The Road Less Traveled

Meanings of “The Road Less Traveled”

The phrase “the road less traveled” means the choices we make in life are unconventional and uncertain. It refers to a choice that leads a person to choose an indifferent approach or a path in life to start a new trend. More metaphorically, it speaks about the choices we have never experienced.

Origin of “The Road Less Traveled”

The phrase, “the road less traveled” is said to have its initial traces in Robert Frost’s Poem, “The Road Not Taken” published in 1920. Although the phrase has not been used in an exact way, the metaphoric use of the phrase conveys the same sense.

Example from Literature

Example #1

The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives by Katie Couric

“Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.”

The above lines explain the meanings of the phrase, “the road less traveled.” The book centers on the optimistic approach of life. The writer attempts to explain the value of being positive and hopeful in life. While talking about the challenging approach toward life, she touches the keynote, saying that one should come out of their comfort zone and try new paths. Undoubtedly, these paths look mysterious with unexpected situations but these unconventional choices eventually lead the person to achieve something extraordinary.

Example #2

 The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass by Mandy Hale

 “You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”

This excerpt shows the literal meanings of the phrase, which means that it is a denotative use. The speaker accounts for the moral lessons of her life. To her, one should be bold enough to break the set rules; one should live his life by designing his own terms and should never feel sorry for that. Her encouraging words demand us to take new chances and experiences something that we have never experienced before. In other words, it means to take a new chance, which means the same thing as this phrase is.

Example #3

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

This famous poem explains the phrase, the road less traveled. The speaker is standing in a yellow wood with two distinct paths before him. He takes a look and thinks about both paths and finally chooses to take the one less traveled. Thus, he prefers experiencing something new without worrying about the consequences. Therefore, it shows the metaphorical use of this phrase.

Example #4

The Road Less Traveled by the Oprah Guest by Professor Poetry Hound

“Two roads diverged in the woods of my life,
I’d been down one of those roads before,

And it takes all the inner strength I can muster
To not repeat that debilitating, self-destructive behavior again.

Two roads diverged in the woods of my life,
And I took the more fulfilling one, and you can
Read in my new book* how that has made all the difference.”

This poem explains the meanings of the phrase in a simple way. The speaker talks about his experiences in life. He categorizes his life as two different paths. He has already traveled the one that has brought biting experiences and self-destruction to him. To avoid that mistake, this time, he prefers choosing the road less traveled and that makes all the difference. His witty choice rejuvenates him with exciting new choices. Therefore, it seems that the meanings are metaphorical.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “The guide said, “You can take the road less traveled and climb to the top of Nanga Parbat for an enchanting view.”

Example #2: “The Isle of Skye, an enchanting Scotland’s northwest coast reminds me of a choose-your-own-adventure book with roadways and paths opening up to various directions, sights and directions ever-changing depending on whatever I choose, the right way or the path less traveled.”

Example #3: “The lost traveler preferred taking the road less traveled to find his way out.”

Example #4: “Since everyone preferred following the directions in the desert, however, my friend and I chose to travel the road less travelled.”

Example #5: “When he entered the unknown area, the first thing he looked upon was the familiar paths. Afterward, he looked at every nook and corner. There was no one. Panicking, he decides to follow the road less travelled.”