It’s A Dangerous Business, Frodo, Going Out Of Your Door…

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off too.”

A common travel quote. The majority of people will know where this comes from (and many can figure it out just by the name “Frodo”). But I shall still go through where the quote is from as well as what it means to me.

The Quote Source

This quote comes from J.R.R.Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship of the Ring, to be precise, in Chapter 3 “Three Is Company”. In this chapter, Frodo has left Bag End and is journeying to his new home in Buckland. Sam and Pippin are accompanying on this journey, whilst Merry is at the new house in Buckland, preparing everything.

The threesome have stopped for lunch and Sam asks if Elves live in the woods. Pippin replies the negative, then Frodo pipes up with a rhyme that ‘pops into his head’ about the Road. Pippin asks if it is one of Bilbo’s rhymes and they talk about Bilbo and what he used to say, mainly about the Road.

In the 2001 film of The Fellowship of the Ring, the quote is used. The film is a little different and it is just Sam and Frodo journeying, but they are leaving the Shire, not going to a new home in Buckland. The scene begins with Sam stopping and saying how if he takes one more step, it’ll be the furthest from home he’s ever been. After Sam takes that almighty step Frodo brings up what Bilbo used to say.

What This Travel Quote Means To Me

In the same part of the book (infact, same paragraph) Frodo explains that Bilbo used to say how there was only one Road and it was like a river. Every path from every door fed into this river. The path that begins at Bag End is the same one that leads to the Lonely Mountain and could lead you even further.

The quote, to me, says simply that anything can happen. You can go anywhere. Just take that first step and you don’t know where you might end up. And that travel is addictive, you can get ‘swept up’ and just keep going.

And yes, things might go wrong, something bad may happen. But if you don’t take that risk, how will you ever know? Keep your wits and common sense about you to ‘keep your feet’.

I really like the idea that Tolkien wrote here, about there only being one Road. And if you leave the safety of your house, this Road can take you anywhere.

Categories: Travel Quotes | Comments

Author Bio: Nat

I’m Nat, the backpacker behind natpacker. From the UK, I was bitten by the travel bug during a round the world trip in my early twenties. Since then I have been determined to see as much of this world as possible. My passion for travel led me to start up this blog, partly to record my adventures and partly to inspire others to travel.


  • CHRIS says:

    Great to hear my friend. While perhaps I was like the young Bilbo once …I hope to inspire Frodos of the future.
    I entered a race back in the late seventies by a British paper, seeing if the spirit of adventure was still alive. The challenge, Round the world in 30 days on £50. I was one of the racers…took 3 or 4 years to get back to UK…. had a big story printed.. The original £50 had grown inti a few thousand dollars from working around the globe. After a time I backpackerd UK to Oz taking about 1.5 years and spending a lot of time in Asia and the Himilaya, reading the Lord of the Rings…so it seemed interactive…reading about hobbits and snowy mountains on part of the Jomison Trek with Nepalese around me as strog as any hobbit. Some sat Tolkein travelled this route and got inspired there.
    Travel on.
    May all beings be Happy.

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