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What inspired your first big trip or put the wanderlust in you?

There seems to be a pivotal point in every travelers life where they fall in love with seeing the world. What was yours?
30 months ago, February 1st 2012 No: 41 Msg: #151296  
How many of you are inspired by Ali Watters . I certainly am, having worked in finance for the last 20 years. Yes, my job has enabled me to travel extensively, but quoting from "Letters to Juliet", "what if......?".
And to state the obvious, I am so glad to have stumbled across TB and found a universe of people who inspire me and who share the same passion to see and experience and share all the wonders that this beautiful planet has to offer.

Thank you all so much. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 1st 2012 No: 42 Msg: #151297  
B Posts: 211

In response to: Msg #151082 Awww! I love it. Anastasia78 you are a very lucky girl! Happy 16th Anniversary to you both. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 5th 2012 No: 43 Msg: #151420  
Some truly inspirational stories in this thread!

I remember flicking through WILD magazine when I was 11 and seeing pictures of Nepal. Decided then that I was going to go and see the mountains one day.

Fast forward 10 years and I was living in the UK, having decided to move almost on impulse after a conversation with my Dad. I'd always planned to 'backpack my way home' but somehow never got around to it until I was made redundant, met and fell for a girl at my new job (she who was until recently the K in BnK). She didn't really know where she wanted to go, just that she wanted to go. For me, another fairly impulsive decision was made and we sold all of our stuff and took off for Delhi...thus began the most amazing, educational and inspirational 2 years of my life to date.

Of course, everyone knows how crazy India is but if I had to pin it down to a single moment, it'd be the moment I half-fell out of the bus in Pokhara and looked up at those mountains for the first time... it was like being a kid all over again! Reply to this

30 months ago, February 6th 2012 No: 44 Msg: #151482  
I first travelled when I was 19. My cousin was coming to the end of his ‘round the world’ trip and he invited me to join him for the last six weeks in Asia. We did Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. By the end of it, I couldn’t wait to step on that flight home. The heat, endless breakdowns, constant moving about, ever-present fear of the runs, Bangkok; I thought this isn’t for me.

But then, I watched the Top Gear Vietnam Special and realised something: that I wanted to go back.

When in the Philippines, we were fortunate enough to be featured on television. The messages we received from Filipinos afterwards all expressed an interest in travel; how they dreamed of one day doing it. It broke my heart knowing that most never would. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 6th 2012 No: 45 Msg: #151488  
So far nobody seems to have got the bug straight from birth, so I will bite the bullet on that one. I can truthfully say that I have had the bug ever since I can remember it. My parents both travelled, although it was for work. My mother was a flight attendant for SAS (Scandinavian Airlines, not the elite forces ...) and my father a Civil Engineer, who worked abroad. They met in Thailand where my father had been working since '65, and my mother was based on and off for SAS since '67. Anyway, they met there, they married there, they lived there, got three kids there, of which I was the last, and left one year after I was born for Holland.

My mum is Swedish, my father Dutch, our family language English despite the fact I mostly grew up in Holland. Well, anyway, my dad still worked abroad, and the first 6 years of my life, we moved between Holland and Sri Lanka where I lived for a year and a half, between the ages of three and four (first memories are from Sri Lanka) and then a second and last stint in Bangkok when I was 5 and 6, of which I have very fond memories. After that my parents decided that it was best to give us an as stable home as was possible, and not move us around the whole time. So I grew up in Holland from that age on. Drawback was that I didn't see my dad a lot when I was young because he was still working abroad, only came back during the summer and for Christmas, but we got used to it. For us it was normal. The upside off him being abroad and the fact that he and my mum love travelling was, that every summer we would travel to another European country, so I got to see most of Europe before the age of 16 with my parents and the odd destination further away when we went to visit my dad in the summer instead of him coming home. Then we would go every other Christmas to Sweden and often in spring as well, and to the Alps to ski once a year as well.

I can say I had a very privileged childhood. Long story short, I never stood a chance as far as travelling was concerned, it is just part of my life, and the same with my sister and brother, of which one is living in Lima, Peru and the other in Dubai. As far as travelling is concerned I am the worst of the bunch though, since I choose a life that is exclusively dedicated to travelling. I have no house, no TV, no car, no job or anything else of any value except my camera maybe and even that isn't worth that much. When I am home I am lucky enough to be able to crash with my parents while I try to scrape enough money together again to continue my travels. And my parents? Now that they are retired, they are on the road a lot, two month a year to some far flung place, then to Sweden, on city trips around Europe and more. Talking about gypsies!

So there you have it, my life story in a nut-shell, not especially inspirational, but I am quite happy with it. First time on my own by the way was 18, right after high-school, took the Trans-Siberian (well, actually mostly local trains, but it was on the same route), to China.

