Paulo Coelho has been one of my favourite writers since high school and I’ve always had quotes from his books scattered around my website. Today, I’ve combined the best Paulo Coelho quotes on life and travel all together, and accompanied them with a personal note.
I hope you enjoy these quotes and that you can get something out of them for yourself! Let me know what your favourite Paulo Coelho book is as well in the comments, love to hear it.
BEST PAULO COELHO QUOTES ON LIFE
Take every opportunity to teach yourself.
You cannot judge the beauty of a particular path just by looking at the gate.
Sometimes, we are so attached to our way of life, that we turn down a wonderful opportunity simply because we don’t know what to do with it.
In 2011 my boyfriend and I decided to give up our house and jobs in The Netherlands, fly to the other side of the world and start a new life. Sounds simple, right? But without anyone familiar and having no work network to help us find a job, we had to do it all by ourselves.
But we did. And quite successfully as well, I can proudly add. Friends back home tell us they dream of doing something similar all the time. But all those years we’ve been abroad, not a single person took any action towards that dream… Why?
I think it’s because, as Paulo Coelho says quite right in his second opportunity quote, people get attached to their way of life. They’re scared of losing the securities they have and swap them for a future they can’t predict.
But can you ever tell for sure what will come on your path? I don’t think you can, and that’s why I’m glad we chose to break with routine and went on a big adventure. Because that’s what life should be like, in my eyes.
We didn’t regret our decision a single day.
Did you ever turn down a wonderful opportunity that you regretted later? Or did you take the leap and went for it?
Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.
Start doing what you want to do and everything else will be revealed to you.
Everyone has the necessary gifts for his particular path.
You will never be able to escape from your heart, so it is better to listen to what it has to say.
On the west coast of Australia, on the beach of Broome, we met two European travelers. They were young, happy and fishing in the ocean. They told us that they didn’t have a lot of money left, so they bought a bag of $1 pasta and were now fishing for the rest of their dinner.
Even though they only caught a small fish, they cooked it and I could see contentment in their eyes. Maybe it wasn’t much, but they were happy and exactly where they wanted to be. If that isn’t courage, I don’t know what else is!
Seeing these travellers, it made me realize that you don’t need much to experience the world. A lot of people might not leave home with the idea of travel being only for a select (read: wealthy) few. But you can travel with a small budget. And by travelling this consciously, you will probably have a much more intense experience as well.
Let go the thought of what you might not be able to do and start seeing what you can.
What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Finding Purpose Quotes
A life without cause is a life without effect.
True wisdom consists in respecting the simple things we do, for they can take us where we need to go.
With each step we take we arrive.
Wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.
The moment I realized that the thing I most wanted to do is to travel, I started crying. It all made sense. Here I was throwing myself in a full-time job, living in a relationship that didn’t work, in a country I’ve known all my life. My body was stressed.
I needed to get away. Now! I told my boss, my family and within two months I was on a plane to the other side of the world.
At the temples of Kamakura in Japan, the enormous Buddha statue made me realize I made the best decision I could have made. I was relaxed again, seeing amazing things and all the worries and back pains disappeared.
Since then, I never stopped following my gut feeling and never stopped doing what I most wanted to do. And the universe has helped me succeeding every single time, no exceptions.
Have you started doing what you want in your life, or is something still holding you back?
Soul & Mindfulness Quotes
If we slow down everything lasts longer.
The present moment is where all signs, parallel worlds and miracles are to be found.
For those who travel, time does not exist only space.
Your soul suffers when you force her to a shallow life. The soul loves beautiful and deep things.
Every time I’m doing something that I don’t truly love to do, I can just feel it deep inside. It’s important for me (and probably for you) to listen to this message from your heart and do something with it.
During my everyday life, this means for me to keep learning, trying out new things and to travel to see beautiful things around me. If I settle for anything less or take an easy road, I get bored and unhappy. I am not doing that one thing that I truly want to do.
There are so many ways to feed your soul. During your travels you can make yourself happy by meeting interesting people, seeing art, listening to music, eating fantastic local food, learning about the spiritual or religious parts of the country you’re in, experiencing the culture… and that is only a small portion.
What is your favourite recipe for feeding your soul when you’re travelling?
It’s the desire to walk that creates the path ahead.
It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
When you start to climb the mountain of your dreams pay attention to what is around you.
Travelling to the Outback, the Red Centre of Australia in 2006, was my first solo backpacking trip. It had been on my mind ever since I was a teenager.
