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54 Desert Quotes About Life and The Beauty of Barren Landscapes

Deserts are arid areas of land with little precipitation and vegetation. When most people think of deserts, images of large land areas with sand and dunes come to mind. You may also picture a place with extremely harsh weather conditions, unfit for living. This paints a picture of deserts, but some desert areas also have cold conditions. In this article, you’ll find the best desert quotes about survival, the richness of nature, and living. 

The desert is part of the richness of nature. Deserts around the world have a common characteristic of being dry or arid and, as a result, are too dry to support vast vegetation.

Nature surprises us in the desert, where you’ll also find uniquely hardy plants and other organisms adapted to the living conditions. Around the world, about one billion people live in or around desert areas. Apart from this, many desert quotes relate the desert land to navigating life.

Best desert quotes

The desert often represents a vast area of space or land. Because various species have learned to adapt to the extreme weather conditions in these areas, deserts form an essential aspect of the earth’s ecosystem. 

We can find deserts on every continent of our planet. Since the beginning of time, the beauty of deserts has fascinated many people. 

Although the desert might appear as dry, bare land, there’s much to appreciate. From the distinctive plant and animal species to shifting sand dunes that create desert hills, the hidden life of the desert is fascinating. 

Deserts can be sources of inspiration to reflect on how we live and our friendships. They can also bring up messages of survival amidst difficult challenges in life. Apart from its place in nature, we can explore many desert quotes that relate this land to our lives. We’ve compiled some of the best desert captions and sayings for you to explore in this section.

"Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest." -James Lovelock #trvst #quotes #nature #noplanetb #desertbeauty #desert #desertlife #forest #desertvibes

"Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest."
- James Lovelock

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery #trvst #quotes #nature #mothernature #desert #desert #desertvibes #desertlove #desertbeauty

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"I love the desert and its incomparable sense of space." -Robyn Davidson #trvst #quotes #mothernature #savetheplanet #desertlove #desert #desert #love #desertvibes

"I love the desert and its incomparable sense of space."
- Robyn Davidson

"This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought." -T. E. Lawrence #trvst #quotes #environment #planet #desertvibes #desert #desertlife #desertlove #desertbeauty

"This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought."
- T. E. Lawrence

"And all around is the desert; a corner of the mournful kingdom of sand." -Pierre Loti #trvst #quotes #planet #getoutside #desertbeauty #desert #desertlove #desertvibes #desertlife

"And all around is the desert; a corner of the mournful kingdom of sand."
- Pierre Loti

Desert quotes about life and living

Like Ella Leya said, “life is a desert of shifting sand dunes.” Here desert quote points us to a much-needed reminder about life’s unpredictable and sometimes uncontrollable nature. 

Even within specific desert areas, many processes can be unpredictable. The sand dunes, for instance, move around unpredictably and erratically. They then go on to form shapes of hills, ridges, or mounds. Therefore, we can take lessons about learning to adapt to unpredictable circumstances as they are an inevitable aspect of life. 

Apart from this lesson, as we navigate life, many find it important to avoid solitude, whereas others feel at peace alone. For many, it's important to surround ourselves with people that we can navigate life with. Some of the desert quotes below reflect on the loneliness of the desert and the importance of seeking company along life's journey.

"True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island... to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing." -Baltasar Gracian #trvst #quotes #earth #savetheplanet #desertvibes #friends #desert #desert #desertlife

"True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island... to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing."
- Baltasar Gracian

"When you are young, there is so much ahead of you, it's like the Saharan desert. You can't even see across it." -Henry Rollins #trvst #quotes #wildernessnation #noplanetb #desertvibes #young #desertbeauty #desert #desert

"When you are young, there is so much ahead of you, it's like the Saharan desert. You can't even see across it."
- Henry Rollins

"The desert loves me. I love the desert. It's nice to be in the heat in Africa. I love it." -Liya Kebede #trvst #quotes #nature #natureseekers #desertvibes #desert #desertlove #love #desert

"The desert loves me. I love the desert. It's nice to be in the heat in Africa. I love it."
- Liya Kebede

"Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance." -Will Durant #trvst #quotes #getoutside #wildernessnation #desert #desert #desertlife #knowledge #desertlove

"Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance."
- Will Durant

"Too much good fortune can make you smug and unaware. Happiness should be like an oasis, the greener for the desert that surrounds it." -Rachel Field #trvst #quotes #natureseekers #noplanetb #desertvibes #desert #desertbeauty #desert #desertlife

