What Was Your Inspiration

Old Mar 24th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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When I was a little girl,my sister and I had a basement playroom . My Mom didn't have much money to spend on decorating it,so she went to a travel agent (this was in the mid 60's) and was given three posters- Arc de Triomphe,Colosseo and the Taj Mahal.I've seen the first two several times,and will see the Taj Mahal in October!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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I had always wanted to travel but I got married at 20, went to grad school, had kids and so on.When my youngest child/ daughter turned 13 my online fantasy travel site sent an email advertising 199RT to London. So I decided to go. My husband, convinced that Europe could only be seen in a month or more refused, so I took my 13 yr old and we definitely had our adventures. I fell down the worn stone steps in the Louvre and although I didn't fracture a bone I fractured French in trying to explain that I was ok despite copious bloodletting. We spent an hour in the rain in Paris going in circles until I looked up and saw the street sign on the upper part of the building. To this day (six years later) my daughter collapses in giggles describing us on the Champs Elysee battling wind and rain with inside out umbrellas. So of course I was hooked and today that daughter is in Rome and my husband and I leave for Venice in 5 weeks-YEAH!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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I was never really interested in travel until I started reading contemporary British books and watching British movies and TV - Harry Potter, the Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde, Friday night British comedies on PBS, and BBC America. I grew up with a vague notion of England/Great Britain as America with an accent, but the more books, movies and TV shows I exposed myself to, the more fascinated I became by the differences between two Western, English-speaking cultures.

So I've been saying for a couple years now that I WILL go to Britain one day, but never seem to make any definite plans. Recently, I've become addicted to the BBC America drama Monarch of the Glen, set in the Scottish Highlands, and that sparked a resolution - I've set a deadline to visit Scotland by the summer of 2006! I want to walk those hills and breathe that air myself. I see the beautiful views all the time when I watch my new favorite show, but I want to feel the place, with all my senses. So my first visit to Europe will definitely be to Great Britain, and it will definitely include a weekend hike in Monarch of the Glen country in the Scottish Highlands.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 03:23 PM
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My company asked me to take a job transfer to Holland. Luckiest day of my life.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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My inspiration was my grandparents who in their retirement travelled the world. I remember my mom taking out a world map and showing me where they were and thinking, "Oh, wow! I want to do that when I'm an adult."

Another inspiration was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Sovak. I had him after he and his family spent a year in the UK. I loved hearing his stories and loved writing to the penpal he assigned to me.

I'm trying hard to honor my grandparents memory and see the world although they are a hard act to follow. I need a lot more stamps in my passport to catch up (but then again, I'm nowhere near retirement age...)
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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When I was a kid I wanted to be an archeologist and travel to all different countries and dig up all kinds of stuff. I also loved to study Medieval and Renaissance history and archetecture. I have always had this absolute obsession with churches, Victorian homes, and castles. So going to see castles and cathedrals and be in the midst of all that history I thought there would not be anything better.

I also have family in Italy and have always wanted to go there. My problem is that my family will not travel with me!! I cannot imagine going alone. I am not that type of person, and since I am married my husband would not like it if I did, so I don't. (In my husband's defense he is a dairy farmer. He works seven days a week 365 a year. I have only gotten him to take two weeks off in 15 years)

But that all changed last year. My best friend had the opportunity to teach at a sister university in Plymouth, England. She was complaining that her husband really was not that interested and did not really want to go. HELLO! I am ready willing and able!! I do not have money though really, so I scrimped and saved and came up with the funds. In the mean time her husband changed his mind. Not very enthusiastic about the whole thing, but did not want to be away from her for the whole month or more she would be gone. My husband did not change his mind, but said, have a great time. (It was hard for we three best friends to experience all these wonderful things in England and Scotland with out him) Me and my friends husband met her there and traveled around for two weeks, while she stayed on another week or two.

Well I never became that archeologist because I am actually a horrible traveler, sick as a dog a lot of the time. But I made myslef go and I am not going to let it stop me!! There is too much history and and such archecturerally stunning thing to see.

I joined a choral group and we are actually going to travel to The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Hey, It's not Italy yet, but I will hopefully get there eventually. In the mean time I will take what I can get.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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I did not have any choice ,I was born in Europe..
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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The first time was to see my father's place of birth and some cousins there and also to see the Passion Play at Oberamagau at the same time. I've been to about 7 or 8 European countries but want to see more, and if I live long enough- I am going to spend at least 6 weeks the next time. I enjoy many places, but I love Italy and want to see Sicily, Capri and Sardina very much. And with all I have done, I have missed London. I will spend at least a week there when I do the 6 someday.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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Sorry for all the typos. Long day and I'm beat. So many books with European settings have also inspired me to see the places they describe. There are just too many to name.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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I have a dear friend who moved to Switzerland (permanently) and invited me to come visit.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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In 1970 my (then) husband and I bought one-way tickets to Bangkok because we were going to "leave the US forever." We taught in Bangkok, travelled through India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and then lived in Israel, and finally ended up where we could get jobs--in Germany. We lived in Europe for a year, spending time all over (it was still safe to hitch-hike then.)

Although we came back to the U.S. and I live in Seattle now, the "travel bug" sung me, and my current husband and I go to Europe as often as we can (his family lived there for several years.)

We took our daughter when she was 13 and I just got an e-mail from her from London (on her way to Siena) that she's having a blast and "fits right in--people keep asking me for directions..." so I guess she's caught the "travel bug" too. We're meeting her in Venice in a few weeks!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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I don't even remember when I first thought of Pompeii. I always thought it must be an amazing sight to see a city that was buried so long ago and is now there to see all over again. Just like a movie set but it's real!

