There’s nothing quite as fascinating as hearing about how bloggers have come to write about their chosen field, and travel bloggers are certainly no exception! We reached out to some of our favourite travel bloggers this month and asked them how they ‘caught the travel bug’. From childhood experiences through to adventures starting in more recent times, they revealed some interesting tales about how their wanderlust began.
I think I got infected with the travel bug at around the same time when I was just about to walk and talk. My fondest early childhood memories are those of our days abroad as a family, spending endless summer days in the sun. This came at a price for us: there was not a lot of money to spend and back then plane travel was still really expensive. So the five of us – two adults, two teenagers, and my toddler self – would squeeze into our family car and drive all the way down from Germany to Spain. A two-day ordeal without electronic games, air-conditioning, or layovers. Just a non-stop road trip to chase the sun and the beaches of this beautiful country.
I think memories like these have a massive impact on who you become as an adult. This is why I am a firm believer in family travel. Children benefit massively from all the new experiences they can make while on the road, and families will bond naturally once they are removed from all the contraptions of everyday life.
As a result of my childhood trips, I have become a traveller for life, a curious explorer, a lover of all things strange and new.
Justine from Fire and Tea
Luckily for me, my family was already living a life of travel way before I was born. My dad spent much of his early adulthood in the Australian Navy and my mum spent much of her childhood in Papua Guinea when my Pop was stationed there for work.
Once I was born and then by early childhood, my life was crammed with long-weekend getaways, school holiday camping trips and long journeys packed up in the back of a car or four-wheeled drive. Days were spent exploring the wide expanse of the unknown, laid out by the road ahead of us. Nights ticked by, snuggling up in front of a roaring campfire and sipping warm cups of tea under a black sky, propped by a theatre of glittering stars above us. I was also living the life of a nomad with my family leading the way via a rambunctious, and oftentimes unpredictable, path. Before turning 15, I had lived in three major capital cities, two gold-mining towns and one seaport.
Over the years, many people have asked how I caught the travel bug and developed my love of travel. For me, travel isn’t as simple as catching a ‘bug’. Travel is like the blue colour in my eyes or my left-handedness. Travel is an innate, unconscious quality that I have inherited and it’s my life’s purpose to satisfy those urges to travel when they ignite.
We can either ‘love’ or ‘hate’ what we’re born with, so my ‘love’ of travel is therefore the by-product of my inheritance. I’ve chosen to love travel because of my insatiable need to question our existence on this planet and how we all live in this world together. So far, my love of travel has fuelled my journeys throughout Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States of America and Vietnam.
My blog Fire & Tea was inspired by my childhood nights spent around those communal campfires. ‘Fire’ represents my burning desire to keep travel in my life and ‘tea’ represents how my favourite warm brew can bring us back to culture and nature while bringing us all together in an act of friendly conversation and understanding.
Travel is something that has fascinated me from a young age, with a particular interest in ancient history and hopes of visiting significant historic sites. However, it was not until meeting my now husband that it became a reality. With his Polish background, soon my Australian traditions were given an international twist and with a shared love of travel, our adventures began. We were lucky enough to have similar interests with the places we want to visit, and now love the opportunity to raise our children with global experiences through frequent travel. The memories created are priceless and not something that can be taught in a classroom.
The more we travel, the more places we want to visit and the more experiences we hope to share. Seeing the world gives new perspectives on everyday life back home and teaches resilience and flexibility, as well as patience… especially travelling with kids! Travel also means we always have something wonderful to look forward to!
Mike from Travel and Destinations
I think my travel bug originated from my mother who used to take me travelling with her when I was young. She took me to America for 6 weeks to live on a farm, we also went to Israel, Tenerife and lots of other places, and one of my best memories is swimming with dolphins when I was around 10.
Now as an adult, my passion is now fuelled by my love of seeing new places, the culture, sharing my experiences through my blog and other social channels, as well as capturing pictures of the places I visit.