"Too much good fortune can make you smug and unaware. Happiness should be like an oasis, the greener for the desert that surrounds it."
- Rachel Field

"Rebellion without truth is like spring in a bleak, arid desert." -Khalil Gibran #trvst #quotes #natureseekers #earth #desert #desert #desertvibes #desertbeauty #desertlove

"Rebellion without truth is like spring in a bleak, arid desert."
- Khalil Gibran

"Life is a desert of shifting sand dunes. Unpredictable. Erratic. Harmony changes into dissonance, the immediate outlives the profound, esoteric becomes cliched. And vice versa." -Ella Leya #trvst #quotes #natureseekers #wildlifeplanet #desertvibes #desert #desertlove #desert #desertlife

"Life is a desert of shifting sand dunes. Unpredictable. Erratic. Harmony changes into dissonance, the immediate outlives the profound, esoteric becomes cliched. And vice versa."
- Ella Leya

"I couldn't sell water in a desert. I have no business acumen. I can tell you why you have no business acumen, and I can tell you why your project may or may not work, but I have no ability to make money." -Richard Quest #trvst #quotes #getoutside #savetheplanet #desertlife #water #desertbeauty #desert #desertvibes

"I couldn't sell water in a desert. I have no business acumen. I can tell you why you have no business acumen, and I can tell you why your project may or may not work, but I have no ability to make money."
- Richard Quest

"You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst." -William Langewiesche #trvst #quotes #conservation #gogreen #desertlife #desert #desert #desertlove #desertvibes

"You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst."
- William Langewiesche

"I always thought the desert was the antithesis of peace - something that attacks you. So you don't go to the desert for peace." -Sam Shepard #trvst #quotes #mothernature #planet #desertbeauty #desert #desert #peace #desertvibes

"I always thought the desert was the antithesis of peace - something that attacks you. So you don't go to the desert for peace."
- Sam Shepard

Desert quotes about the richness of nature

Our natural world houses various distinct yet beautiful areas and species. The desert’s beautiful landscape forms part of this beauty. Wherever you find yourself, you can always discover an appreciation for nature in everything that makes a desert beautiful. 

Despite features like little vegetation and a dry climate, deserts have a distinct beauty. The desert sky during a sunset, for instance, is striking in its contrast. Here, we feature some desert quotes about the richness of nature. These desert quotes can spark a more profound appreciation for the vast land spaces nature provides.

"The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides." -Jules Verne #trvst #quotes #wildernessnation #conservation #desertbeauty #pure #desertlife #desert #desertlove

"The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides."
- Jules Verne

"I have never been in a natural place and felt that it was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile." -Viggo Mortensen #trvst #quotes #getoutside #naturelovers #desert #natural #desertbeauty #desert #desertvibes

"I have never been in a natural place and felt that it was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile."
- Viggo Mortensen

"The vast sage desert undulates with almost imperceptible tides like the oceans." -Frank Waters #trvst #quotes #naturelovers #environment #desertlife #desert #desert #desertvibes #desertlove

"The vast sage desert undulates with almost imperceptible tides like the oceans."
- Frank Waters

"A flower blooming in the desert proves to the world that adversity, no matter how great, can be overcome." -Matshona Dhliwayo #trvst #quotes #mothernature #wildernessnation #desertlove #flower #desertlife #adversity #desertvibes

"A flower blooming in the desert proves to the world that adversity, no matter how great, can be overcome."
- Matshona Dhliwayo

"High Alpine meadows, like their near relatives prairie, desert and certain varieties of wetland, teach us to consider the world from a fresh perspective, to open our eyes and take account of what we have missed, reminding us that, in spite of our emphasis on the visual in everyday speech, we see so very little of the world." -John Burnside #trvst #quotes #noplanetb #wildernessnation #desertbeauty #desert #desertlife #perspective #desertlove

"High Alpine meadows, like their near relatives prairie, desert and certain varieties of wetland, teach us to consider the world from a fresh perspective, to open our eyes and take account of what we have missed, reminding us that, in spite of our emphasis on the visual in everyday speech, we see so very little of the world."
- John Burnside

"One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams." -Antione De Saint-Exupéry #trvst #quotes #naturelovers #gogreen #desertlove #desert #desert #silence #desertbeauty

