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 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.
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.
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!