When traveler extraordinaire A Lady in London asked me to share my travel inspirations for the easyJet Holidays Inspiration Initiative, I was a bit stumped. You see, I’m in the enviable position of having traveled almost literally my entire life. I took my first flight at the tender age of 6 weeks old, so there was no light bulb moment for me when I discovered travel – travel discovered me before I was even aware of it.
But I’ve had a think, and I’ve realized that inspiration doesn’t have to be what sets you on a path. Rather, it can be what keeps you on that path or what causes you to take a slight turn. And when you consider that I live in Chile and write a travel blog, two things I never would have imagined doing back before that fateful study abroad trip, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had my fair share of slight bends in the road.
My parents have definitely been my major travel inspiration. They met on a plane in Central America while my American mom was living in Guatemala and my English dad was working in Latin America – it’s in my blood! I always thought my lifestyle was pretty normal growing up, helped by the fact that I come from a wealthy part of the San Francisco Bay Area where international trips were the norm for my classmates. Now of course I see that I am very lucky that my parents not only gave me great childhood memories around the globe but that my dad doesn’t think I’m crazy for living in Chile.
The experience of studying abroad – something I always knew I’d do thanks to my mom, who spent her junior year in France – really solidified my travel desires. Suddenly I had relative freedom and was picking and planning my own trips. Knowing I had only 6 months in Chile (or so I thought…), I took advantage of my location and went to iconic places like Buenos Aires, Machu Picchu and Rio de Janeiro. It was the first time I’d traveled so much in such a short period of time, and I couldn’t get enough.
Croatia was the start of my adult travels. Something about the combination of history in Dubrovnik, beautiful coastline off Hvar Island and the overall feeling that I was every so slightly off the Western European tourist path (it was 2006, I was 20, and Croatia seemed out-there, ok?) sparked my desire to discover more of the world. I don’t want to knock mainstream destinations because hey, there’s a reason why everyone dreams of London and Paris. They’re great cities, even if they are overrun with tourists like me. But more often than not, the places that really make me excited these days are just a bit less typical.
Honestly, I think I’m in the thick of the most inspirational point in my travel life so far. I’ve become aware of the facts that we might not live in Chile forever, and we might want to have kids someday. No, neither of those things is an announcement. Just a realization that “a couple years” speeds right by, and if I don’t make a point to go now, I’ll wake up in 2015 having never left Santiago.
So without working myself into a frenzy, I’ve always got that bit of pressure in the back of my mind and am looking for chances to see somewhere new. Hence Cuba in September and a short-list of other must-see sites to visit just as soon as Rodolfo gets a bit of free time.
I’m not sure who’s been tagged in this one by now, but I’d love to hear from the following five people about what makes them
I didn’t mention you? Do it anyway, and leave me a comment linking to your own inspirations – I’d love to hear about what gets you out of your house and on the road.