I spend much of my life day-dreaming, and each time it’s about where I want to visit next. One day it’s Bhutan, the next it’s Morocco. Another day it’s Peru, and then it’s Ghana. The list is always growing and sources of inspiration are constantly surrounding me. I imagine my life as a permanent traveler, and never see an end to my adventures, as I believe that it is a part of who I am – something that I know will never change.
Several years ago, in the beginning of my love affair with the world, I would cut out pictures of countries, stuffing them into my journal. This journal was less a chronicle of my life, and more a place filled with lists of the countries I planned to one day visit. As I learned about new places, I would add them, knowing that one day I would visit the countries I once wrote down. And, as I visited each place on my list, I would check them off with excitement, realizing that I was beginning to reach my dreams and see the world.
However, I all but forgot about the book and magazine cutouts, until I was reminded by this week’s Travel Challenge prompt from Bootsnall. The book used to be the place I’d head to first when in need of an escape, but in more recent days, I’ve been using the computer as a source of inspiration. Here are the places I am most inspired by:
One of the biggest inspirations lately has been this electronic visualization board. I am able to look at the beauty of the world, while remembering the places I’ve been and those I plan on visiting one day. Not only is it a constant reminder of the desire within me to travel, but it’s also been helpful in inspiring many of my posts over the past few months. Plus, it’s a lot easier to keep track of and a lot more organized than a book full of magazine cutouts.
Each Saturday I await the copy of my New York Times newspaper, and I have to admit, that it’s only for the travel section. I get the e-mail each Saturday as well, and use it if I’m not at home, but it doesn’t quite replace sitting at the kitchen table with coffee and breakfast, and letting myself completely absorb the places I read about. Aside from actually traveling, I can’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday morning. With each weekend, a new place has been ingrained in my mind and I’m always left ready to head out on the road again.
When I get the itch to travel, which is almost always, I head to Lonely Planet to catch up on the latest travel articles and pictures. Searching any destination that comes to mind, I peruse the pictures and information about each place, then try to decide when it will be possible for me to visit. Sometimes, I get so inspired, that I head immediately to Kayak to check out prices for flights, and if I can make it work, I always try to book a trip somewhere new. If that’s not possible, Lonely Planet at least provides a vacation for my brain until I get the chance to explore somewhere new for myself.
Each month when my CN Traveler magazine arrives, I grab the magazine and drop all other responsibilities for the night. I then sit in bed or outside to relax and read all about the countries visited and stories told in each issue. While I have also found myself visiting their website often, nothing quite compares to the feelings I get as I turn the page and imagine myself in each country, and I’m often left longing for my imagination to become my reality.
Twitter is not only great for connecting with other travelers and bloggers, but it’s also an excellent source of inspiration. Seeing and reading about other people’s journeys all over the world, inspires me to go on the trips I’ve always imagined. One big realization I’ve gained from the Twitterverse is that trips around the world are actually possible and many people take career breaks to go on them. Having always wanted to take a career break to travel, I never actually knew it was possible until I saw just how many people actually lived their lives in this way. It’s made me realize that what I want in life is attainable, even when others may believe it’s impossible.
The idea of exploring the world is supposed to be an adventure and these tools make finding new places to discover even easier than ever before. With constant sources of inspiration, I don’t think I’ll ever been able to stop dreaming of seeing the world, which means there’s no way I’ll ever stop traveling. And, I’m just fine with that.
This post is part of BootsnAll’s Indie Travel Challenge 2012.
Week twenty-one’s topic: Tell us what your travel dreaming tools of choice are. Do you still pull pages from magazines? Do you keep a spreadsheet on your computer, organized by country? Do you have a smartphone app or a website you love? Tell us about your favorite travel inspiration tools, both places where you find inspiration to travel and places where you can store those travel dreams for when you’re actually planning a trip, and whether those tools have changed the way you travel.