While fooling around on Twitter the other day I came across this blog by Paul Corbett talking about travel inspirations. EasyJet Holidays are asking travel bloggers the who, what, where and when as part of their Inspiration Initiative and given I find the idea quite interesting I thought I’d give it a go.
Who – Michael Palin
I remember watching Michael Palin shows like Around the World in 80 Days and Pole to Pole on rainy school holidays at my Aunt’s house in Glasgow. I was completely addicted to them, they made me realise how different other places and people were which I’ve wanted to explore ever since. I’ve been hooked on all his other travel shows ever since as well as comedies such as Monty Python and Ripping Yarns, at the release of the latter I was lucky enough to meet him! That’s why it’s all his fault I’m writing this blog ;)
When – Hitchhiking to Morocco
My first real adventure was in my first year of University. I’d seen somebody advertising a charity running a hitchhike from Nottingham to Morocco and was hooked straight away. The trip took about 5 days (including a day off in northern Spain) while I encountered crazy Romanian Truck Drivers, blagged a lift from an OAP coach tour and even got a lift from a French driving school. The trip felt like my first real adventure and raised about £600 for Link Community Development supporting education projects in the UK & Africa.
Where – the old city of Fes
Fes was the highlight of the hitchhike to Morocco. After arriving in Tangiers and travelling to Essaouira and Marrakech, Fes was the last place I visited in Morocco. I’d read a few articles about Morocco before setting off and it was always Fes that stood out, many of them romantically describing the traditional nature of the old city. The experience really didn’t disappoint, I fell in love with the traditional craft work taking place including the potteries, street food but especially the tanneries where you can still can watch the whole ancient process of the animal skins being washed and dyed in the sun. I’ve been looking for the heart and soul of locations ever since, it’s so much better than a museum!
What – Manas figure from Kyrgyzstan
Another one from my childhood when my Dad did some project work for the World Bank in Kyrgyzstan. One of the souvenirs he brought back for me was a small wooden statue of a warrior called ‘Manas’. My Dad told me the background of the story about how he fought off the Uighurs and was considered a hero in Kyrgyzstan and a strong part of the national identity, similar to Ghenghis Khan in Mongolia. Barely anyone had really been to Kyrgyzstan back then (not many people have even now) so I value its uniqueness to me and how it has made me bring back exotic travel ornaments as souvenirs of my own journeys.
As part of this initiative, EasyJet Holidays want me to nominate 5 people to write their own travel inspirations. I’m going to nominate my girlfriend, Katrina, as this might make her start the blog she keeps saying she will do. I’m also going to nominate a friend, Hazell, who’s been writing this blog over the past year or so.
To bring it up to five I’ve been following these guys on Twitter, have enjoyed reading their stuff and think they should join in!