"One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams."
- Antione De Saint-Exupéry

"The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom." -Edward Abbey #trvst #quotes #earth #savetheplanet #desert #light #desertlife #life #desertlove

"The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom."
- Edward Abbey

"The Pyramids are perfect, but you can't put the Pyramids in the middle of Manhattan. In the desert, the combination of light and form makes it perfect." -I. M. Pei #trvst #quotes #environment #gogreen #desertvibes #light #desertlove #desert #desertbeauty

"The Pyramids are perfect, but you can't put the Pyramids in the middle of Manhattan. In the desert, the combination of light and form makes it perfect."
- I. M. Pei

Life in the desert quotes

Many plants, animals, organisms, and people have adapted to life in the desert. This might be surprising considering the harsh conditions that can exist in these spaces. However, this gives us an even deeper sense of appreciation for life in the desert. You’ll find distinct organisms in the desert that teach us about adaptation and perseverance. Here, we feature some desert quotes that discuss life in the desert. 

"A cactus doesn't live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn't killed it yet." -Hope Jahren #trvst #quotes #conservation #naturelovers #desertbeauty #desert #desert #desertlife #desertvibes

"A cactus doesn't live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn't killed it yet."
- Hope Jahren

"I had to live in the desert before I could understand the full value of grass in a green ditch." -Ella Maillart #trvst #quotes #environment #gogreen #desertlife #desert #desertvibes #desertlove #desertbeauty

"I had to live in the desert before I could understand the full value of grass in a green ditch."
- Ella Maillart

"Nothing the desert produces expresses it better than the unhappy growth of the tree yuccas." -Mary Hunter Austin #trvst #quotes #wildlifeplanet #naturelovers #desertlife #desert #desertbeauty #tree #desertvibes

"Nothing the desert produces expresses it better than the unhappy growth of the tree yuccas."
- Mary Hunter Austin

"I'm most passionate about anything to do with nature and the simple things. I love taking walks with my family or my friends and seeing nature. And that's why I love living where I live because I live up in the desert area in the mountains." -Atticus Shaffer #trvst #quotes #environment #wildlifeplanet #desert #passionate #desertbeauty #simple #desertlife

"I'm most passionate about anything to do with nature and the simple things. I love taking walks with my family or my friends and seeing nature. And that's why I love living where I live because I live up in the desert area in the mountains."
- Atticus Shaffer

"I don't see the desert as barren at all; I see it as full and ripe. It doesn't need to be flattered with rain. It certainly needs rain, but it does with what it has, and creates amazing beauty." -Joy Harjo #trvst #quotes #getoutside #noplanetb #desertlove #desert #desert #beauty #desertlife

"I don't see the desert as barren at all; I see it as full and ripe. It doesn't need to be flattered with rain. It certainly needs rain, but it does with what it has, and creates amazing beauty."
- Joy Harjo

Water is a desert's gold.

~ Matshona Dhliwayo

Desert quotes reflecting on openness and space

You will likely appreciate the desert if you love being outdoors and especially love wide, open spaces. The vastness of the desert is striking. Even in the most barren lands, we can find something special to appreciate and reflect on. 

The desert also represents a space to engage in deep reflections and provides openness and freedom. Here are some desert quotes to get you thinking about the vastness of these land areas. There's much to appreciate, from the beautiful desert sky to the wide-open spaces.

"I have this personal affinity for the desert. I am fascinated by the desert. I love it." -Erika Slezak #trvst #quotes #noplanetb #savetheplanet #desertlove #love #desertlife #desert #desertvibes

"I have this personal affinity for the desert. I am fascinated by the desert. I love it."
- Erika Slezak

"I don't look like a desert person because I stay indoors most of the day and fool around at night. That's what the desert animals do - they don't have a tan either." -Captain Beefheart #trvst #quotes #wildlifeplanet #gogreen #desertlife #desert #desertvibes #person #desertbeauty

"I don't look like a desert person because I stay indoors most of the day and fool around at night. That's what the desert animals do - they don't have a tan either."
- Captain Beefheart

"The desert is natural; when you are out there, you can get in tune with your environment, something you lose when you live in the city." -Robyn Davidson #trvst #quotes #gogreen #mothernature #desertlove #natural #desertlife #desert #desertbeauty

