Importance of Elsewhere


Calcutta, India

In Paul Theroux’s new book, The Tao of Travel, he writes,
“As a child, yearning to leave home and go far away, the image in my mind was of flight — my little self hurrying off alone.
I wanted to find a new self in a distant place, and new things to care about.  The importance of elsewhere was something
I took on faith.  Elsewhere was the place I wanted to be.”



 “The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human; the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to
change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger,
to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown …”   – Theroux








Mizoram, India

00707_08, Shanghai, China; 1989, CHINA-10080

Shanghai, China


Havana, Cuba

“…The tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a
few weeks or months,the traveler, belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly,
over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another.”
– Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky 










The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
-Marcel Proust



Mazar-i Sharif, AFghanistan, 2003, AFGHN-12341NF

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

“All good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the
midst of terror and wonder. ”
– Pico Iyer, Why We Travel


Varanasi, India







Sulu Sea, Philippines

“There is a change that takes place in a man or a woman in transit.
You can see this at its most exaggerated on a ship when whole personalities change.”
– John Steinbeck



 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain


Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

COSTA_RICA-10006, Papagayo, Costa Rica, 05/2007, Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux, Papagayo, Costa Rica


“Travel is flight and pursuit in equal parts.”
The Great Railway Bazaar, Theroux


Agra, India


38 Responses to “Importance of Elsewhere”

  1. constanza Says:


  2. RedCat430 Says:

    Beauty and ‘elsewhere’ are in the eye of the beholder! And I think these photos are amazing!

  3. Absolutely stunning images! Love the quotes, some of them are old favourites of mine.

  4. Every single trip a new venture… a new learning.
    A complete new outlook:)

    Traveling can teach u a lot… reflecting clearly from your snaps !!

    They r amazing.

  5. wonderful, moving, evocative images

  6. Thea Swengel Says:

    Thanks for the lovely trip!

  7. Caro Sr Steve,
    Tenho procurado seguir os ensinamentos de um grande poeta brasileiro que diz o seguinte:

    A verdadeira arte de viajar…
    A gente sempre deve sair à rua como quem foge de casa,
    Como se estivessem abertos diante de nós todos os caminhos do mundo.
    Não importa que os compromissos, as obrigações, estejam ali…
    Chegamos de muito longe, de alma aberta e o coração cantando!

    “”Mário Quintana””

    abraços do Brazil

  8. Voilà des images qui nous donnes envie de partir là-bas, très loin!
    Comment peut-on rester immobile devant de si belles images?

    Bravo et merci Steve pour ce magnifique voyage.


  9. Very interesting and beautiful pictures, Steve. So inspiring ! I like the presentation by topics (“Elsewhere”), it explains something.

  10. Lovely! Evoke the feeling of listening to distant lands calling out to you.

  11. margarida marques Says:

    “Elsewhere was the place I wanted to be” … these words from Paul Theroux together with your beautiful photos had an echo inside me.

  12. Soon I’m going to travel to Bolivia and Peru. Thank you Steve to be a motivation and light with you amazing work.

  13. Just another amazing series. Excellent!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Magnifique reportage. Bravo et merci Steve pour ce beau voyage.


  15. You’ve reawakened a bite that I thought no longer itched!

  16. This is the one of the beautiful posts of yours Steve. Not because of photographs, yes you heard me right, because judging by photographs every post of yours is beautiful, but this post is so beautiful because of the title and the content. Travel and explore. I really want to take my camera and roam around. Discover the world. Thanks for such a great inspiration for all of us.

    Regards, Vivek

  17. If Steve has made the unseen visible he has also conveyed the unsaid from one human heart to another.

  18. Seema Shah Says:

    so inspirational and real…

  19. Excellent excellent ! Some great pictures !

  20. Kaushal Kumar Singh Says:

    “The World is Your Studio” Real pictures from real world.
    Love Respect Bow to you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Excellent post Steve..Congrats..

  22. Amazing photographs as always:)

  23. […]   Calcutta, India   In Paul Theroux's new book, The Tao of Travel, he writes,  "As a child, yearning to leave home and go far away, the image in my mind was of flight — my little self hurrying off alone.  I wanted to find a new self in a distant place, and new things to care about.  The importance of elsewhere was something I took on faith.  Elsewhere was the place I wanted to be."      Afghanistan    "The wish to travel seems to me characterist … Read More […]

  24. Martin gimenez Says:

    Exelentes registros…un abrazo grande de argentina ciudad de Bahia Blanca

  25. Anonymous Says:

    thank you for giving courage to challenge myself with travel and photography, i.e. to follow dreams

  26. Would love to see more of your photos. I have several of your books, and love them all!!!

  27. Absolutely amazing. My favorite photographer of all time. Truly inspirational

  28. Me encanta este fotógrafo… Menudas Fotos!!

  29. The Proust quote is the heart of the matter.

  30. […] Importance of Elsewhere at Steve McCurry’s Blog. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Artículo. Bookmark the permalink. ← Previous Post […]

  31. Oh to be able to shoot like Steve. Bravo, master McCurry.

  32. Can I travel with you😉

  33. congratulations!! I’ve enjoyed with your photos

  34. Very nice and real.
    Thank you.

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