't see myself as a travel writer. I can't. I don't.

  • These days I am ruled by doubt, and that is a difficult place to write from.

  • As you get older, you do just get tired.

  • You really can expand the boundaries of your life and do risky things and prove yourself by doing them.

  • Never, never have a famous partner. It's too complicated.

  • And there are new kinds of nomads, not people who are at home everywhere, but who are at home nowhere. I was one of them

  • By now I was utterly deprogrammed. I walked along naked usually, clothes being not only putrid but unnecessary. My skin had been baked a deep terra-cotta brown and was the constituency of harness leather. The sun no longer penetrated it. I retained my hat.

  • Camel trips, as I suspected all along, and as I was about to have confirmed, do not being or end: they mere change form.

  • I believe that the subconscious always knows what is best. It is our conditional, vastly overrated rational mind which screws everything up.

  • I believe when you're stuck in one spot for too long it's best to throw a grenade where you stand, and jump"┬Žand pray.

  • I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back.

  • I hate hats! Hats just give you really bad hair! I had a hat sometimes. Frankly, you get burnt so much anyway, it's beside the point. And when you're walking into the western sun, no hat in the world is going to save your face and neck from being sizzled.

  • It is better to proceed with one's duty in the service of others than wallow in the pain attachments bring

  • Real travel would be to see the world, for even an instant, with another's eyes

  • some of us just don't want to be famous ... anonymity cannot be bought for any price, once you have lost it ...

  • That odd idea that one person can go to a foreign part and in this rather odd voice describe it to the folks back home doesn't make much sense in the post-colonial world.

  • The 70s were a wonderful time to be young. I think most young people at that time were pushing the boundaries, asking all sorts of questions of society, of life and of themselves. They were very politicised. It was part of the air that we breathed.

  • The good Lord in his ultimate wisdom gave us three things to make life bearable: hope, jokes, and dogs, but the greatest of these was dogs.

  • The two things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision.

  • To be free one needs constant and unrelenting vigilance over one's weaknesses. A vigilance which requires a moral energy most of us are incapable of manufacturing. We relax back into the moulds of habit. They are secure, they bind us and keep us contained at the expense of freedom. To break the moulds, to be heedless of the seductions of security is an impossible struggle, but one of the few that count. To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble.

  • When there is no one to remind you what society's rules are, and there is nothing to keep you linked to that society, you had better be prepared for some startling changes.