"The desert is natural; when you are out there, you can get in tune with your environment, something you lose when you live in the city."
- Robyn Davidson

"Even in the most barren desert one would still feel one's heart beating." -Marty Rubin #trvst #quotes #environment #savetheplanet #desert #desert #desertlove #desertvibes #desertlife

"Even in the most barren desert one would still feel one's heart beating."
- Marty Rubin

"I used to sleep in the desert once every week, now it is every two weeks, most of the time alone. It's beautiful. What I enjoy is taking my food and cooking for myself." -Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum #trvst #quotes #wildernessnation #noplanetb #desertlove #sleep #desertvibes #food #desertlife

"I used to sleep in the desert once every week, now it is every two weeks, most of the time alone. It's beautiful. What I enjoy is taking my food and cooking for myself."
- Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

"The desert, when the sun comes up. I couldn't tell where heaven stopped and the Earth began." -Tom Hanks #trvst #quotes #wildernessnation #environment #desertlove #desert #desertvibes #sun #desert

"The desert, when the sun comes up. I couldn't tell where heaven stopped and the Earth began."
- Tom Hanks

"The vastness of the desert frightened her. Everything looked too far away, even the cloudless sky. There was nowhere you could hide in such emptiness." -James Carlos Blake. #trvst #quotes #planet #savetheplanet #desertlove #desert #desertlife #desert #desertbeauty

"The vastness of the desert frightened her. Everything looked too far away, even the cloudless sky. There was nowhere you could hide in such emptiness."
- James Carlos Blake.

"I love being outdoors, being in the mountains and the desert, and my wife enjoys that too. That's one of the things that sustain our relationship." -Jon Krakauer #trvst #quotes #conservation #planet #desertbeauty #desert #desert #relationship #desertlife

"I love being outdoors, being in the mountains and the desert, and my wife enjoys that too. That's one of the things that sustain our relationship."
- Jon Krakauer

"A desert is a place without expectation." -Nadine Gordimer #trvst #quotes #naturelovers #earth #desertlife #desert #desertbeauty #desertlove #desertvibes

"A desert is a place without expectation."
- Nadine Gordimer

"Magic of the shadows can best be seen in the deserts." -Mehmet Murat Ildan #trvst #quotes #savetheplanet #mothernature #desertvibes #desertlife #desert #desertbeauty #desertlove

"Magic of the shadows can best be seen in the deserts."
- Mehmet Murat Ildan

Stranded on a desert island quotes

You often hear questions like, “if you were stranded on an island or a desert, what would you like to have with you?” Here are some desert quotes that can get you thinking about this question.

"Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring... 'How to Build a Boat.'" -Steven Wright #trvst #quotes #environment #noplanetb #desertlife #desert #desert #desertbeauty #desertvibes

"Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring... 'How to Build a Boat.'"
- Steven Wright

"If I were planning to be stranded on a desert island, I wouldn't take Freud's books with me, because I've already read them all." -Anne Roiphe #trvst #quotes #planet #conservation #desertvibes #books #desertbeauty #desert #desert

"If I were planning to be stranded on a desert island, I wouldn't take Freud's books with me, because I've already read them all."
- Anne Roiphe

"I've been asked over the years to compile a list of desert-island discs. I couldn't do that. If I was trapped on a desert island, I don't think I'd want 10 songs to bring with me." -John Lydon #trvst #quotes #wildernessnation #mothernature #desertvibes #desert #desert #desertbeauty #desertlove

"I've been asked over the years to compile a list of desert-island discs. I couldn't do that. If I was trapped on a desert island, I don't think I'd want 10 songs to bring with me."
- John Lydon

"A child raised on a desert island, alone, without social interaction, without language, and thus lacking empathy, is still a sentient being." -Daniel Dennett #trvst #quotes #natureseekers #wildlifeplanet #desertlove #desert #desertlife #desert #desertvibes

"A child raised on a desert island, alone, without social interaction, without language, and thus lacking empathy, is still a sentient being."
- Daniel Dennett

Desert quotes about survival

Apart from plants like cacti, many people have adapted to life in the desert. Below, we feature some desert quits that talk about survival and adaptation.