Even though I had no idea what to expect, I ended up having the best time ever, just because I went for it and followed that strong feeling inside telling me to explore the world. To make such a trip was a dream come true, but soon I realized that the dream didn’t have to end. I travelled more, and just a little more… It turned out travelling is addictive.
The more you travel, the more you probably want to see of the rest of the world. And that is great, because having a new dream after fulfilling the previous one makes you realize that you can actually achieve everything you want.
I will probably never finish travelling and I like to share that excitement on this blog. Hopefully you never stop having dreams as well and will be successful in achieving them. It makes life so much more interesting!
What big dream did you have come true? In what way did it enrich your life?
Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose and commit yourself to what is best for you.
Boredom is to underline the importance of adventure and spontaneity.
Know what you want. Don’t waste time on explanations.
We only had two weeks for the South Island of New Zealand and we decided the best way to see as much as we could was to take an organized bus tour. Boy did we regret that.
We stopped at the most amazing places, such as the above lake Tekapo… and after just 5 minutes we heard the horn of the bus telling us to keep moving – only to stop for the rest of the afternoon in a place that had nothing more than a bar and a pizza place. We didn’t understand this at all. This was not the way we wanted to travel.
We realized soon enough what our favourite way of travelling was. We really needed to be able to stop and stay at a place we truly found inspiring.
And don’t feel the rush of having to see as many things possible on a day. After this trip, every time we could manage it, we arranged our own transport. And that made us feel a lot more independent and a lot happier. Freedom!
What travel style makes you feel absolutely free?
Loneliness gets stronger when we try to face it down, but it gets weaker when we simply ignore it
You are the only person responsible for your choices, so be quite sure about what you are doing.
Accept each challenge as an opportunity to transform yourself. Never allow yourself to be discouraged.
Going away to a foreign place, where you’re not familiar with everyday customs and every situation is unknown to you, comes with a lot of challenges.
You will find yourself in situations where you have to be creative, stand up for yourself, fight away fear or homesickness, interact with people that you don’t know, following rules or systems you might not agree with… but it will enrich you in so many ways.
There were lots of moments, especially during my solo travels, where I felt a bit unsure or alone at some point. But looking back on these challenges, I can see now how it made me stronger, how it transformed me to a person that can deal with problems more easily.
I became more creative, more independent, more aware of the world around me. Everything I learned about having a different outlook on the world and taking advantage of any unexpected curves in the road, I can now apply to almost anything I do today. Isn’t that great?
What was the biggest challenge you overcame while travelling?
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Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
THE WARRIOR OF THE LIGHT: A MANUAL
Warrior of the Light: A Manual is an inspirational companion to The Alchemist, an international bestseller that has beguiled millions of readers around the world. Every short passage invites us to live out our dreams, to embrace the uncertainty of life, and to rise to our own unique destiny. In his inimitable style, Paulo Coelho helps bring out the Warrior of the Light within each of us. He also shows readers how to embark upon the way of the Warrior: the one who appreciates the miracle of being alive, the one who accepts failure, and the one whose quest leads him to become the person he wants to be.
In his most personal novel to date, internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, his only real option is to begin again—to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him. Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before—and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life’s inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.
LIKE THE FLOWING RIVER
In this riveting collection of thoughts and stories, Paulo Coelho offers his personal reflections on a wide range of subjects from archery and music to elegance, traveling and the nature of good and evil. Paulo shows us how life has lessons for us in the greatest, smallest and most unusual of experiences. Sharing his thoughts on spirituality, life and ethics, Paulo touches you with his philosophy and invites you to go on an exciting journey of your own.“Het is het verlangen te lopen dat het pad vooruit creëert” – Wekelijks reizen citaat door Paulo Coelho
THE WITCH OF PORTOBELLO
How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of who we are? That is the central question of international bestselling author Paulo Coelho’s profound new work, The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well—or hardly at all. Like The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.
Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that “love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . .” A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. Maria’s despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness—sexual pleasure for its own sake—or risking everything to find her own “inner light” and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.
The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover. Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn’t have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.
THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN
In the ninth century b.c., the Phoenician princess Jezebel orders the execution of all the prophets who refuse to worship the pagan god Baal. Commanded by an angel of God to flee Israel, Elijah seeks safety in the land of Zarephath, where he unexpectedly finds true love with a young widow. But this newfound rapture is to be cut short, and Elijah sees all of his hopes and dreams irrevocably erased as he is swept into a whirlwind of events that threatens his very existence. Written with the same masterful prose and clarity of vision that made The Alchemist an international phenomenon, The Fifth Mountain is a quietly moving account of a man touched by the hand of God who must triumph over his frustrations in a soul-shattering trial of faith.
VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE
Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything—youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up. But she does—at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live. Inspired by events in Coelho’s own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.
Adultery, the provocative new novel by Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, explores the question of what it means to live life fully and happily, finding the balance between life’s routine and the desire for something new.
Brida, a young Irish girl, has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch. This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure. It is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.
The enchanting, true story of The Valkyries begins in Rio de Janeiro when author Paulo Coelho gives his mysterious master J., the only manuscript for his book The Alchemist. Haunted by a devastating curse, Coelho confesses to J., “I′ve seen my dreams fall apart just when I seemed about to achieve them.” In response, J. gives Coelho a daunting task: He must find and speak with his guardian angel. “The curse can be broken,” he replies, “if you complete the task.” Rising to the challenge, Paulo and his wife, Cristina, drop everything, pack their bags, and take off on a forty day adventure into the starkly beautiful and sometimes dangerous Mojave Desert where they encounter more than they bargained for. A masterful blend of the exotic locales, dramatic adventure, and magical storytelling, for which Coelho′s fictional works are renowned, this true-life account is at once a modern-day adventure and a metaphysical odyssey.
When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city. As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price.
BY THE RIVER PIEDRA I SAT AND WEPT
Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings . . . and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts. Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade. But in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, a most special relationship will be reexamined in the dazzling light of some of life’s biggest questions.
THE WINNER STANDS ALONE
The Winner Stands Alone is a suspenseful novel about the fascinating worlds of fortune and celebrity, where the commitment to luxury and success at any cost often prevents one from hearing what the heart actually desires. Coelho takes us to the Cannes Film Festival, where the so-called Superclass gathers—those who have made it in the dreammaker’s world of fashion and cinema. Some of them have even reached the very top and are afraid to lose their lofty positions. Money, power, and fame are at stake—things for which most people are prepared to do anything to keep. At this modern vanity fair we meet Igor, a Russian millionaire; Middle Eastern fashion czar Hamid; American actress Gabriela, eager to land a lead role; ambitious criminal detective Savoy, hoping to resolve the case of his life; and Jasmine, a woman on the brink of a successful modeling career. Who will succeed in identifying his or her own personal dream among the many prefabricated ones—and succeed in making it come true?
THE DEVIL AND MISS PRYM
A stranger arrives at the remote village of Viscos, carrying with him a backpack containing a notebook and eleven gold bars. He comes searching for the ans-wer to a question that torments him: Are human beings, in essence, good or evil? In welcoming the mysterious foreigner, the whole village becomes an accomplice to his sophisticated plot, which will forever mark their lives. A novel of temptation by the internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym is a thought-provoking parable of a community dev-oured by greed, cowardice, and fear—as it struggles with the choice between good and evil.
Step inside this captivating account of Paulo Coehlo’s pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. This fascinating parable explores the need to find one’s own path. In the end, we discover that the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and simple ways of everyday people. Part adventure story, part guide to self-discovery, this compelling tale delivers the perfect combination of enchantment and insight.
MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA
“There is nothing wrong with anxiety. Although we cannot control God’s time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible. Or to drive away whatever is causing fear. Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.”
THE WAY OF THE BOW
“The Way of the Bow” relates the story of Tetsuya, the best archer of the country, who conveys his teachings to a boy in his village. Throughout the story, several thoughts are reflected; our daily efforts and work, how to overcome difficulties, steadfastness, courage to take risky decisions, etc. Paulo Coelho expressed in these few pages many of the values which inspire our daily work: innovation, flexibility, adaptation to changes, enthusiasm, team work.
Drawing on the rich experience of his own life, bestselling author Paulo Coelho takes us back in time to relive the dreams of a generation that longed for peace. In Hippie, he tells the story of Paulo, a young, skinny Brazilian man with a goatee and long, flowing hair, who dreams of becoming a writer, and Karla, a Dutch woman in her twenties who has been waiting to find a companion to accompany her on the fabled hippie trail to Nepal. After meeting each other in Amsterdam, she convinces Paulo to join her on a trip aboard the Magic Bus that travels from Amsterdam to Istanbul and across Central Asia to Kathmandu. As they embark on this journey together, Paulo and Karla explore a love affair that awakens them on every level and leads to choices and decisions that will set the course for their lives thereafter.