Discuss a good book to read on a trip or movies that make you long to be on the road. Share your recommendations for music - both your old favorites and the new ones you discovered overseas. Brag about run-ins with the hottest upcoming bands.

What movies,books or music helped inspire you to hit the road?


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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  • Added on: April 10th, 2007
There are a few things which helped chrystalize in my brain the desire to see new things; witness a different way of life.

First among these is Shogun by James Calvell. To a 12 year old kid from Middle England, the strangeness and beauty of Clavell's Asia was astounding.

It made me NEED to experience Asia.

I would love to hear other people's inspirations.
"Every man has his own burdon. What counts is how he carries it"


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Extra Pages in Passport
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Joined: September 11th, 2003

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  • Added on: April 12th, 2007
Hey Stuntman. Welcome to the group. Glad to have you.

Actually, your question is a popular one and different forms of it have been asked in myriad forums. I think you can pick through this forum and not have to go back very far to find the answer you seek.

Again, glad to have you. For the record, Rolf Potts´ book I carry with me because when I feel tired of travel I can read a passage or two and get energized again.
Good Luck Out There.

Perpetual Motion

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Joined: December 13th, 2007

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  • Added on: December 14th, 2007
A truly excellent question (enough to inspire my first post..Smile

I was a very impressionable young man with a rather vivid imagination and rather taken with reading. A myriad of films, music and books influenced me to travel:

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales had a huge impact on me and were the reason I walked from London to Canterbury in 1994. Tolkien's body of work was also a large contributer to my wanderlust, especially the Hobbit.

As far as Asia goes, my trip to China was primarily motivated by some rather striking Chinese films. China has some of the most talented director's of any country (in my opinion). Among these films are Farewell my Concubine, The Yellow Earth (both by Chen Kaige), and To Live. Add to these the Vietnamese film The Scent of Green Papaya (though I haven't yet been fortunate enough to travel to Vietnam yet).

Other Books which inspired me to travel were:
1. The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham (I also loved the remake of the film starring Bill Murray)
2. The Way of the Bull by Leo Buscaglia (a beautiful collection of stories telling the Author's spiritual search through Asia, with a tale dedicated to each country he visited. Out of print, but used copies are easily found online)
3. Kim by Rudyard Kipling (though I picked this up in Nepal after I had already been traveling for a while, I heartily recommend it. It plays out like a true to life tale of fantasy. An epic travel adventure)

Music- I have always found the work of Leonard Cohen and Cat Stevens to be particularly inspiring traveling music.


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Librarian Gone Wild
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Joined: December 3rd, 2004

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2007
Movie: Motorcycle Diaries

Books: Paul Theroux
Ariel Gore's Atlas of the Human Heart (this is one of my fave fave books I LOVE HER!)

Music: Trance makes me wanna go to Ibiza, samba to Brazil, Indian music makes me wanna jet to India...you get the picture....


Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: March 21st, 2007

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  • Added on: November 19th, 2009
Six Feet Under is probably the most inspirational TV series that I have seen. It's not really about travel but the major theme of the show is about life and death.

One scene in the final episode in particular when Claire was talking to her dead brother Nate about moving to New York. Also the final scene in the final episode when Claire actually left for New York.
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time" -- Fight Club

Canuck Girl

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World Citizen
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Location: Asia

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  • Added on: December 4th, 2009
Movie: Long Way Round

Book: No Touch Monkey and anything by Paul Theroux
Solo Traveler. Spunky Woman. A World of Misadventure. I'm currently traveling through Thailand, Mongolia and Northwestern China. Follow my adventures on my blog Spunky Girl Monologues, or 'Like' me on Facebook


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Guidebook Dependent
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Joined: November 30th, 2009

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  • Added on: December 8th, 2009
One movie that inspired me to travel and appreciate life and the people around me is The Bucket List ;)


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Guidebook Dependent
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Joined: November 30th, 2009

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  • Added on: December 22nd, 2009
The Bucket List is one movie that made me want to see more of the world ;) though I'm not dying lol i would love to appreciate more of nature's gift


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Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: November 23rd, 2006
Location: Manchester, UK

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  • Added on: February 22nd, 2010
My love of travel and experiencing new things I think came from a general love of movies in general. No particular books, music or movies inspired me to start however since starting several have made me want to carry on and even increase my time abroad:

1. Long way round (book and TV) - Inspired me to take the Trans-Mongolian rail from Moscow to China. The sights of Mongolia in that programme were amazing and my best ever travel experience is camping in the cuds in Mongolia.

2. Around the world in 80 days (TV show by Palin) - Further inspired me to take the trans-mongolia and convinced me to get the train all the way from Manchester, UK to China and not just pick up at russia.

3. Sideways (Movie) - Has led me to deciding to go to California this year for a fortnight for a road trip in wine country.

4. Motorcycle Diaries, Jupiters Travels - Has made me want to take a RTW bike tour...need to learn to ride a mobike first though ;-)


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Armchair Traveler
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Joined: March 17th, 2010
Location: Belgium

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  • Added on: March 29th, 2010
Movie & music score: Into the wild.
Books: Walden (Henry David Thoreau), Vagabonding (Rolf Potts)
"Open-mindedness is a process of listening and considering--of muting your compulsion to judge what is right and wrong, good and bad, proper and improper, and having tolerance and patience to try to see things as they are." Rolf Potts


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Guidebook Dependent
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Joined: April 13th, 2009
Location: Ireland

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  • Added on: April 10th, 2010
two movies...

into the wild
the darjeeling limited



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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: February 10th, 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM

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  • Added on: May 3rd, 2010
Haha, this is kind of embarrassing, but the thing that actually made me decide to go on a RTW trip myself (instead of just watching other people do it) was the song "Anything Can Happen" from Marry Poppins the Musical. Yeah. (You can listen to it on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzgf4HDeCXI)

But I've also loved travel-related TV shows and movies ever since I was a kid, especially the Wild Thornberrys TV show. That RV was AWESOME. :shock:


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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  • Added on: May 3rd, 2010
Your all choice are nice but to me If any book inspired me it was Into the Wild. I always touch with its message of leaving the world behind, exploring nature,looking what else is out there. It's funny, I tried twice to read On the Road and found it tedious. But I love that it has inspired many others to travel!


Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: August 16th, 2006
Location: San Leandro, CA, USA

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2010
Ok, this might sound a little corny, but the first time I ever traveled to Europe was in 2003 and it was this Mastercard commercial that did it:

http://adland.tv/commercials/mastercard ... 03-030-usa

A lot of it had to do with the romance of youth and exploring the world during those formative, impressionable, wonderful years. Albeit, I was already knocking on 30 by the time I took that first trip to Europe. First of all, it took me forever to find this commercial online, but even now when I see it, I am reminded of how much I longed to experience Europe in the way it was protrayed here. Unfortunately, my experience turned out quite the opposite. But that is a different matter, for a different post.
"What the hell is wrong with you C3-PO? We're here to see Europe not some crappy statue" (Eurotrip)


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: May 26th, 2010

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2010
On the Road, of course! hehe. no... the brilliant vibrancy with which kerouac records everyday life, slowing down time, almost, and creating infinite snapshots into human existence - i want to do that with travel as well, in my own little way.

Dharma Bums, as well... and Walden. Walden is brilliant.

does anyone know where to get Vagabonding (rolf potts) online (for free)? i'd love to read it before leaving...


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