Travel

My Travel Inspirations And How I Became A Travel Junkie.

May 13, 2012
My Dad Inspires Me To Travel.

Just what makes a “travel junkie?” When thinking about my travel inspirations recently, I came to realize my urge to travel came at a very young age. Although I didn’t begin to fulfill those childhood aspirations until my late twenties, I can now happily say that I’m living out my dreams (as clichéd as this sounds).

When I Became Inspired To Travel

I first felt the travel itch when I was five years old watching an episode of the Price Is Right. In the final Showcase Showdown a woman won the grand prize that included a trip to four different destinations around the world. As each place was revealed, I could feel my excitement growing.

Egypt happened to be one of them and I told my very amused parents (and everyone else I knew) how I wanted to see the pyramids, mummies and the Sphinx. Most little girls want Barbies and pretty dresses and I wanted nothing more than to travel to Egypt!

Who Inspires Me To Travel

Without a doubt, it’s my father who inspires me to travel.

My dad loved nothing more than to attach his trailer to his truck and take off for a camping adventure somewhere. Over the years, he rather impressively managed to travel to most parts of Canada and the US in this fashion.

His ultimate travel dream was realized when he took a cruise to Alaska. I remember how he came back with roll after roll of film and several hours of video tape footage. He subjected the family to multiple viewings of the tape (which strangely included several minutes of him looking out the window of the plane as it was sitting still on the runway) and photo albums supplemented with the stories.

His enthusiasm was not only cute, but contagious!

My Dad Inspires Me To Travel.

My dad died in 2006 and it was a year later that I began my travel adventures. I now wear a tattoo with his initials on my back in honor of his memory and how he inspires me. Of course, I got inked while I on the road in Cologne and Amsterdam as the tattoo was completed in two phases.

Where I Was Inspired To Travel

As a result of my father passing away, I came into a small amount of money. While I did some sensible things like pay off debts and invest in some minor home renovations, I decided that I’d travel somewhere in the world that seemed exotic, wild and  unreachable. I wanted to go somewhere to where few people travelled … I was looking for an experience of a lifetime.

One evening, I started hard at a globe and found that exact place – the Galapagos Islands! In May 2007,  I spent five days cruising the islands getting to know sea lions, land iguanas and blue footed boobies.

Blue Footed Boobies in the Galapagos Islands.

There was one afternoon, where myself and the other guests aboard our boat were given some free time. When some of our crew members headed to the beach, I tagged along and headed off on my own for a while. Imagine having an entire beach in the Galapagos Islands to yourself for a couple of hours! There aren’t many things that can beat that moment.

As I walked along the beach, I thought about my father and cried. It was only a year after his death and I missed him terribly. It hurt knowing that I wouldn’t be able to share this extraordinary experience with him. I mean, I could have gotten even with him and subjected him to my thousands of photos when I returned home.

Instead, I tried to imagine that he’d be happy for me knowing that I was living the kind of life he’d only dreamed for me. It was in this moment, I vowed to see more of the world.

What Inspires Me To Travel

It’s actually travel that inspires me to travel more. A 10 day holiday in Italy made me fall in love with Europe and changed my life forever. Three months later when I returned for another 10 days on a whirlwind tour through Munich, Prague, Budapest and Vienna, I made the decision to move to Europe for good. A mere five months after that I left my life in Toronto and arrived in Berlin to work as a travel writer and  travel as much as possible.

Berlin.

I fully intend to explore every nook and cranny of Europe and don’t mind if it takes the rest of my life. So far so good. Since my arrival a year ago, I’ve been travelling non-stop (see my 2011 recap) and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

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24 Comments

  • Reply Gaelyn May 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Your father was obviously a wonderful inspiration.

    I took my father’s memory along on my first step off the continent to South Africa in 2010. Now I’m planning Central and South America for this coming winter and back to Africa the following year.

    I’ve dreamed of traveling the world since high school, a very long time ago. But it’s never to late, so here I go.

    Keep on trucking.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

      @Gaelyn – Lovely! A journey through Central and South America is also a dream of mine. Wish you the best in your travels.

  • Reply Roy Marvelous May 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Great point about travel inspiring more travel. Also, for me meeting other travelers and hearing their stories inspires me

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

      @Roy – Yes, that’s very true. I met a widowed man in Barcelona who’s spending his life traveling RTW with his RV. So inspiring! 🙂

  • Reply Ayngelina May 14, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Cheryl this post really spoke to me. My father also died when I was young and his death certainly had an impact on my life.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      @Ayngelina – Awww, sorry to hear you lost him when you were so young. So hard to lose a parent. I really loved your recent post about how your mother inspires you.

  • Reply A Montrealer Abroad May 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    What a beautiful story – it’s like you have a piece of him everywhere you go, taking him on many more journeys 🙂

  • Reply Steve May 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing. This is inspiring to me. I wish you continued success in your travels.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      @A Montrealer Abroad – So very true, hadn’t thought of it that way. I love the idea. 🙂

      @Steve – Thank you for reading. All the best to you as well!

  • Reply Ahmed May 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Such a beautiful story my friend. It always makes me smile when I read one of your blog entries. So happy to see you pursue your dreams.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      @Ahmed – Thanks buddy, I’m happy that you read my blog. 🙂 I implore you to come and visit me one day sppm in Berlin. Bitte!

  • Reply Heather May 15, 2012 at 12:26 am

    A truly wonderful post Cheryl! Sometimes I think we get lost in travel, and forget why we do it and what it really means to us. Posts like this help to bring it all into perspective.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

      @Heather – Thanks for your kind comments! 😀

  • Reply Courtney May 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    As a very young traveller myself, only in my teens, it is very inspiring to have someone to look up to who has accomplished so much on her own. It keeps me focused on my own travel dreams to know there are people out there like you who are making it happen. Thank you so much.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      @Courtney – So adorable! Thanks for your sweet comment. Hope you are able to follow all of your travel dreams. 🙂

  • Reply Andrea May 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

    That’s exactly what happened when my mother passed away – I came into some money and had more opportunities to get out and travel. From the sound of it that’s exactly how he would have liked you to spend it! =)

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

      @Andrea – Awww, so sorry to hear about your mother! I hope he’d be happy seeing me and what I’ve done to change my life. 🙂

  • Reply Reneta May 19, 2012 at 5:00 am

    I have always thought about going traveling, as when I was younger I had quite a lot of money saved but never really fancied it. Now I have the commitments you get as you get a little older and not as much cash to spare. Really wish I ha gone or was in a position to go. I have no idea how people afford it!

  • Reply Capture The Color - cherylhoward.com Edition. | cherylhoward.com August 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    […] it’s way through the travel blogging world (like My 7 Links, the ABC’s of Travel and Inspire Travel) and has us “tagging” each other like mad men. This time it’s the Capture The […]

  • Reply Ryan September 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    The “nooks and crannies” or Europe are amazing, no doubt, but if you want a crazy adventure come out and see us in Asia! The whole place is comprised of nothing but nooks and crannies!

    Cheers,

    Ryan in China,Korea,Philippines,Thailand

    • Reply Ryan September 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Sorry…that’s nooks and crannies “of” Asia!

      • Reply Cheryl Howard September 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

        @Ryan – Maybe someday, but I’d really like to stick with Europe right now. My heart is here!

        • Reply Ryan December 3, 2012 at 2:42 am

          Okay….we’ll leave the light on for you. 🙂

          • Cheryl Howard December 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

            @Ryan – Ha ha, thank you!

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