11 Things That Made Little Marta Want To Travel

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.

Me being adorable and small. Photo cred to my mom, whose art can be found here.
Me being adorable and small. Photo cred to my mom, whose art can be found here.

#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.

Magic Tree House adventures. Photo from Shawnee Mission.
Magic Tree House adventures. Photo from Shawnee Mission.

#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.

Imagine book cover. Photo from Australian Children's Laureate.
Imagine book cover. Photo from Australian Children’s Laureate.

#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.

Carmen Sandiego CD-Rom
Carmen Sandiego CD-ROM. Photo from Museum of Play.
High-tech 90's game play. Photo from Emu Paradise.
High-tech 90’s game play. Photo from Emu Paradise.

#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.

Amazon trail CD-ROM cover. Photo from Giant Bomb.
Amazon trail CD-ROM cover. Photo from Giant Bomb.
It was all about the fishing though. Photo from Uber-Dork (The 8-Year-Old-Me).
It was all about the fishing though. Photo from Uber-Dork (The 8-Year-Old-Me).

#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.

I tore this logo off a Doritos bag during a promo period and had it pinned to my bulletin board for the longest time. That's how into it I was. Photo from Game Hell.
I tore this logo off a Doritos bag during a promo period and had it pinned to my bulletin board for the longest time. That’s how into it I was. Photo from Game Hell.

#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.

I was so into this game I would literally be standing up shouting at the TV screen during the challenges. Photo from Gametactics.
I was so into this game I would literally be standing up shouting at the TV screen during the challenges. Photo from Gametactics.

#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!

Can't express how much wanderlust this series inspired in me. Photo from Amazon.
Can’t express how much wanderlust this series inspired in me. Photo from Amazon.

#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.

My only regret is not being able to be baked into a pie in real life. Photo from Know Your Meme.
My only regret is not being able to be baked into a pie in real life. Photo from Know Your Meme.

#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.

Almost exactly like this. Photo from Things To Do.
Almost exactly like this. Photo from Things To Do.

#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.

My mom on one of her many hiking excursions.
My mom on one of her many hiking excursions.

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?


10 thoughts on “11 Things That Made Little Marta Want To Travel

  1. I’d have to say that books more than anything put the wanderlust into me. Specifically, works like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, where the main characters have epic journeys. As I got older, the newly released game system – Dungeons and Dragons – fed into my desire for faraway lands and exotic locales. Reading a lot of the source material for the world of Greyhawk made you feel as if you had taken a trip, if only in your mind.

    There were some movies/TV shows that played into my wanderlust a little bit as well. Watching the mini-series Shogun, and then reading (and re-reading) the James Clavell novel, I could picture myself being the one exploring a new place. There were also shows like Star Trek, Kung Fu, Captain Harlock, Robotech (Macross/Mospedia/Southern Cross), and Yamato (if you haven’t seen the recent live action of this one, it’s well worth the watch). The common theme of those shows, of course, being journeys, often times into the unknown.

    I joined the military in 1987, partially to satisfy that wanderlust, and that has taken me on a trip around the world that I’m still on at the moment, here in 2015.

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    1. So much inspiration from everywhere! I concur on the Star Trek (grew up watching Voyager with my dad) and Lord of the Rings (though in my early teens). And oh, D&D, how I miss thee…cheers for the great response!

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  2. Oh…My…God! Little Marta is sooo adorable. I just want to squooosh those little cheeks! Your Mom’s photo creds are none too shabby. Although I’ve considered myself a light & nimble traveller, I’ve got nothing on your Mom. She’s definitely earned her cake! Amazon Trail? I don’t think we ever made it to the trail. “Let’s rest for a wick “.

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  3. Yes!! I love how you’ve pinpointed the things that inspired you the most. I remember how fascinated I was with the Carmen San Diego game- I’d read all the facts on different countries in the atlas, just because it interested me so much!

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  4. I LOVE all those shows and books!
    My biggest influences were probably being born to immigrants and being brought back “home” to visit family, so that I was VERY aware of the fact that there was more world out there…plus my parents were eager to explore Canada and the States whenever holidays and finances worked out; reading so many books on Great Britain, as well as “Heidi”, “Tracks” and “Exodus”, National Geographic; my godmother’s sister telling me about her travels in European hostels after her husband died…just her and a guitar and backpack meeting new people and hanging out. And then, once I began travelling, people I met invited me to see their neck of the woods…so that was another reason to go places.

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    1. All excellent reasons to travel! I’m very glad Omi and Opa infused your life with a worldly view so I could in turn be influenced 🙂 yay for passing on the travel bug!

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