Wanderlust has been in my blood for a long time. I’ve known I wanted to travel since as long as I can remember. Be it from books, TV shows, or even computer games and pop songs, I seemed to find inspiration to explore the world everywhere.
I’ve decided to boil it down to the 11 most influential things Little Marta encountered which have shaped me into the world traveler I am today.
#11. Magic Tree House: an ongoing book series about a brother and sister who traveled around the world (and through time!) to learn about different places and cultures.
#10. Imagine: a seek-and-find style book but one that plugs in your imagination as a brother and sister play make-believe games that become whole worlds.
#9. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego: both a TV show and a computer game (both of which I loved), you had to solve puzzles and riddles and track down the elusive Carmen Sandiego across the globe.
#8. Amazon Trail: if it wasn’t Carmen Sandiego, it was Amazon Trail in which you hire a guide to take you down the Amazon river where you pick fruit, photograph wildlife, harpoon fish, contract dysentery, and happen upon famous historical figures before being judged on your life choices by the jaguar jungle god.
#7. Survivor: need I explain more? Well the idea of roughing it for 39 days sounded pretty freakin’ awesome to young me – all that tropical fruit and the thought of constructing my own palm-leaf hut left me fantasizing about shipwreck scenarios in which I could enact those very skills.
#6. The Amazing Race: oh man did I ever love this – maybe even more than Survivor. It was a major wet dream of mine to be able to race across the world on so many planes, jetting off to exotic locales bustling with bemused looking locals. This is probably where my backpacking ambitions were fueled.
#5. Hannah and the Angels: a book series that I read over and over chronicling the fantastical travels of a girl transported around the world to solve mysteries abroad. Done in a scrapbook-y style (a pre-cursor to Diary of a Wimpy Kid), it also is what encouraged me to start keeping travel journals – which is part of the reason I have this blog!
#4. “Around the World” by Aqua: yes, I was inspired by a song – and by Aqua no less (no one can claim good things never come of kids listening to pop music!). I don’t know why, but I just clung to every lyric and wanted to be that girl surrounded by mystery who brought back cool souvenirs she got from coast to coast, all those spices from across the globe.
#3. Magic School Bus: because it’s impossible to watch that show and not be infused with passionate curiosity for the world around you.
#2. A traditional Ecuadorian doll given to me by my godmother upon her return from South America: as mentioned on my Liebster Award post answer, it was the moment my wanderlust was consciously ignited. Here was something given to me from abroad with stories and a whole world behind it – a bright and textured doll unlike any I’d seen before. I fell in love and vowed to go to Ecuador first chance I got. Since then it’s been my dream destination, although I’ve yet to set foot in South America.
#1. My mom: she went solo backpacking for months all across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Her passion for adventure and stubborn insistence to never let your fear dictate your life is what has got me to pick up and leave home to pursue my own travels. She raised me on stories of abroad, and I never one for a moment doubted that this would one day become my life too. To keep her tradition going, I’ve adopted a pair of her old traveling shoes that I’ve worn to Australia, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
So tell me – what are some things that influenced a younger you to not only leave the nest, but soar on the winds of fearlessness and travel?