by Renae Schrader
Have you ever seen one of those viral videos of a young 20-something hop-scotching their way from one tropical beach to the next? It seems like they have so much momentum behind them, so much vigor. And there you sit — in a rut. What do you do? Let me provide you with a few of my favorite ways to get the travel engine started. Consider this your travel inspiration.
Travel Inspiration from Books
Long before Instagram the chronicling was left to the writers. They put pen to paper to express the highs and lows experienced by all travelers trudging from one continent to the next. The trudging is what makes travel writing so addictive, so inspirational. Read one traveler’s difficulties as he or she tries local transportation or the local brew for the first time and it will make any foaming-at-the-mouth traveler reaching for the passport.
– Are you in need of a travel book to unlock the travel inspiration within?
Try Dark Star Safari written by Paul Theroux. This book tells one man’s journey as he journeys from Cairo to Cape Town — a trip downs the gut of Africa. It’s not the five-star lodges or the descriptions of the big-five (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) that make the writing so addictive; the true enjoyment of the novel comes from the difficulties of travel. Theroux shares his experiences of traveling through areas of Africa untouched by most tourists, the difficulty of finding food that won’t cause harm to the westerners’ stomachs, and the unforgiving African sun.
It’s the unknown that’s so addictive about travel. A good travel book gives us a fly-on-the- wall glimpse of what it’s like to be in the moment of travel — finding in ourselves what we thought we didn’t have.
Ponder Your Last Travels
We all have a little Dark Star Safari in us. However, we can reflect on our own experiences to get our next travel inspiration.
Remember the last trip you took? Maybe it was to the next town over or maybe even the next country. You remember the delicious seafood at that pier, sure. But chances are you remember the obstacles you had to overcome even better. Remember sitting at the bus-stop in the middle of the night not knowing how you would get to the border? Remember giving your passport to the motorcycle-rental lady and fearful you’d never see the passport again
We only have to look at our last trip for travel inspiration for our next. No matter if you travel to a new restaurant in your city or travel to an entirely different country, it’s the stories we collect that matter — the stories that will have you and your friends shaking your heads with a mixture of bewilderment and laughs.
Did You Catch the Last Episode of…
Travel inspiration is easy to come by if you enjoy a good TV episode, movie, or internet video. Maybe you’re looking at a few more blogs or videos before you purchase that ticket. Here are a couple things you should consider adding to the docket.
- Travel vlogs are the next evolution of the travel-essay. There are now many travel vloggers out there providing travel inspiration, handy hints, and stunning visuals that capitates and motivate us to travel to previously unheard of destinations. This is more than just your occasional update; this is a day-by-day ten minute or more account of the highs and lows of long-term travelers. These daily updates will surely be the gentle push of momentum
You’ve been searching for.
- Who is still at the top of the totem pole when it comes to must-see travel television? Your sometimes grumpy sometimes friendly CNN host Anthony Bourdain. It might seem like we’re playing with the obvious, but when the obvious is so talented, it deserves credit. Bourdain continues to prove that storytelling and traveling is the right amount of romance that inspires us to travel, if not simply order off the less-frequented page of the local hole- in-the-wall restaurant.
Its difficult finding travel motivation when that rut is deep and we feel like the only way out is that expensive plane ticket. But the important thing to remember is that travel is not about whose postcard looks the prettiest. It’s about the sights, smells, and experiences that motivate us to be
Better people and better explorers.
Ultimately, it comes down to you and where you want to be tomorrow, next week, or next year. If you have your sights set on that tropical beach, it’s time to start planning. If you want to hit up that new restaurant down the street, well, better grab those shoes and get out the door.
Using the words from our friends at The Shawshank Redemption… …“Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying.”