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

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There seems to be a pivotal point in every travelers life where they fall in love with seeing the world. What was yours?
7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 1 Msg: #147827  
What put the wanderlust in you? Was it a person, a big change in your life, an amazing book? What? I want to know!!
[Edited: 2011 Nov 27 00:50 - Anastasia78:172650 ]
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7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 2 Msg: #147830  
Any travel i'd completed with my parents was through Australia or New Zealand and i think as theyre so sort of similar it hadnt really inspired me to travel at all. At 19 i went to Bali with some girlfriends but we went to what was then 'troppozone' and was pretty much drunk and didnt leave the resort except for nightclubs.

So around 22 my boyfriend and i went to Bali again but actually did some tourist stuff and wandered around and my goodness - i was hooked! Bali is so close to Australia it is full of Aussies so it feels quite safe for a first time traveller...but it is so very different! It is chaos in the streets, dirty and dustry, everything is packed. It is hot and humid but relaxed and full or cheap restarants and bars and so many different foods to taste from nice seafood restarants to little pancake stalls on the side of the road. There are rice paddies only 30 minutes out of the chaos of kuta and a volcano and huge mountains. There is a different religion with heaps of temples and clothing requirements to visit, religious offerings in the streets burning all the time. There are monkeys even in downtown kuta, giant lizards and half dead dogs.

So in a 3 hour plane trip just out of Perth what a different world there is! And what else could there possibly be!?! I wanted to see it all...and still do 😊 The more different and interesting the better!

tam Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 3 Msg: #147831  
A girl after my own heart! Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 4 Msg: #147832  
Ok, Tam, you bring up an interesting point to me. You were 22 when you got the bug for real. Anybody get the bug earlier? Like as a little kid or after 50 when the kids are out of the house? I want details! Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 5 Msg: #147837  
My first backpacking trip was when I was 16. I went through Scotland playing golf for 2 weeks, taking trains, buses, hitchiking. At the time there was no mobile phone, didn't have a credit card. I wouldn't believe my parents would let me go till I actually sit in the train on the way to Ostende for the ferry to Dover, than later on crossing all London from one train station to another one. I guess that day everything changed in my life...and since than, I haven't stopped to hit the road...was more than 20 years ago... Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 6 Msg: #147843  
Ok-- you've asked for details.
I was way ahead of most I think. I was about ten when I got the bug. There were several factors that were influential.

At ten years old I used to sit and look for hours at the pictures in National Geographic. I was fascinated by other lands and other people. This caused me to become restless.

Around this same time I read an article in the newspaper where you could get pen pals from other countries. I wrote to people and made friends in Tasmania, Japan, Korea, Sweden and England. I could not wait to see the world and travel to meet my new friends.

Growing up in Ohio we used to travel to South Carolina in the summers to visit my mother's family. We would go to Myrtle Beach. I would sit for hours looking at the ocean and "knowing" I would see what was on the other side of that ocean some day.

I had an Uncle who worked for Texaco oil company and traveled to South America, Asia, and the Middle East. I would hear the names of the places and wonder how I could get there. It took a while.

I was nearly thirty when I actually left the country for the first time. I went to Barbados and then to Mexico a few months later. Shortly after that I worked in Antarctica for 5 months. I guess I've been on the road in one way or another since that time.

I've lived in 15 different states and traveled to 35 countries. I guess the gypsy blood is in my veins.

Fortunately--- I married a man who was willing and happy to share my wanderlust.

MJ

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7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 7 Msg: #147848  
I love these responses!! Tomorrow I'll share my story. Its a bit like MJ. By the way, what did you do in Antarctica? Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 8 Msg: #147850  

In response to: Msg #147837

Were you alone on this backpacking trip? Curious minds want to know! Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 9 Msg: #147873  
Yeap, 16 years old on my own...few people where shocked on the way....still remember that night I made it too late to the youth hostel and my bed was already taken...took me a while to find a place to sleep, was in Dundee.

One year later I made it with a friend...he was 14th, I was 17th...guess after that we never look back in life...he currently lives in Peru, us in Bangkok, and he is the godfather of my soon...

Who says earth is big? Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 10 Msg: #147884  

In response to: Msg #147873

Peter,
What a fantastic story! Wandering the world is definitely a part of who you are. Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 11 Msg: #147885  

In response to: Msg #147873

We have that in common! My first solo trip abroad was when I was 16 too. Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 12 Msg: #147886  

In response to: Msg #147848

I worked for a company who supported the research the National Science Foundation is doing in Antarctica. It was great! Dave and I considered going in 2007 but it didn't work out so we did the around the world trip and that was fantastic.

Maybe you should consider working in Antarctica. Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 13 Msg: #147891  
I have two pivotal trips.

Until the age of about 35-ish, I didn't really think about travel. Then me and my girlfriend got some cheap flights to Riga, Lativa, in the depths of winter, and at that time, it was still a destination off the beaten track. We both loved it, felt like trailblazers almost. And so this was the start...


