Riddle: The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?

I’m adding this classic riddle to my collection here at TravelontheFly.  I like having fun questions to ask my fellow travelers, be they, family or friends. 

So let’s do this. Have you been thinking about it? What have you come up with for possible answers? 

Wrong Answers

Did you guess breaths, laxatives, tequila shots, love, time, poop? You could definitely make your own version of the riddle with some of those as your answer but traditionally the answer hasn’t been any of those things. 

Riddle: The More You Take, The More You Leave Behind. What Am I?

image of the following riddle text: the more you take, the more you leave behind. what am I?

A: I am footsteps! The more footsteps you take the more footsteps you leave behind!

Ah, that makes sense. Yeah, you “take” them, but you’re not “taking” them or collecting them… Here, I’ll explain, if you want to read on.


The main idea that makes “The more you take, the more you leave behind” is that the word “take” usually refers to picking up an object in English. You take your luggage on a trip or take your new tablet with you on the plane.

Taking action here means that we are “moving forward”.

video #1 Travelonthefly.com

Other “taking” actions might include taking a look or taking a chance. In that case, we are talking about seizing an opportunity to create some action.

It’s a fun play on words.

And that’s why the word breaths was one of the “incorrect” answers cited above. Although you could change the riddle as you tell it or use that as an alternative ending in case someone guesses the right one when you tell it. 

But back to the footsteps…

Little boy walking in a red jacket on the sand and turning back and looking at his footsteps

When we take steps or footsteps won’t don’t actually leave a physical object behind. We do leave footprints behind, sometimes.

So how does that work then? Do we leave a footstep behind? Not really. Hmmm. I didn’t create the riddle. I’m just explaining it. 

I guess the originator of that riddle may not have thought that part through. Or maybe they did and were just having fun with it. 

It’s a riddle after all. I don’t know that we have to think about it too much beyond that. 

I enjoy riddles and some light-hearted conversation about them after telling them. I hope this has been a good read for you and you take it on some journey with you be it near or far, on a plane or in a car. 

And now, the next time someone approaches you with the riddle,  “Who am I? The More You Take, The More You Leave Behind,” you’ll have it! The more footsteps you take, the more you leave behind you

It takes some thinking at the beginning, but like many great riddles, as soon as you know the answer, you let out an, “Ah!, of course! That makes sense.”

I’ve got more riddles below. Check them out too.


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