“Not All Who Wander Are Lost” — J.R.R. Tolkien

Andrew Wood
4 min readJun 21, 2024

For the last three years since I sold my home, I have been traveling around the world. People frequently ask me questions like:

Don’t you miss home?

Or isn’t it weird not having a house?

What about your friends?

They seem to think something is wrong with me, but I am having the time of my life. I have come up with a simple answer to all the questions by quoting Tolkien.

The quote “Not all who wander are lost” comes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel “The Fellowship of the Ring,” part of his legendary series “The Lord of the Rings.” This phrase, penned by Tolkien, has since transcended its original context to become a widely recognized and often quoted adage. It speaks to the idea that wandering or exploring, whether physically, intellectually, or spiritually, does not equate to aimlessness or being lost.

Origin and Context

Tolkien first introduced the line “Not all those who wander are lost” in a poem within “The Fellowship of the Ring,” which is part of a larger piece of lore about the character Aragorn. The whole stanza reads:



Andrew Wood

Author & Marketing Legend with over 50 books :I write on: Marketing, Travel, Sales, Success, Biz, Leadership, Golf, Autos, Books, Events www.AndrewWoodInc.com