My great-grandmother traveled all over the world when she was older (I have her passport) but my grandparents and parents never did. It never occurred to me to go. But just over a year ago I saw a book about Pompeii and decided what the heck - just go! My husband has no interest in traveling so my 9 yr old and 21 yr old daughters and I went last spring break. What an experience!

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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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Such beautiful stories! Thank you Chele for starting this thread.

My love for Italy came about when I was just a toddler. I lived in a neighborhood that was over 50% Italians (all from Italy). The first meal I remember (I was just 2years and a few months) was sitting in a highchair at the neighbors house with a wonderful bowl of pasta in front on me on the tray and a glass with some red wine which had been watered down. Yummy!

I heard stories about Italy all my growing up years. Sat on the floor and listened to the old timers play their accordians and sing in Italian.

And then, what turned out to be my friend like a sister, came from Molise to my HS when we were both 14. And she talked forever of her village, her history there, her lifestyle.

By then I counted the years until I could go to Italy.

And my dear stepgrandmother who I acquired when I was 10 years old. She was born and raised in Genova.

And half of the kids I went to HS with were from families from Italy (either parents or grandparents).

Then I saw the movie "Three Coins In The Fountain". I was enchanted for sure.

The first time I arrived in Italy (in the 70's) I stepped off of the plane and felt like I had come "home". That feeling is always with me when I arrive in Italy.

And yes, teachers. I too had some that made me long to travel. Even if they had not traveled they somehow brought other countries into our lives and made us yearn to discover the rest of the world.

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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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I was first inspired by the dolls my grandmother brought to me from all of her travels. My grandfather died before I was born so she and her sister traveled the world into their 70s and 80s. Grandma got very sick when she was about 85 and we thought we were going to lose her but she bounced back and was back to her vagabond ways into her late 80s.

In high school I took French just because the spring break trips to Paris were legendary. Our h.s. French teacher didn't take any other chaperones and told our parents that it wasn't his job to play mom or pop. He believed we should really experience France.

The trip didn't disappoint. Before we went, we hosted a French dinner at a local restaurant that closed down for the night and we blew all the proceeds to eat at Trois Gros (in Rennes?) which is an amazing restaurant. At 18 I had never seen the "bread boy", the "wine pourer", the "guy who takes our orders", the "many many guys who serve the meal", and so on and so on. We walked back to the train station drunk and in heaven.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 10:58 PM
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I was never really inspired to see Europe. I had traveled to many cities in Asia and loved it, but did not have any true desire to see Europe.

Then one day American Airlines had a fare typo online. $299 round trip from Hawaii to London! You can't even travel to the continental US for that deal. So, a bunch of us rushed for the fare and off we went. I fell in love with London and Paris....and the last 10 years has been a blissful affair with Europe.

So I guess Europe itself inspired me to return?
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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My company sent me to Rhusselheim, Germany to bring designs back for a product it was introducing in the U.S. Germany was love at first sight.
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 03:14 PM
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I am going for the first time to Italy this fall - I guess the number one reason is I am going to try to track down long lost relatives - so far I have found some names and addresses and I am going to write to them in hopes they are related. The number two reason is well - I just cannot imagine picking any other country in Europe to visit for the first time. There is just something about Italy that calls to me -maybe it is my Italian heritage (or, of course, it could be the food!)
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 12:05 AM
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My screen name might be a tip-off! I first saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan when I was in third grade. Walking around Liverpool and riding on the ferry almost twenty years later, I knew I was home. I was also influenced by the Enid Blyton books I read in grade school (not the Famous Five, but a group of four children who had the "adventure of this" and "adventure of that." ) Jack, Philip, Dinah, and Sally had a pet bird named Kiki, and they always ate from tins, and used torches. I learned to love British language from these books. Well, there's Shakespeare, too, a few classes in college, and lots of visits to Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I realized while watching the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy that Tolkien's books were an influence. After all, Middle Earth is England, and the four hobbits are just a bunch of English schoolboys wanting their "elevenses." Oh, don't forget Mary Poppins! Julie Andrews and that British accent, which I got to hear the following year with "The Sound of Music." Carnaby Street, shown in Yardley ads on commercials during the Monkees shows, and, for that matter, all the British music that's come our way since the Fab Four hit our shores. My list ends where it began.....
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 12:35 AM
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First trip to Europe in October this year heading for Ireland. Most all of my west coast friends ask why there???

I grew up in the very Irish and Italian community of Syracuse, NY and some of my earliest memories are racing dimes across the kitchen floor, under the table at Nana's house while the men played Scat and swore in Italian and the women rolled out fresh pasta for dinner, and every Sunday morning was reserved for me and grampa to watch John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in the Quiet Man until we could almost say the lines ourselves!

This year it's Ireland and the next few are for Italy!
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 06:04 AM
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This was a great thread to read. Made me go get my half of a dollar bill ripped and put away in a metal safety box. My distant cousin in Germany has the other half. While we can still walk up the mountain, I better make plans to get back this fall to reconnect the halves.

I also feel like Italy is home. I blend in and have great connections to my Italian heritage, but even more than that I think it is the history. The first time I saw the Colloseum, I was traveling alone- many years ago, and I don't think I ever had a feeling quite like that since. You could walk all over in underneath it then. It was so emotional and visceral that I was speechless and eatless for a day. And in Italy that is really saying something.
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