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30 months ago, February 6th 2012 No: 46 Msg: #151492  
in 1997 I hiked the Appalachian Trail (from Georgia to Maine in the US - a 2200 mile 5 month backpacking trip) and the homebody in me has.been.broken.ever.since.

to be on the move and pushing yourself and experiencing life in full color is an addicting state. so too does it make you appreciate the comfort of Home.

shortly after my '97 thru-hike I went with a fellow thru-hiker to Thailand and Nepal for a month and a half and that was the end. now there are few corners of the world that I don't want to set foot in. The list grows slowly but thus far I've managed to also get to Costa Rica, a return to Thailand, Cambodia, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Ireland; every time I travel it makes me need it more.

Now we're standing on the precipice of dragging the kids (8 and 3) along with us - it will be a whole new world. Just need to get that money tree growing faster. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 6th 2012 No: 47 Msg: #151493  
I wish I could 'like' these stories. FB has me always looking for LIKE buttons. Great stories, everyone. As always Andrea, your eloquence hits it on the head. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 6th 2012 No: 48 Msg: #151496  

I wish I could 'like' these stories.

There is no "Like" button for each post, but there is a "Like" button for this thread. It appears near the top right corner of this page. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 7th 2012 No: 49 Msg: #151516  
I sit reading the stories in this thread...gives me a funny warm excited feeling...how did we all get to here?...great thread Anastasia. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 7th 2012 No: 50 Msg: #151518  

In response to: Msg #151516 Yes Dave! That is EXACTLY the question I had when I started this thread. Before I discovered TravelBlog, I hadn't written a blog or much less even read a blog. I did a google search when I returned from India last year for "travel blogs" wondering if anybody had written anything on their adventures overseas...... and what do you know? Only about a million people have.

In my little community of friends/family I guess I'm considered somewhat of the eccentric one. But traveling to the distant corners of the earth felt so...normal. Why wasn't EVERYBODY doing it?

It got me wondering. What led us all to this place? In talking to people I found there was usually an "incident" or a "moment" in their past that ignited their passion. Of course for a lucky few it was a birthright so it seems. Either way, I think it makes us an interesting group of people if I do say so myself.

The stories of how we got here are sometimes better than the adventures that followed.
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30 months ago, February 7th 2012 No: 51 Msg: #151525  
This is a wonderful thread - I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through everyone's tales and stories!

Like Merry Jo, I grew up reading National Geographic and was fascinated by all the pictures and places of the world. But my family didn't travel - when we did we would fly across the country with my father to spend a few weeks with my grandparents. My best friend in elementary school had grandparents that lived in Victoria BC (Canada) and I remember thinking how neat it was that she got to take the ferry from Seattle to another country, all three hours away! I was very jealous, and she would send me post-cards with stamps that had pictures of royalty which I thought were the most amazing things (and yes, Anastasia - I remember those chain letters! But I never seemed to get any in return).

All of this resulted in a lot of daydreaming. When I was 17 my then best friend and I convinced our parents we needed to go tour universities on the east coast together before applying for college. I remember squealing with excitement down the gateway to the plane thinking of how independent we were - how we hailed a cab in New York, walked through a market in Boston - seemed like very big stuff at the time, even though her grandparents were driving us down the coast. Later that year, friends would all pile into my car and we'd go on driving adventures around the state - just day trips for the weekend but it felt so satisfying and free.

I went to college of state so spent a lot of time flying back and forth between school and home during the holidays. One spring break my aforementioned best friend was going to visit me and we were going to drive down to Florida together. She canceled, so I went down myself - I was nervous but excited to be all on my own. The next year, she canceled again and I was so upset that I decided to go to Paris (the one place we had wanted to go together) without her. Tickets were amazingly cheap and as I was now legally an adult, I got a passport (first person in the family) I spent a week getting lost, trying to figure out how to order food without sounding hopelessly incompetent (and failing miserably), and meeting dozens of other like-minded people in hostels and bars and cafes so open to experiencing the world around them.

I haven't had the funds to go many other places internationally but I have managed to thoroughly travel my own continent. I've also had a bit of success getting my family out of their comfort zone - all have passports and all have now left the country. They all still seem impressed by my "natural ability" to navigate foreign places I've never been too before though, but I think it boils down to confidence, curiosity and a trust in the general goodness of other people.
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30 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 52 Msg: #151542  
Wow. What a great thread.

My Dad had wanderlust and, before the 1939-45 War, hitch-hiked around much of Europe. After the war, he used his role in the army to travel around and would take my mother and me with him whenever he could, so travel was in my blood right from the beginning.

In the early '50s, he managed to get a job teaching in new Zealand, so we all moved over there. Every summer the family (now 6 of us) would pile into our family car and explore a new part of NZ until in 1959 he and Mum decided that they would go back to the UK.

I spent my teen years growing up in London but every year during school holidays we would all travel through different parts of Europe, sometimes camping, sometimes staying with friends, sometimes staying in cheap hotels.

