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Books that influenced your travel addiction

I'm currently reading The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles. It's about a young French woman who works at the American Library in Paris during WW2. She's a book lover and it's this conversation she has that influenced my post;

"We all have a book that changed us forever." I said. "One that let
us know that we're not alone. What's yours?"

"All Quiet on the Western Front." he said.

That's one of two that popped into my head before I read the character's answer. The other is A Tale of Two Cities. Both were assigned reading in high school, but I've read both numerous times as an adult as well. I'm not sure if I thought about it at the time, but 40 years after high school and now addicted to traveI, I think back on those classics set far away from home and wonder if it was the beginning of a spark to my travel bug.

I'm curious what books you may have read at an early age that you think back on now as an influencer to your travel addiction?

Posted by
40 posts

I very clearly remember reading ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL when I was about 12, and dreaming about going to Yorkshire one day.

When I was grown and we took our very first family trip to Europe, Yorkshire was our first stop. :)

Posted by
5262 posts

As a child way back before the wheel, I read Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels, about his travels to all kinds of exotic places around the world. It made me want to go to most of them, though life has gotten in the way of that. I came across the book a few years ago and gave it to the children of family friends, who reportedly loved it too.

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1767 posts

My mother recommended Halliburton’s The Royal Road to Romance ( his journey around the world in the 1920’s ). She had to assure me ( at the age of 13 ) that it wasn’t about romantic love ! I read it and all his other books. In my 40’s I came across books by Harry Franck who was Halliburton’s inspiration. I picked up his first book - A Vagabond Journey around the World - for a couple of dollars at the big Phoenix VNSA book sale. I ended up spending a few hundred to get a copy of all the rest of his books. Vagabond was the story of his trip around the world around 1900. One of the most fascinating books I have ever read.

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21071 posts

I also read Halliburton, plus a lot of fiction and non-fiction set in Europe. Plus guidebooks (this was at least 15 years before "Europe Through the Back Door"). I don't remember any specific books as having been most influential. We also subscribed to National Geographic, and its photos certainly had an impact.

Posted by
6358 posts

Agatha Christie novels.

EDIT: and my parents National Geographic magazines. Probably why I still subscribe.

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2179 posts

Happy Isles of Oceania-Paul Theroux
And I have truly done a lot of the Pacific! Fiji, Indonesia, Philippines, Hawaii, New Zealand.

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6486 posts

When I first read Anne of Green Gables (in grade school) I dreamed of visiting Prince Edward Island. One of my first trips as an adult traveling by myself was to the Canadian Maritimes (Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick) back in the 80's.

Over the years I have read tons of guidebooks, fiction set in far away places, travel magazines (my first magazine subscriptions were to Budget Travel and Travel & Leisure) and anything else that fed my desire to learn about other places.

I longed for international travel but did not have the good fortune to afford that kind of travel until I was in my 50's. I've been traveling as much as possible ever since.

Posted by
11253 posts

Ernest Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast."

At the beginning of the book he writes: "If you were fortunate enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go, for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Also, any history book on Europe. I wanted to visit the places I read about.

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2321 posts

Cheating with this answer because it was a movie, but Disney's version of Peter Pan had me always wanting my to see Big Ben in London. Sadly, Ben and the tower were covered up on my only trip there (so far), but the scene where Peter, Wendy and her brothers land on the clock arms always stayed with me as a motivation to see London.

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1606 posts

Not a book but a very fond memory: On my childhood bedroom wall were two maps, the US and the World. Every night before my mom tucked us in, my brother and I would close our eyes and point to a spot on either map that we would dream about. I can't tell you how may times I pointed to an ocean but loved it when I pointed to somewhere in Europe.

Posted by
3028 posts

Do Bugs Bunny cartoons count? I wasn't much of a reader as a kid/teen.

Posted by
6486 posts

Do Bugs Bunny cartoons count? I wasn't much of a reader as a kid/teen.

