Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Travel Passion Puzzle

I’ve always wanted travel ever since I was a young girl. I think my interest in travel, visiting other cities and countries, sprung from my intense love of reading books.   I can tell you the exact book I read that sparked my interest in New Orleans: French Silk by Sandra Brown Yep, you read that right. No, it’s not on par with Hemingway, but I enjoyed it. More importantly, Brown’s description of New Orleans food, the French Quarter, and overall culture was utterly seductive. I felt I just had to see it for myself.  New Orleans is my upcoming trip for next year.

Of course, cinema is also a great inspiration of mine for travel.  New York was already a place I wanted to visit long before I ever saw a Woody Allen movie. I can’t put my finger on what I possibly read or heard that instigated it, maybe it was my interest in fashion, but I can tell you that nothing compared to HBO Sex and The City’s illustrious depiction of the Big Apple. I became a full-fledged, unapologetic Sex and the City groupie after my first episode. The fabulous four represented everything I needed and wanted to be and they looked so damn good doing it.  They went to art galleries, plays, funky lounges, restaurants, hell, they went to Fashion week! They had their own weekly breakfast spot. I needed that life. I couldn’t wait. I think I actually went to the bar in my small college town (insanely small) and tried to order a Cosmopolitan. The most exotic drink they had was a Long Island.

Oh, and then while at home one day with nothing to do I watched two Woody Allen movies which have become among my favorites: Hannah and Her Sisters and Manhattan. I cracked up watching Allen’s Mickey character in Hannah and Her Sisters walk through the park ruminating about the futility of life, and making fun of the joggers and the fat woman having to “tug all that fat around-she should put it on a dolly”. Even now I get a chuckle of out that. Anyway, it was the park and Allen strolling bundled up in that coat and it just all seemed so bewitchingly cosmopolitan.  It wasn’t just Sex and The City that made New York seem so vibrant, even a tiny, witty, miserable man could do it, and he’d been doing it much longer. It must be fantastic.


Of course Paris was etched on my brain and heart as a place to visit. Again, I’m sure that a book or some tale of romance (I went through a huge romance novel phase in my teens) ignited my interest in Paris. Yet, a couple of movies really pushed it over the edge and the first one, as I’m sure you can guess was Amelie. The film is just so funny and compelling and beautifully filmed who could resist it? As I was watching it, I started to wonder? “Can Paris really be that gorgeous?” I’ve watched a lot more French cinema and I utterly love it. I have a lot more to watch and I can't say how I'll choose what to watch and where to begin, but Paris became even more important to me as I fell more deeply in love with the movies. 

We all have things that inspire our big passions. For me, it was reading books and watching movies that made me intrigued and curious about things outside my current surroundings. Even though my parents didn't take me on trips, that didn't stop me from daydreaming about where I would go on my own. I often hope that other people will find something that pushes them to travel and get out of their comfort zone. Maybe I should recommend a good movie….

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