Inspiration is all around and I for one am never at a loss for options of where I want to travel next. The tricky part is usually deciding between many top destinations.
Years ago when I did my first international travels to Austria to study and travel, I never would have imagined that six years later I would have travelled to the Pyramids of Giza or war-destroyed villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I never imagined bungee jumping in Uganda or paragliding in Slovenia. I wouldn’t have believed that I would have the chance to be within meters of a mountain gorilla in Rwanda or see the remains from places I had studied like Pompeii and the Acropolis.
But this isn’t a post about what I never imagined I would do. It’s a post about what inspired me to go to these places.
Lonely Planet traveller magazine
I used to ‘treat’ myself to a travel magazine and a Pret breakfast/lunch whenever I took a flight from London somewhere, but it got to the point that it was so often it was going to be cheaper to buy a subscription. I opted for lonely planet traveller magazine because of their vast array of articles and stunning photographs. Some articles are about short trips and some focus on longer in-depth visits through of countries.
I also managed to get one of my photographs published in their June 2014 magazine!
National Geographic traveller magazine
I love the National Geographic magazine for its focus on wildlife, nature, stunning landscapes and especially the issues of the best places to travel to.
Wanderlust is another magazine that I’d purchase on occasion at airports. The articles are much like lonely planet’s traveller magazine and I’ve loved reading their wildlife and Africa-focused issues.
Being a travel writer and photographer has meant I’ve somehow stumbled across many fantastic travel blogs and often made friends with their writers. Their stories and images are always so honest and often tell you about the more unusual places to visit or activities to try.
People in Hostels
I’ve learnt over the years that travelling can be lonely and when you’re in a hostel everyone is often in the same boat – they may have been travelling days or weeks, potentially alone. That means the people are often so pleased when someone takes an interest and wants to talk to them about their travels.
This is possibly one of my biggest inspirations. From inspiring me to visit Lake Como and Cinque Terre in Italy to various places in Africa and Bosnia. The list could go on forever. I can’t recommend talking to people about travel enough – it’s possibly my favourite topic of conversation!
Over the years I’ve purchased a few Lonely Planet guidebooks for countries that I knew I would travel in-depth. My Italy book has been used to death – if it wasn’t for that, I may have never seen as much of little dreamy spots like Positano and Ravello as I did. They are great for planning, but I barely ever use them when I’m in the actual countries as I like to investigate and be surprised.
My mini guidebook for New York City on the other hand was used throughly while I was in the city. New York is such a massive city with so much to offer; it was well worth using the guidebook for the first visit there. Next time I may investigate a bit more off my own back.
Recommendations from Family and Friends
One of my biggest early inspirations to travel was my eldest sister who moved to the UK briefly and then worked on cruise ships around the Caribbean for a few years. It sounded so exotic and exciting when I received postcards!
I’ve had friends that have recommended activities like a food tour in New York – which ended up being one of the highlights of my visit. Sometimes recommendations aren’t always the best though and you need to work out for yourself if you will agree with people or not. For example, Athens wasn’t nearly as bad as so many people had told me, but I’d only allowed one day there. I wish I’d had more time because it really is an incredible city to visit.
Calendars and Books
I’m a visual person and as long as I can imagine how ‘true’ the image I’m looking at is, then that’s one sure what to convince me to visit a place. Some people disagree with this, but if it’s an honest image, then it was captured in that location and that scene exists in the weather it was caught in. I ALWAYS have travel calendars every year, to the extent that I now make my own for family and friends.
When it comes to books I have many back in New Zealand that I loved reading before I left for my O.E. The ones I have in London relate to places I’ve visited or want to. ‘A Year Of Adventures’ is a fantastic mix of beautiful images and detailed descriptions that someone like me (bit of a thrill seeker) loves!
Inspiration really is everywhere, I obviously have a bit of a travel magazine addiction, but there are so many other things that have inspired me to travel to the amazing places that I have. Granted once you’re inspired, then real research comes into play. But for me, being inspired to visit new, stunning and unique places around the world is the best bit and is so much fun!
If you would like to check out more of my photography, visit my travel photograph galleries on my designack site »