I been inspired by travel bloggers for years. I love their stories and the places they write about. It’s what I dreamed of doing myself…oh, and here I am!
What I’ve always been curious about, with anyone who loves to travel, is what inspired them to pack the their bags and ‘hit the road’ in the first place.
So, I asked some fellow travel bloggers. These are their stories…
Andrew from Dish Our Town
As a family unit, there are definitely a series of books and films that have influenced our travels. We all have our favorites and it’s hard to agree on one. However, if we narrow it down to seminal moments (we are going to leave our daughter out of this for now) the answer would have to be the viewing of the movie, “Cinema Paradiso”.
Brenda was 18 and I was 21 when this film was released. We were both young and ready to take on the world. This movie which was shot in that blue/grey process gave it a nearly black and white aesthetic, which leaves the audience teetering between dreamscape and reality.
Years before we got to know each other; separately, we got lost in the movie. For two hours, “Cinema Paradiso” weaved us through romantic cobbled streets and picturesque old towns. This planted the seed within us both, which flowered into a life pursuing to attain those scenes for ourselves.
10 years after it’s release, we met and exchanged interests, ranging from food to travel, and somewhere in between, our affinity for the movie. Now, nearly 20 years later; together, we have experienced many cobbled streets and picturesque towns, and continue to be in that state of teetering between dreamscape and reality. Thanks to Travel and “Cinema Paradiso”.
About Andrew: A New Yorker at heart and a former fashion professional, Andrew Tolentino shifted gears and has become a food and travel writer. Along with his wife, Brenda, they conceived and created, Dish Our Town, a food and travel blog. Dish Our Town is a storytelling vehicle sharing their love for food, travel, and the culture that goes with it.
Currently, Andrew is traveling Europe full-time with Brenda and daughter, Bailey. Andrew serves as Co-Founder and Head Writer of Dish Our Town. Join him and his family and travel one dish at a time at Dish Our Town. Also, find them at Facebook.
Melinda from I Love Walking in France
Travel has always been in my blood—a deep yearning to wander the world, to find out what daily life looks like for people of different cultures. I can’t remember ever not wanting to travel.
When my children were in their early teens, we travelled to countries where the history and the culture was unfamiliar, where English was not widely spoken, where the food was different (this turned out to be a not-so-smart idea).
But then, as is often the case, life tempted me with sensible plans—to wait…until the mortgage was smaller, the bathroom was renovated, the children were older.
A year or two later, as one son prepared for a school exchange to Japan and my daughter prepared for a trip to New Caledonia, I read “Without Reservations” by Alice Steinbach, a Baltimore journalist who takes a year away from work to travel the world on her own. Oooh, I thought, maybe I could do that—not for a year, but for a few weeks while my children were away. Perhaps, I didn’t need to wait until they left home, or someone else to wanted to visit the same places I wanted to visit…
And so I headed to France and spent one month travelling extensively throughout the country on my own. Motivated primarily by a fear of driving through large cities (and around the Arc de Triomphe in particular), I stayed in smaller towns—Bayeux, Chenonceaux, Vézelay, Pérouges, Annecy and Avignon—and while avoiding the major highways, I discovered that rural France is filled with gorgeous villages, fairy-tale châteaux, ancient chapels and spectacular countryside.
My current obsession is long-distance walking—from village to village, often following the well-trodden paths of early pilgrims. My schedules are based around my ‘enjoy breakfast, walk ten kilometres, have a nice lunch, walk another ten kilometres and linger over dinner’ philosophy—and never say no to the tarte aux chocolat! Thankfully, walking twenty kilometres (twelve miles) each day burns off a few calories.
My favourite walk? Perhaps the one pictured here along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques du-Puy. You can see them all and decide for yourself at I Love Walking in France.
Mirna from Breathe Travel
I guess I could say I’ve been travelling from a young age, but it didn’t exactly start by choice. My parents took my sister and I from Bosnia to New Zealand during the time of Yugoslavia’s war.
This was the first time I went overseas so it’s hard to say “I have been travelling since I was young and it’s always felt right” when my journey didn’t start like most people’s.
Although it wasn’t in an ideal situation, it was the beginning of my lifetime of travel. And it’s become such a big part of who I am today.
My biggest inspiration came when I wanted to visit my extended family on the other side of the world, being so far away meant two days of travel to see them. Experiencing that long journey was when I first realised what travel can do. A simple few flights can reconnect you to loved ones, lead you to meet new ones, and immerse you into a culture totally different to yours, no matter how far it seems.
When I landed in my birth town of Banja Luka, Bosnia, eight years after leaving, I felt in my soul that I was finally home, even though I was quite young when we left and had never really experienced life there. Since then, travel has brought me to many places around the world where I’ve felt a deep connection with the land and the people, for reasons I still can’t explain.
The kindness and generosity of a complete stranger welcoming you into their life is one of the most wonderful and unforgettable experiences you can imagine. It creates a precious moment you share with people who will likely never be part of your life again.
Being able to experience these loving cultures, first-hand, is what keeps my spark alive. It’s my ‘why’ and my constant reminder than even though we are seven billion people across a big planet, we’re not so different at all.
About Mirna: Mirna is the founder and head hostess of Breathe Travel – a community-run resource hub for women. She writes loads of travel tips for new and first-time travellers to help them become confident, ready and excited to embark on their own journey.
Bryanna from Crazy Family Adventure
The joy and excitement of visiting new places has always inspired me to travel! I find it so fascinating and cool to visit somewhere I have never been and to see how many unique and different landscapes and cultures there are.
