Best.tattoo is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
There are many different meanings and symbolisms that can be applied to tattoos. The phrase “not all who wander are lost” is something that resonates with many people, whether they have a tattoo or not.
If you’re considering getting a “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” tattoo, you’re in the right place.
In this article we will explain the origins and meaning of this popular quote.
Let’s get going!
Where did the “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” quote come from?
The quote is from a scene in J.R.R Tolkien’s novel The Fellowship of the Ring, and it was first published on September 19th, 1954.
It is found at the beginning of Chapter VII: “Three Is Company” – near the beginning of the chapter, as Frodo Baggins makes up his mind to leave the house of Elrond.
The full quote is: “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.”
The quote has been used in various contexts and settings to establish wisdom or prudence on how one should navigate their life among distractions and delusions. It has even been referenced by several authors such as Erin Hunter in the “Warrior Cats” series (although with a slightly different version) and Ursula LeGuin in the “Earthsea Cycle” series.
What is the meaning of the “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” quote?
There could be many interpretations of this quote, as it is open to an individual’s experiences and understanding.
Reminds that life is a journey
One interpretation is that one does not have to travel down just one path in life; it implies that there isn’t only one true path or destiny for us. Rather than thinking of our destination as something final (where we will arrive at when we reach the end of the road), we should understand that everyone’s life is a journey and that we don’t really know where our path will end up leading to.
Thus, it is not the destination that matters; rather, learning from the experiences along the way is what really matters in life.
Motivates to keep moving forward
Another possible interpretation of this quote is that despite traveling through life, we may still encounter a lot of struggles and obstacles along the way. Many tattoo meanings explore the notions of resilience. No matter how great an individual’s goal or destination is, they do not always achieve it just because they have a goal at all.
We often face many difficulties which could cause us to lose our destination altogether – whether it be by taking a different path from before or simply losing hope along the way.
In such cases where things don’t go according to plan, one shouldn’t dwell on their losses too much; instead, they should keep moving forward and learn from what went wrong so that they will be able to get back on track.
Symbolizes wanderlust and self-exploration
“Not All Who Wander Are Lost” is also related to wanderlust, a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. It also urges you to get out of your comfort zone to find the real meaning of life.
Traveling also changes your perspective about the world and your life. It gives you new experiences. It makes you think more of the world and of yourself, which is very important in terms of personal growth.
One cannot underestimate the wisdom of this quote. There can be many contexts but no matter how you look at it, there is one thing that remains true: all who wander are not lost – rather, those who keep moving forward without giving up will eventually reach their goal!
Should I be getting a “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” Tattoo?
Getting a tattoo can be a wonderful form of self-expression and art. However, it is important to thoroughly think about the design and message of your tattoo. Ultimately, it is your decision and if the quote “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” has a deep meaning to you, then by all means go ahead!
The phrase “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” is often seen as a reminder to never stop exploring and taking chances. It’s also the perfect sentiment for any wandering soul looking for some direction in their life.
We hope you have found this article helpful in your quest to find the meaning of this quote and explain to your artist!
Do you have a “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” tattoo? Share why you chose this quote in the comments below.