I know a lot of different things inspire people to travel – movies, adventure, experiencing other people’s culture, the need to run away – so here’s what I’m sure inspired me to develop wanderlust. I’ll warn you: most of it is cheesy and 100% embarrassing and not what “should” inspire people to travel (in the opinion of Serious Travelers, I guess?!).
Studying Abroad: I remember the moment I was like ‘Yes, I’m studying abroad!’ and it was in the summer of 2006 after I met a Dutch guy and his friend in New York City when I was out with my friends one night. I was really interested in his culture and why he was traveling all around the States. (He was also really cute.) We stayed in touch, a bit, but this was back before gChat existed, and Facebook was only about a year old so it wasn’t international yet. I remember we spoke on MSN Messenger a few times.
But I remember thinking that I wanted to see him again and I needed to get across to his side of the ocean, so why not study abroad? I was a theatre arts major and they spoke English in London, so that’s where I should go, I thought. I got my paperwork in order and studied abroad the following summer in London in 2007. I also visited Amsterdam and Paris that summer. I didn’t end up seeing this person again that summer (we ended up reuniting yet again in New York City in 2012!), but I have no regrets because I got myself up and out of my comfort zone (New York City) and went abroad bymyself. I made some great friends, saw a ton of amazing theatre, and experienced new cultures.
Copenhagen: I had always wanted to go to Copenhagen to see the Little Mermaid statue. It was my favorite movie growing up (I still love it, let’s be real) and I always thought it would be cool to see where the story originated. (Okay, so I’ve still never read the original story, but that’s okay.) Then in 2004, I saw the movie The Prince and Me and not only did I really enjoy it despite it’s being really cheesy (I also, to this day, love Julia Stiles), but I thought Copenhagen looked REALLY pretty. So, I had two reasons now: Copenhagen looked super pretty and The Little Mermaid. Are these particularly concrete reasons? I mean, no, probably not, but they were my reasons.
So, fast forward a few (er, eleven) years to 2015 when I decided I was finally going to do it. It had been several years since I’d traveled internationally and enough was enough. I looked for other cities that were around Copenhagen and thought Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki seemed to make sense. Lastly, a friend threw in that I had to visit Tallinn while I was in Helsinki. I booked my flight in April 2015 and I was set. Thank you, The Little Mermaid and The Prince and Me.
Vienna: I wish I could tell you what inspired me to travel to Budapest, but I honestly have zero idea. Someone asked me recently how I “found it,” which confused me because… um, on a plane? On a map? I read? But I do know what inspired me to go to Vienna and that was the 2015 movie The Woman in Gold in Helen Mirren. The movie enlightened me to all the World War 2 history that lay within the beautifully architecture of Vienna and it was also really, really pretty, so I decided to go. (And I recently did.)
These are some of the things that have inspired me to travel. What are some things that have inspired you to travel? Let me know below!
(Photo is of some street art in the 7th district in Budapest.)