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Travel Tuesday question of the week – what experience inspired you to travel?

September 6, 2010
by budgettravelsac

For those of us who enjoy traveling, we have many reasons for doing so.  It could have been summer vacations as a child that inspired us to travel into our adult years.  For some, they may not have traveled at all as a child and it was an experience they had later in life that inspired them.  Some can recall the moment they knew when they wanted to travel.  For others, it may not be one place but a number of experiences that inspired them.

(Read about the stories of Andy Hayes, Melvin Boecher, and Keith Jenkins to see what inspired them)

What experience inspired you to travel?

For me, I grew up going on vacations with my family on the east coast.  We took trips to the beach and occasionally took long trips through several states.  While those trips were fun, they weren’t my inspiration at all.  As a matter of fact, I enjoyed staying at home, focusing on school and baseball, and even skipped a family trip to New York, Baltimore, and other cities so I could stay home and play baseball when I was a senior in high school.

Tartu, Estonia inspired me (Flickr)

However, a trip to Estonia when I was in college was my first taste of international travel.  Once I got there, the doors were opened and a passion was stirred inside of me.  I spent the next 10 days being consumed with everything about Estonia – the people, its history, the language, and the cities.  It was never a conscious decision to learn all those things.  It just came naturally – a passion I never knew existed was born.

I went back to Estonia again the next year but didn’t leave the country again for another 8 years.  However, it was during those 8 years that my passion grew even more.  That desire and passion for cultures and people started in Estonia.  It continued as I watched travel shows on TV.  And honestly, I owe a lot of my desire during those 8 years to Rick Steves.  As a European travel writer, Rick Steves stirred that passion to travel inside of me even more.  And for the next 3 1/2 years, I went to Europe 4 times visiting 14 different countries.

For me, the experience that inspired me was Estonia.  That passion was stirred with my European travel adventures through Rick Steves (As a huge fan, I am excited that Rick Steves is coming to Sacramento!).  And while I have seen most of the US, my passion for travel has only grown since then.

What experiences inspired you to travel?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2010 5:57 am

    Estonia! Wow.

    For me it was being sent to Paris on business. It probably helped that I flew first class and was put up at the St. Regis. But once I saw how accessible it was – that lil’ ol’ me could get on a plane and be in PARIS – the whole world opened up for me.

    • September 7, 2010 12:34 pm

      Thanks Christine! I know many people don’t like Paris but I love visiting the city. I never got to go until 2004 but it was a great experience. I have to admit the times I traveled for work, during my 8 year gap, also had a lot to do with inspiring me to travel as well.

  2. September 7, 2010 12:17 pm

    Uhm… Good question…

    I was probably inspired by a number of factors. Although I was born in Italy, I grew up in Switzerland and the results is that I still do not really know where my home country is.
    And then it was so much work, and the need to escape from anyone and everything.

    I tried to give an answer some time ago in a post titled ‘The story behind my journeys’ ( There are so many events, people, reasons that can inspire us to travelling. I tried to tell something about mines…

    • September 7, 2010 12:41 pm

      Being in investment banking, I could understand the need for a break. All those European cities would have inspired me as well as Europe is my favorite destination. I think growing up where you did in Switzerland would have inspired me! :) It’s amazing how much we can take for granted where we live and grew up. However, I find that destinations like yours are so much more inspiring than where I grew up.

      It would be interesting to study the psychology of traveling and how it affects us. I think most of us understand it but seeing how someone can be inspired to travel by where I live intrigues me – just as I am fascinated by where you grew up. Thanks for sharing Simon!

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