The many forms of travel inspiration

I’m re-posting this blog post as part of ‘The Works’ Travel Blogger Competition.

Have you ever read a book that just sets the scene so well, that you are desperate to board the first flight and seek out the destination? It’s so fascinating and passionately written, that you are left in awe and seeking to unravel, first-hand, the history of the place? This happens to me all the time, something which I blame upon my creative imagination, yet it’s also a factor in the name ‘Ad-lib Traveller’. Most recently however, it happened whilst I was reading ‘The Island’ by Victoria Hislop, especially as we are approaching the autumnal season when the weather cools down, work is busier and inspiration is found lying within the pages of a novel on the train home.

The book paints the scene of a place called Plaka, which sounds like a beautiful, traditional fishing village  a short distance from Elounda. Hislop describes local bars and shops, with a good choice of excellent fish tavernas in the village. The former Venetian fortress and leper colony of Spinalonga is a short boat ride away, which is where a large focus of Hislop’s book is set.

The book itself isn’t actually about travel but about a more serious element of a young woman seeking to learn about her family background and one of the world’s oldest known diseases – leprosy, which ravaged their history. With my imagination running in overdrive at the thought of sun-kissed shores, islandic life and a colony filled with history, I naturally wanted to enquire about costs involved for a trip to the international airport at Heraklion.

As I ‘Googled’ Flights to Heraklion I wondered just how often others find themselves in a similar situation. I didn’t read the book under the pretence of seeking inspiration, merely as a pastime to while away the time on the London Underground.

The book was so well researched and thorough that I can only imagine the time and effort that went into its planning. I’m now seeking a way to incorporate Crete and more specifically a few of the destinations from this book for a short break myself!

Where have you found unexpected inspiration for your travels?

I’m nominating the following fellow UK based travel bloggers for this competition as I would love to know their  most memorable reading experiences:

Ana Silva O’Reilly – Mrs O Around The World

Oneika Raymond – Oneika The Traveller

Neil Barnes – Backpacks and Bunkbeds

3 thoughts on “The many forms of travel inspiration”

  1. Ha ha, a tough one! Don’t think I can narrow it down to one place – hence my top 10 places post. But you took me back to a special place – Plaka, in Heraklion. It was at a nearby hotel that Mr. O proposed – and I remember fab lunches at a little taverna in Plaka. 😉


  2. I agree, I get much of my travel inspiration from books….and movies too! You should check out Antoine de Maximy, a French journalist who travels around the world and randomly asks locals if he can sleep over at their place or dine with them, in order to get a true sense of how locals really live in different parts of the world. He then uploads all of his footage on YouTube for free! Watching these clips has really given me insight into parts of the world that I had never thought to visit before.


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