Who, what, where and when inspires us to travel?  A stunning National Geographic photograph, a line from a song and a love of food can all fire the imagination.  The people at Easyjet Holidays have come up with the Inspiration Initiative to find out what inspires us to travel and Paul at My Postcard From was kind enough to nominate me – here’s what fuels my wanderlust…

Who – The people you meet along the way

The cheeky Indian kid who wants to shine your shoes, for a price of course, the old woman selling whistles on the side of the road, the family cooking you up a pot of delicious Pho on a Hanoi street corner.  A shared smile, an attempted conversation in a foreign language and learning about people – connecting with people from different cultures is a big inspiration for me to travel.

What – Music

I grew up in the sixties and seventies with no web to surf and only Judith Chalmers’ travel show, Wish You Were Here on TV so, as a child, music was a major travel inspiration: “Colored cottons hang in the air, Charming cobras in the square” – Crosby, Stills and Nash with their Marrakech Express conjured up a myriad of  magical images.

I finally made it there last November.  I shopped the souks, sipped sweet, mint tea whilst the call to prayer echoed around Djamaa El Fna square, and was mesmerised by the stunning backdrop of the Atlas Mountains.

Stall on Djamaa El Fna Square, Marrakech

When – not soon enough!

City Break in Budapest

I’d always yearned to travel and we stuck to Europe while the children were young; France, Switzerland, Spain and Greece were favourite family holiday destinations.  My first non-resort trip was to New York. The energy and the vibrancy of the city was addictive and there was so much to be amazed at and not enough time to see it all – steam really did come out of the pavement vents – I thought that only happened in films!    Exploring cities is so exciting – now my daughter and I try to take a European city break every year.  We’re just deciding where to go next – Krakow maybe – my daughter’s great-grandmother was Polish.

Where – Everywhere

If you know my blog you’ll know I love Vietnam.  The food is fresh, vibrant and bursting with flavour, the history both modern and ancient is fascinating, the beaches and countryside are beautiful and the Vietnamese customs and traditions are as intriguing as it’s people.  But – and it’s a big BUT – everywhere has something inspirational about it if you make the effort to go find it. The village down the road or the village two continents away – it’s up to you to discover it.

So there you have my travel inspirations, what about yours?   Leave your comments below or look out for the #InspireTravel hashtag and join in the chat on Twitter.

I’m passing the Inspiration Initiative challenge to the following nominees – good luck guys!

1 Travel with Kat

2 Restless Jo

3 A Bit of Culture

4 As the Bird Flies

5 Runaway Brit