With the influence of Instagram and social media I now travel more and more. Last year I managed to travel to a different destination every month, sometimes multiple places, and this year is looking to be full of even more adventures. I currently spend the majority of my income on travel and feel this is more important to me than other luxuries such as owning a car and a house.
I also feel travel can be extremely rewarding and challenging at the same time. The things you may see along the way, the interesting people you will meet and the memories that will last a lifetime.
Linda from Indie Travel Podcast
Craig and I were lucky enough to grow up travelling — my dad is a travel journalist, his is an aircraft engineer, so our families both took our share of overseas trips.
We really caught the travel bug in our twenties, though, after we’d been travelling for a while. In New Zealand it’s common for young adults to head away for six months to three years on an OE (overseas experience). We put ours off until we’d paid off student loans and saved up for emergencies, and then hit the road with no definite time frame in mind.
Eleven years later we still haven’t worked out how to stop! Travelling has it all for us — the thrill of the new, the flavours and the constant flow of experience. We love making personal connections on the road, and now have good friends around the world.
We’ve slowed down recently as we build up our web development business Performance Foundry — but luckily we can do that from anywhere in the world too. The travel bug shows no sign of going away.
Fiji is where it all started for me. It was where I discovered my calling in life; to pack my bags and find out what more there was on this earth.
My first big trip was to Fiji, back in 1995 with my parents and sisters. Yes, we stayed at lovely resorts, but through making friends with the resort staff and being invited to visit their villages and families, we were also privy to the real Fiji; realising that although we’re all human, our experiences are SO different, really flicked a switch in me.
Almost 20 years later, in 2013, I finally achieved a lifelong goal of going to Egypt. That niggling feeling (the dormant travel bug, I guess) that had been simmering since that first trip to Fiji finally pushed me to turn my impossible dream into an achievable goal.
In Egypt, I had a massive light bulb moment; I remembered what I first felt in Fiji, and desperately wanted to see all of the different, exciting worlds out there. Up until that point, I’d not only lived in my comfort zone, but also with depression since my teenage years. Suddenly, I was in middle of a Nubian Village on the banks of the Nile, with no safety, and also no depression or anxiety… That was when I knew I had the travel bug. Seeing new cultures and learning and experiencing had always been my “drug,” and I knew that night in Egypt that I couldn’t go back to a life without that!
Leonie from Leonie Sii
It was the year 2005. My parents had left the TV on and I found myself entranced with a show called the Eurovision Song Contest. I was 13 and suddenly my little brick-world of home and school expanded. Latvia? Bosnia & Herzegovina? Sweden? What were these foreign places?
Eurovision became my highlight of each year. In 2009, a cheeky-faced Norwegian violinist sang about a fairytale and won the contest. I was obsessed. My nights were spent Googling images of Norway. I couldn’t believe snow-capped mountains and pristine fjords even existed. I was determined to visit Norway one day.
When the opportunity presented itself to study abroad in Europe for a year, I jumped straight on it – no questions asked (well, a few questions… for logistical reasons). In 2014, I finally unleashed my pent-up wanderlust and spent the year “studying” (aka travelling). I went on weekend trips to quaint French villages, hiked through The Black Forest, paraglided over Swiss lakes, found my happy place camping by the foot of Geirangerfjord… and I even went to watch Eurovision live in Copenhagen.
So yeah, if there’s anything to thank for my perpetual travel bug, it’s Eurovision.
Stu and Eloise from Am I Nearly There Yet?
Our progression to become full-time travellers was definitely a slow development! We never really intended to travel for several years, it just turned out that way! The first few weeks were so rushed and organised, we had a tight itinerary and most of our journeys were pre-booked. We were in central China when we realised we had nothing on the itinerary – it was such a liberating feeling! We vowed to take a step back, and to just let it happen. If we were bored we’d move on, if we loved a place, we’d stay as long as we want (we got good at living on a budget very quickly!). For inspiration, we’d check out other travel blogs, read country-related travel fiction, and we watched heaps of travel movies! We’re definitely suited to slow paced travel, but get out there and find your way!