I was 14 when I was first allowed to travel to France on my own to stay with a family arranged through my school. I did this the next two years staying with different families and then, when I was 17, took off on my own to hitch-hike around the south of France and Spain. The next year, I got a job in a circus for the summer holidays and travelled all over Normandy and Brittany with them (I could speak reasonable french by then).

When I left school at 19, I decided to volunteer to work for a charity in a small west african country that no longer exists but, the day before I was due to leave, there was a coup there and my visa was cancelled. I never did get to go.

My own travel bug was roused by now, though, so I decided to go and visit a girl I had stayed in touch with in New Zealand. along with a cousin who had also grown up in NZ I took off down the hippie trail across Europe to India via Iran and Pakistan and eventually ended up in Thailand where I ran out of money. Managed to get a job selling vitamins to poor Thai people in the country but quickly came to question the ethics of what I was doing. Finally got a job teaching English and French in a high school and tutoring at Chulalongkorn university. I was trying to get a permanent visa to stay there when I must have payed off the wrong person and got deported to New Zealand.

Arrived in NZ in 1970, met my friend for her 21st birthday party but couldn't get any work so came to Australia where I have lived since. I did little travelling apart from a couple of trips back to the UK to see my family until I met Sylvia in 1994. She had never been out of Australia and wanted to see the world.

We took off in 1997 and have never looked back. We have travelled through SE Asia, Sri Lanka, the Middle East (we were in Aleppo on 9/11) and Egypt, Turkey, Europe, UK and Eire. We have travelled through China, Mongolia and Russia on the trans-mongolian express. We have taken slow boats around Scandinavia and trains all over the place - love trains!

Our next great trip will be around Australia. We already have a camper-trailer and have done a couple of short trips around Queensland (three months) and NSW (two months). I have just been made redundant so I guess I don't have any excuse now .

[Edited: 2012 Feb 08 00:50 - John and Sylvia:18619 - Punctuation]
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30 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 53 Msg: #151551  
Anastasia, thanks for starting this thread. I'm truly inspired by the amazing stories of so many of my TB family, especially deleted_46288. I can relate some much better to those who I follow now that I have their background stories.

You asked earlier if anyone got the bug from an earlier age. I guess I qualify as my blogs about my travels for the last sixty two years begins with my conception in China (see The Beginning) in 1949. I must admit I don't remember much of that time so probably didn't get the bug then.

I grew up in Southeast Asia, and our family would go on furlough every five years to the States and Canada. The first trip I really remember was my second time around the world as recounted in blog=609294]. I won't recount what happened from that point as it is all there in 170 blogs, 173,468 words and 5040 pictures.

Last year I devoted myself to writing these blogs so that my family would have this record as my legacy. However, the TB family has taken me in so wonderfully that this labor of love is for you too. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 54 Msg: #151561  
While I wont talk for Sofia, my beginning is similar to Shane.

1. The Beginning
Dad from New York we lived in Southern California and he was afraid of flying so 2 road trip from Cali to NYC and back by 4 different routes (1 by way of Toronto/Montreal) started my interests in travelling. Like Shane stated, just a new town on the map was a cool thing at age 7ish and then again at 11 or 12

2, The Catalyst
A trip to Costa Rica to study Howler Monkeys at a private reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula for one month during the summer after my second year of University.

3. The Addiction
Got into medical school and was granted a 1 year deferral to travel (probably one of the best decisions of my life), and after working in a restaurant for 6 months, travelled and volunteered in Costa Rica, Venezuela and Brasil. There was no turning back. Reply to this

30 months ago, February 8th 2012 No: 55 Msg: #151562  
I think like his dudeness, Sofia will be one of those who got the bug since birth. Even she is getting impatient for our next trip to begin. Reply to this

28 months ago, March 15th 2012 No: 56 Msg: #153252  
My parents grew up in Small Town, USA. They were relatively poor and they didn't travel much as kids. My mom was a big reader, and when she realized that no one she knew had visited the incredible places she was reading about, she made up her mind that one day she would be a big traveler.

My siblings and I reaped the benefits of our parents' mutual passion for travel. By the time I was 10 I had been on numerous trips by car to two states outside my own (to visit relatives) and by plane to five more, all out west, and to Canada. When I was 13, I crossed The Pond to visit Italy with my family; at 14, we went to Scotland. At 16, I took my first trip without my family for a European Humanities course, spending 3 weeks in Western Europe on a lightning tour of the great masterpieces of European history.

By the time I went to college, I think it's safe to say I was hooked on travel. I don't remember a time when I haven't traveled, but now I actively pursue it myself. I went to Tianjin, China in my junior year with my sister to start studying Chinese, and I made the big leap of traveling to Inner Mongolia for work a year after graduation. All that aside, the credit goes to my parents for showing me how big and amazing this planet is, and instilling in me an insatiable curiosity about other languages and cultures. Reply to this

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