Thursday, 8 March 2012

Inspiration Initiative: #InspiringTravel

Flights without food. This is the first thing I remember about low-cost airlines. 'You buy the flights seperately from your hotel, and you have to pay if you want an in-flight meal', I was told. Being a pre-teen, the part about food stuck in my mind. That'll never catch on, I thought. Years later, budget flights are a regular part of my life, linking up the corners of my world and making it possible for me to fly out to see friends scattered around Europe and even further afield. Given the merest excuse to jet off, you'll find me passport in hand and liquids in regulation plastic bag at the departure gate. But what inspires me to travel?

Tomorrow sees the launch of easyJet Holidays' Inspiration Initiative, a competition designed to uncover where travellers' wanderlust comes from. Following their list of 'wh-' questions, I took a look at my own inspirations.


With my grandparents in Venice

Way before granny chic was cool, I was turning to my grandparents for inspiration. When I was growing up, there were no coach trips to Bognor for my mum's parents; instead they lounged by Lake Garda, toured the Scottish Highlands and even jetted off to Jamaica. It wasn't just their choices of destinations that caught my attention though: it was the frequency of their trips. Now that I work full time, I'm wondering if being inspired by my globetrotting grandparents might be a curse as well as a blessing: apparently six holidays per year isn't 'normal'...


Inspired by Israel

Given my penchant for multiple annual holidays, I tend to take short haul trips within Europe. Branching out into Israel in 2010, I encountered not just a new continent and a new culture, but a desire to experience the world beyond  Europe's borders. From tanning in Tel Aviv to wandering the walled old city in Jerusalem, Israel captivated me and inspired me to try different destinations. Since that trip, I've visited Malaysia, Singapore, Morocco and Turkey – and still managed some European trips too.


We found the Duomo without Gianni's help

My first parent-free holiday, a week in Albufeira, may have been ideal for post-school fun, but inspiring it was not. One year on, my university friend and I chose Italy as a holiday destination, for the arbitrary reason that the cheapest available flight was to Milan. Ten days of ill-prepared independent travel ensued; selected highlights of which included a heated argument with an Italian pensioner on a train and getting so lost in a random suburb of Bologna by night that we had to appeal to the helpful Gianni of Blockbuster Video for directions. By the end of the trip, we'd mastered the art of ordering three-scoop ice creams in Italian, seen more churches than some bishops ever will and had almost as good a sense of direction as Gianni. My interest in independent travel had definitely been awakened.


The Alhambra

Spain. It would be a surprise to regular readers if I said anywhere else, and I'd hate to disappoint. Holidaying in the south of Spain as a teenager certainly fuelled my fondness for sunshine, and moving to Seville on my year abroad from university led to my full-blown love affair with the country. It's not just Andalucia that inspires me, though: Spain's diversity encourages me to return time and time again. There's the cosmopolitan-meets-traditional mix that is Madrid, the striking monuments of old Castile, the chic Catalan city of Barcelona and the wild natural landscapes of Galicia. And that's only scratching the surface of Spain.

Inspiration Initiative nominees:

1) Starry-Eyed Travels
2) Becoming Sevillana
3) Rambling Tart
4) Jessica In Search Of
5) Ruthie Rolo

You can find out more about the easyJet Holidays Inspiration Initiative competition and how to enter here.

1 comment :

  1. Wonderful pictures. You have had such a great experience by visiting all that magical places and meet so many interesting people.


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