I recently got together with some girlfriends for a long overdue catch up and, as is often the case when we get together, our conversation turned to travel, our respective upcoming trips, recaps of recent vacations and where we've yet to go but really want to visit one day.
We agreed that seeing each other was inspirational in the sense that it made us want to keep doing what we love and exploring the world, despite how sad and scary that world can sometimes be. And it made me think about all the things in life that inspire us (us as in people in general), whether that's to be a better person, a more hard-working person, a more motivated person, a more traveled person and so on.
Since starting this blog, I've occasionally had people tell me I've inspired them to travel more, or go somewhere solo, or see a country they were previously hesitant to visit, and it's honestly one of the best feelings to know I've helped someone see more of this world, even if it's just a little bit more.
As for me, there are a number of things that inspire me to travel. Here are a few:
As I think is generally the case, I'm inspired to travel when I see others traveling or hear about their adventures. I have several bloggers I love following and several friends who are as deeply in love with travel as I am, so I always love to hear about or witness their adventures. Often times on social media, I see a blogger or friend who's in a place I find particularly appealing and think, "WHERE IS THAT?! I want to go to there." I then add that place to my list, especially if that blogger or friend raves about it.
I can be a very visual person (not in a superficial way, I don't think...hopefully not...) meaning images often bring things to life for me. It's why I enjoy taking pictures so much. Some people would rather leave the pictures up to others and stay present in the moment, but I almost always need to capture things because the images help me remember that moment and those feelings I had at the time. When I see images of a place that looks intriguing in some way, I'm always inspired and compelled to go there.
While I do consider myself visual and love seeing pictures of travel destinations, I'm also often inspired by some of the books I read, particularly if the author does an amazing job of describing a place. For example, before I watched the movie Wild, I read the book, and I remember reading and thinking, "Wow, this place sounds amazing" or "I need to remember to look this place up" (which I did). I once read a novel that took place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and found myself looking up flights there because the descriptions in this book were so captivating (not to mention the images I saw afterwards when I Googled it). For me, that's the beauty of the written word – being able to bring places, concepts and people to life in a way that's different from images.
Not all music inspires me to travel, that's for sure, but every once in awhile I hear a song and it elicits a feeling of being somewhere else. For example, whenever I hear Bebel Gilberto, I feel inspired to go to Brazil. There are also certain songs that I listen to and think, "this is perfect for driving on a long, empty road to a place you look forward to getting to but you're also in love with the journey getting there." If that thought makes sense...Anyway, I find some music to be a trigger for me in terms of thinking about certain places and a desire to go there.
Is it fair to say that travel inspires me to travel? I find it to be a never-ending cycle – the more I travel, the more I want to travel. I find myself somewhere and think how amazing it is that I'm able to be in that place at that time. And then I feel inspired to be in other places at other times with that same feeing of amazement and discovery, because that's often what travel is about. It doesn't mean I'm replacing the place that went in front of it but rather creating a collection of places, memories and constant reminders of how great travel can be. This is what inspires me to travel more.
At the end of the day, no matter where I go in life, I feel like I'll always be inspired, somehow and in some way, to travel. Anyone who's addicted knows that once travel is in your blood, it stays there. And I'm okay with that. More than okay with that; I love it.
What inspires you to travel?