What ignites and inspires people to travel is such an interesting topic to me. Reading this post from the Travel With A Mate blog, I was keen to jump in and write a post for the Inspiration Initiative. Even though I am not eligible for the awesome trip on offer.
I was talking to Mum a couple of weeks ago about her influence on my football, and tennis interest, and also linked her to my travel bug. She wouldn't have a bar of that idea, whilst she was happy to take credit for the others. But the thing is, when we were little she used to take us to the airport just to watch planes take off. I remember that we had learnt all the tail symbols of the different airlines during these times. She even took us on our first flight, a charity flight down to Sale for the day, and then our first overseas trip all together, to LA and Disneyland.
I remember plotting out an elaborate plan to travel all over Europe, as the end of my Bachelor degree was approaching, with a friend at the time. We made a massively long list of all the places we had ever heard of and wanted to see, and began plotting it out. But I also remember being dissuaded from this plan when someone talked about how hard it would be to drive around somewhere where we didn't speak the language. What a silly reason not to go now, looking back!
That friend then followed our idea of nannying in NYC once we finished uni, whilst I went back to more study. But her time away led me to visit a couple of times, and this opened me up to flying solo to the other side of the world, and to wandering around New York City on my own and discovering all the wonderful things there were to see and explore. Still one of my favourite cities in the world!
My biggest travel inspiration, and life changing experience, was my time in Cambodia, and that happened through hearing someone else's experience as a volunteer with the AYAD Program, and then landing my role with the Program, being one of 2 I applied for. This time in Phnom Penh really got my travel lust started, with side trips to other parts of the country and SE Asia. And it also opened my eyes to a whole working and expat life within a country working on rebuilding and struggling to develop in every way.
Of course, my Working Holiday in London allowed me to jump to many of the European destinations of that first travel plan. My love of cricket has led me to travel to South Africa, to the islands of the Caribbean that make up the West Indies (and will again next month!), Sri Lanka, and there are still a few more crickting countries to get to!
Since figuring out my first name was Russian when I was little, I had always wanted to visit Russia. But then back when Liz and Cathal were planning it, and then talked about their experience on the Trans-Mongolian railway, it was something I had always wanted to do. And then when Cass and Flash said it was one of the best things they'd done, our amazing 2010 trip was born.
My current yearning to travel was reignited on my week long visit last year to Galle, Sri Lanka and the experience of figuring out the local bus on my own. It lit that desire to just roam, and wing it and figure things out, and interact with people in their real, everyday life again. To get back on the road, and experience sunsets from a bus window, just like that day.
People's stories of places, and their experiences, always have me adding to my travel lust list.
So coming to nominate other travel bloggers to join, write and enter this competition for a luxury trip away, I have checked who in the Travel Blogger world follows me on Twitter, and is eligible to win (being a UK resident). Here goes, I nominate:
Iain Mallory of Mallory Travel, via @MalloryOnTravel
Any (or all!) of the 5 bloggers from RTW Backpackers via @RTWBackpackers
Laurence at Finding The Universe
Nate on Yomadic via @Yomadic - although, to be fair, I can't tell where this world traveller is from! Ha! Such a compliment!
Our Wee Trip via @OurWeeTrip
Thanks for following, guys, and I look forward to reading your travel inspirations, and perhaps hearing about your amazing trip via this prize! Ha!