"If you cut down the forest, you know what happens: The whole of Asia turns into a desert. Without water, you're talking civil unrest, war, mud slides - the whole bloody lot." -Mark Shand #trvst #quotes #nature #mothernature #desertbeauty #water #desertlove #desert #desertvibes

"If you cut down the forest, you know what happens: The whole of Asia turns into a desert. Without water, you're talking civil unrest, war, mud slides - the whole bloody lot."
- Mark Shand

"The rules of survival never change, whether you're in a desert or in an arena." -Bear Grylls #trvst #quotes #nature #getoutside #desert #desert #desertvibes #survival #desertlife

"The rules of survival never change, whether you're in a desert or in an arena."
- Bear Grylls

Desert quotes from the arts and literature

Various art and literature pieces have scenes set in the barren desert. Diverse creators also make statements referencing the desert. Let’s explore some of them below, the shorter of which also make for excellent desert quotes for Instagram.

"Without music, life is a journey through a desert." -Pat Conroy #trvst #quotes #natureseekers #conservation #desertbeauty #desert #desertvibes #life #desertlove

"Without music, life is a journey through a desert."
- Pat Conroy

"I've always loved the desert. I've spent most of my life in the Southwest. It's certainly influenced my work. I used to dream about it when I was young." -Joy Harjo #trvst #quotes #naturelovers #planet #desertvibes #life #desert #desert #desertbeauty

"I've always loved the desert. I've spent most of my life in the Southwest. It's certainly influenced my work. I used to dream about it when I was young."
- Joy Harjo

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air." -Paul Hoffman #trvst #quotes #mothernature #conservation #desertlife #desert #desert #flower #desertbeauty

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air."
- Paul Hoffman

"It is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way." -Terry Pratchett #trvst #quotes #earth #wildlifeplanet #desertbeauty #infinity #desertlove #desert #desertlife

"It is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way."
- Terry Pratchett

"I would not sacrifice a single living mesquite tree for any book ever written. One square mile of living desert is worth a hundred 'great books' - and one brave deed is worth a thousand." -Edward Abbey #trvst #quotes #getoutside #natureseekers #desertvibes #books #desertbeauty #tree #desertlove

"I would not sacrifice a single living mesquite tree for any book ever written. One square mile of living desert is worth a hundred 'great books' - and one brave deed is worth a thousand."
- Edward Abbey

"This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough." -Mary Hunter Austin #trvst #quotes #natureseekers #planet #desertvibes #desert #desertlove #desert #desertbeauty

"This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough."
- Mary Hunter Austin

"I would enter the desert alone, to leave in the sand endless footprints only to be obliterated by the wind, to walk the same path each day expecting the same path tomorrow, and perhaps to cease wondering at the bloom and wither of lilies only to linger for death." -Leonard Seet #trvst #quotes #wildlifeplanet #environment #desertlife #desert #desertvibes #wind #desert

"I would enter the desert alone, to leave in the sand endless footprints only to be obliterated by the wind, to walk the same path each day expecting the same path tomorrow, and perhaps to cease wondering at the bloom and wither of lilies only to linger for death."
- Leonard Seet

"The desert has its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation." -Walter Elliot #trvst #quotes #getoutside #noplanetb #desertvibes #desert #desert #silence #desertbeauty

"The desert has its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation."
- Walter Elliot

"The thing about tears is that they can be as quiet as a cloud floating across the desert sky." -Benjamin Alire Sáenz #trvst #quotes #noplanetb #conservation #desertvibes #desert #desertlife #desertlove #desertbeauty

"The thing about tears is that they can be as quiet as a cloud floating across the desert sky."
- Benjamin Alire Sáenz

"The desert could not be claimed or owned—it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones, and given a hundred shifting names before Canterbury existed, long before battles and treaties quilted Europe and the East." -Michael Ondaatje #trvst #quotes #planet #gogreen #desertvibes #desert #desertlife #desertlove #desertbeauty

"The desert could not be claimed or owned—it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones, and given a hundred shifting names before Canterbury existed, long before battles and treaties quilted Europe and the East."
- Michael Ondaatje

Never met a desert sunset I didn't like.

~ Unknown

Peace, love, and desert dust.

~ Uknown

The planet's famous red colour is from iron oxide coating everything. So it's not just a desert. It's a desert so old it's literally rusting.

~ Andy Weir (The Martian)

When you are young, there is so much ahead of you, it's like the Sahara Desert. You can't even see across it.

~ Henry Rollins

There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount, a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, ensuring that wide, free, open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.

~ Edward Abbey

Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

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