The second pivotal event was my first solo trip (to Kuwait). This was something I never thought I'd do, but in the end I did, and ended up loving it.

Jason Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 14 Msg: #147892  

In response to: Msg #147891

So why did you go to Kuwait and why did you love it so much? Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 15 Msg: #147893  

In response to: Msg #147830

Tam: I also really liked how you said in just a 3 hour plane ride from Perth (I'm assuming your home base) there was a whole different world. I think that is one of the awesome things about travel. You don't have to trek to the other side of the globe (although I certainly would) to get a whole new spin on what's really out there. Although, I'm in Illinois, so three hours from my house in any direction is still going to find me with the American dollar, Coke machines and Brittney Spears... Reply to this

7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 16 Msg: #147894  
I went to Kuwait because I was working in Qatar. Kuwait was only an hour away and I'd always wanted to visit, and the opportunity arose when my wife flew back to the UK for a week and I was left to my own devices. She suggested I go there, and that I did, flying onto Dhaka, Bangladesh straight after.

Kuwait was not pivotal in that it was such a great place to visit, but rather because it was the first time I'd ventured off alone. Since then, I've been to many places as solo trips. All of them have been memorable.

Jason
[Edited: 2011 Nov 27 18:32 - Cessna152:16191 ]
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7 years ago, November 27th 2011 No: 17 Msg: #147895  

In response to: Msg #147886

You've peaked my interest! What could I possibly do in Antarctica? Reply to this

7 years ago, November 28th 2011 No: 18 Msg: #147931  
Wow, there are a lot of great stories here. Many years ago I bought a photo of Vernazza, Italy. To me it was art. Years later I had several people comment on how much they enjoyed that town and it dawned on me that it was a place I could actually go. I was so intimidated of going to Europe that I had a travel agent handle everything and told myself it was the trip of a lifetime. True, it was a trip of a lifetime, but it merely served to light the passion for travel. Now, I research all of my flights, hotels, tours and such online and honestly enjoy the whole planning process almost as much as the actual traveling. Until my 40's I spent most of my vacation time on my family's farm. These days, I spend a week there, and the rest of my time on the road. Reply to this

7 years ago, November 28th 2011 No: 19 Msg: #147989  
Great story chef! I want to hear more!! This is good. 😊 Reply to this

7 years ago, November 30th 2011 No: 20 Msg: #148071  
I have had several travel moments that influenced me greatly.

When I was a boy (starting around 6-7 years old), our family used to go on long road trips, sometimes between Adelaide and Melbourne. For me, it was the joy of moving, rather than exploring, and I loved watching the Australian countryside pass me by. The other joy was visiting a new town as it was something new and it was a new place on the map that had now been reached. These aspects of travel were the most important, rather than discovering what was in each place. This instilled in me the joy of moving and the ease with which I adjusted to it.

When my two youngest brothers came along (when I was 9 and 11 respectively), it was difficult to fit the family of four kids and two adults in a car. This was before the days of "people movers" and other large vans, so suddenly, my travel halted for a very long time. Much later, when I had my own car, I drove around Australia (21,000km) on my own to discover my own country in fuller detail (prior to discovering the world) - it was a real joy to drive through the countryside and to drive into new towns - but the culture was much the same, thus there was more to discover elsewhere.

At the age of 24 and I attended the World Expo in Brisbane, and the seminal moment of attending the Spanish Pavilion occurred. It was here that the idea of visiting Europe for the purpose of attending the 1992 Barcelona Olympics to see the Opening Ceremony, going to the 1992 Universal Expo and running the bulls in Pamplona. I saved for four years and intended to go with three other friends, but they all withdrew from the trip and I travelled for one year through Europe and Turkey (in the pre-Schengen visa days). And sure enough I did see the Opening Ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics, visited every pavilion at the Seville Expo and did run the bulls.

Now, discovering the attractions and sights of new places and learning about the culture and history behind them superseded the joy of moving and of just visiting a new place. However, the most important moment during this 12 months was my journey to Turkey. This was the first time I had visited such a different culture and though I was overwhelmed at first, in the end I embraced it and longed for more similar destinations.

Upon my return, I worked in the family company, this proved to be a bad move as far as travel was concerned, due to the lack of holidays, so my travel was restricted to Australia. I had made plans to visit the Pyramids for New Year's Eve on the new Millennium but that was thwarted by spending far too much money on the Sydney Olympics (and another Opening Ceremony) and by the fact I had decided to get a job in the public sector that would allow me two important benefits - paid long holidays and a secure income.

With this situation now in place, I finally visited the Pyramids on New Year's Eve in December 2002 - two years late, but better late than never. This trip through Jordan and Egypt really built on the joy I had in Turkey a decade before, and it was this trip that sealed my love for travel based of visiting and understanding different cultures, now in my eyes as important (if not more so in some cases) as sightseeing.

Thus I now travel to search for different cultures, attractions, history, people and food - and these are usually the five criteria which influence how much I enjoy a destination. Reply to this

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