One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
—T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) American-born British Poet, Dramatist, Literary Critic
Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice. Yet some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads. What was the meaning of that South-Sea Exploring Expedition, with all its parade and expense, but an indirect recognition of the fact that there are continents and seas in the moral world to which every man is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored by him, but that it is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one’s being alone. It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
The American experience stirred mankind from discovery to exploration. From the cautious quest for what they knew (or thought they knew) was out there, into an enthusiastic reaching to the unknown. These are two substantially different kinds of human enterprise.
—Daniel J. Boorstin (1914–2004) American Historian, Academic, Attorney, Writer