It is one thing to see what a place looks like on TV, in a magazine or in a book. But it is a whole other experience when you can actually be standing there, hearing it, feeling it, smelling it.
I think for me there wasn’t one defining moment that made me want to travel it was more an evolving realization from awesome family trips that my parents took us on that there are so many cool places to visit and things to see and do in the world!
We have decided to travel full-time with our 4 young kids so as parents we can share this amazing world with our kids and experience seeing places for the first time together as a family! Seeing things through our kids eyes has encouraged us even more to continue to reach out of our comfort zones and explore as much of this beautiful world with them as we can.
Family travel isn’t always easy but we have seen that travel is such a great way to deepen your family bond. And that in itself continues to inspire us to travel as a family and continue to explore this amazing world together!
You can check out our travel adventure at www.crazyfamilyadventure.com.
About Bryanna: Bryanna, her husband Craig, their 4 kids and 2 dogs sold their house, everything in it, bought an RV and are now traveling around the US. They blog about their adventures at www.crazyfamilyadventure.com. Their goal is to inspire families to get out and travel more! When they aren’t out hiking to the top of mountains you can find them on the beach or at the local donut shop searching for the best donut in the US!
Blog: www.crazyfamilyadventure.com |
Dana from Time Card Express™
When I was a young child, my father, who was in the U.S. Air Force at the time, was stationed in Panama. So of course, my mom, my older brother and I moved with him and made our home in the country for over three years. Because he was in the military, my father was able to book “hops” on these huge windowless C30 military planes for about $10 or so per person, and so my parents realized that it was the perfect opportunity to expose us to travel at an early age. During our time in Panama, we traveled to various countries in Central and South America including Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. It was such a great introduction to the world.
When we finally moved back to the U.S., my parents continued the tradition of traveling with us during our annual family vacations (they would take their own annual, adults-only vacations too while we stayed with our grandparents). During our summer vacations, we were able to explore and discover so much of the U.S. Each day after time spent sightseeing, going to museums, etc., my parents would quiz us about everywhere we visited and everything we learned that day. Those experiences offered us such a great education about life, people, and cultures outside of our home in L.A.
It’s funny because now that I’m married, my husband and I are avid travelers, and my parents always ask us when we plan on staying put. It always baffles me because they’re the ones who inspired and encouraged me to travel in the first place!
So, the time we spent traveling during the “Panama Years” as I call them, and my parents’ insatiable wanderlust, definitely rubbed off on me in such a profound way, and I truly believe that travel is now a part of my DNA.
About Dana: Dana Carmel Bell curates discount deals for shrewd travelers who crave affordable and authentic travel without sacrificing luxury, and she coaches novice travelers who desperately want their travel dreams to take flight. Through her free trip-planning challenge, her blog, and Time Card Express®, her signature discount travel membership platform, she helps you travel well for less while saving hundreds on local tours and boutique hotels around the world.
Blog: www.thatgirlcarmel.com | Website: www.TimeCardExpress.com
Kim from Time As A Traveller
What inspired me to travel was… a yearning. A yearning for freedom, an ache in my chest to see the world and not to be tied to anything. Growing up I didn’t exactly fit in, I struggled. I thought I would grow out of it. The standard rules somehow didn’t apply to me… I had a different perspective.
So when I turned 17 I applied to go to South America on a student exchange program. I have no idea why, but ever since I was a child I longed to go to Chile, and was fascinated with the Atacama Desert. All I can put it down to is a past life, if you believe in that sort of thing. I mean really, what seven year old growing up in Melbourne suddenly decides that Chile is the place for them and they simply must learn Spanish? So I applied for Chile and after a twist of events ended up spending a year living in Brazil.
I returned home changed… I had seen what was out there and couldn’t stay in the box. So I planned… I’d finish up my studies doing something I could travel with and head off into the world. After I finished Uni I left for London in 2005 for a planned one year… and didn’t make it home again until 8 years later. I worked as a locum in a total of 14 different UK hospitals, working short term contracts to fund my travels. I’d travel until the money ran out, head back to the UK to work, save, then travel. Rinse Repeat.
In that time my life became extraordinary.
I travelled to over 50 countries throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. I lived in Brazil, Mexico, Canada, London, Belfast and even Wales. My life experiences became immense. I climbed around in the ruined temples of Baalbek, the Rose City of Petra, Machu Picchu, The Lost City in Colombia. I touched the hieroglyphics on the pyramid walls of Egypt, strolled the alleys of Venice, put my finger in the bullet holes of houses in Sarajevo, hiked through Patagonia, marvelled at Rome, took a 52 hour long bus ride in Argentina, nearly drowned under a raft on the Zambizi River in Zimbabwe, was thrown off a camel in Morocco, watched the sun go down over the dunes of the Sahara desert and watched a full moon come up over the Atacama Desert in Chile… yes, Chile. Once I even stood naked in a cold shower in a concrete box at Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania and watched as an elephant came right up to the window and stared at me through the bars. These experiences are to name but a few. Travel magically made my life extraordinary.
Travel for me came from listening to my soul. Then putting one foot in front of the other and flipping conventional rules the bird. The times in my life when I’ve travelled, especially for long periods, those are the times when I’ve felt free and most connected to the universe that surrounds us. Once I found that magic… I followed it.
About Kim: Kim Casey became a world traveller at the age of 17, since 1997 she’s been travelling and living around the world. Independent travel, lone travel, long term travel are her specialties. She loves travel by road, defies distance, and is gifted fitting life into under 20kg. Catch her at Time as a Traveller
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