EasyJet Holidays recently launched the ‘Inspiration Initiative’ competition, asking bloggers to blog about who, what, where and when they were inspired to travel. I’ve decided to take part, you can find out more information via this link.
My parents. Whilst we were not able to travel as often as they would have liked, the times when we did were certainly memorable in shaping my perception of travel during the formative years. The emphasis on maximising days out and breaks around the UK was always important whether it was with family or on school excursions. Whenever the opportunity arose, my parents were keen that my sisters and I would take the chance to go and broaden our horizons.
It might not have been the most traditional of ‘travelling’ based movies, however as a child I recall watching Eddie Murphy’s 1988 film ‘Coming to America’. For those that haven’t watched, the film is about Eddie Murphy playing the role of an African Prince who decides that before marriage, he wants to experience ‘normal’ life and have the chance to search for his own bride. Whilst on his quest, he is also experiencing culture and lifestyle which is so radical to what he is used to. As a young child, these parts of the film struck a chord with me and made me really question what else is out there to be experienced.
My first taste of travel came with a trip to Jamaica in 1992 with my parents and older sister for a 6-week period. We spent the time visiting family as well as visiting key sights including Dunns River Falls, the white sandy beaches and experiencing a completely new climate and culture that the UK had not offered to me. I recall enjoying the experience of being somewhere completely new and never before seen to my eyes. Places that I had watched on TV and yet hadn’t truly been able to appreciate. The feeling of sand between my toes, trying new types of food, being able to essentially be away from home were all things that I thoroughly enjoyed. When we returned home I was always itching for us to go away again very soon.
There are four key areas that shaped my independent streak and desire to branch out.
- Aged 11 I started to learn French and obtained a GCSE in the language four years later
- Aged 15 passed my GCSE in Travel and Tourism, acknowledging that somehow travel needed to be a part of my journey
- Aged 18 I passed my driving test and couldn’t to get on the road simply because I now had a way to get myself around the UK at my own leisure… which I wasted little time in doing 🙂
- On a grander scale at the same age, I arranged my first break away without my family to Mexico for two weeks.
On my return, I knew that this was something that I needed to keep doing in order to reinforce the independence that my parents had instilled in me and fulfill my own aspirations to see more of the world.