And just where did Bugs influence you to travel? By the way, nobody said it had to be a book read when you were a kid/teen - could be a book you read last year.

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6641 posts

As an adolescent, I had a keen interest in WWII history (which wasn't that distant at the time) and must have read every book in the local library on the subject at least once. This encouraged an interest in geography, language and European history. Later, after college, I realized I could actually go there and see these places in person.

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1856 posts

Almost 60 years after the fact, we visited Krakow because the school librarian read The Trumpeter of Krakow to my class when I was in 4th grade. Teachers truly touch lives. (And I think the one who taught me to underline book titles is glaring at me from somewhere, but I don’t know how to do it.) Safe and literate travels to all.

Posted by
435 posts

My Collins Atlas I had in school (age 12).
It was fun to look through and see all the different countries, and read the information about each. And Heidi. Loved that book as a child. That started me dreaming.
Now I am reading the M.C. Beaton Hamish books and want to go to Scotland :-)
You're never to old to be influenced.

Posted by
3028 posts

And just where did Bugs influence you to travel?

...and of course, as noted above by Allan, Albuquerque -- in 2018. Uber driver: "I bet you're here because of Breaking Bad." Me: "No, Bugs Bunny. I've never seen Breaking Bad." He kept pointing out Breaking Bad filming locations and grew increasingly frustrated that I knew nothing about them. I grew increasingly frustrated that he didn't know where Bugs should've taken that left turn.

Posted by
83 posts

The Diary of Anne Frank, it made me want to go to Amsterdam to see the secret annex.

Posted by
258 posts

"The White Stallions of Vienna" by Marguerite Henry which I read around third grade and still own. Thrilled to see them in their home 50+ years later.
Cynthia

Posted by
2319 posts

The Paddington books by Michael Bond inspired my love of all things English at age 8...39 years later my first trip abroad was to London. I read the Diary of Anne Frank at age 10 and that began my interest in WWII history, which has inspired many of my trips to Europe.

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40 posts

A Book that my parents gave me for Christmas a long time ago, ‘A short walk in the Hindu Kush’ published 1963 as I was at University and hiking on weekends. It is a mountain range in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is quite unsafe now. In the same area is ‘Three cups of tea’ 2006 but I don’t expect that I will ever get there but I travel not only to cities but also to some out-of -the-way places. Been to Italy 3 times in last 15 years but never been to Rome but we will finally go there this October.
I also read books, generally mysteries, about some of the places that I think about going to as they give me a feeling of the country. As we’re going to Italy, I’m reading Donna Leon’s books set in Venice.

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2258 posts

I’m with lisa — The Diary of Anne Frank. I read it around 1965 and finally made it to Amsterdam in 2018. Being in the annex was perhaps the most emotional experience I’ve had in Europe.

Posted by
734 posts

I"ve been travelling internationally since 1970 but my addiction didn't come until much, much later and it didn't come from a book, the books came afterward. It was my first visit to Berlin, and I keep returning.

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I travelled to the Cotswolds for a week, in 1995, after reading National Geographic Traveler (Jul/Aug 1994) The Cotswolds. I loved the hiking and was fascinated watching individuals do the brass rubbings.

Posted by
5865 posts

Maybe obligatory, but honestly, "Europe Through the Backdoor" I read when I first started thinking about a Europe trip, and that cemented the possibility that I could plan and go without much fear, that it was doable.

Aside from that, I was a voracious reader when young, and being a military brat meant travel and constantly moving. The combination of that and the whole range of places visited by book is what established the wanderlust in me.

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2321 posts

My wife and I are in Scotland as I write this on her search for Jamie Fraser tour. The Outlander book and TV series are heavy influencers of our itinerary.

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1780 posts

I started reading the Donna Leon detective series set in Venice several years ago. I re-read several prior to our first Venice trip in May. It was like a treasure hunt to find the locations mentioned in her books. The same goes for Cara Black’s series set in Paris.