Gaining Travel Inspiration and Conquering Fears

As I prepare mentally and physically to travel the world, it’s like a battle in my brain. That looks beautiful I want to go there! Will I have the money? I never even knew that existed, I have to see it for myself. What if I offend people accidentally since I know nothing about their culture? That’s a good place to see, I’ll definitely need a car to get there. Can I afford that? This picture came out great, I’ll put it on my blog! Will I ever gain enough followers to earn money with this? Their blog looks great, and they get lots of traffic, I wonder if they’ll–no guest posts, moving on. It just keeps going. I know I’ve got to keep going if I want to make this work. It’s only been a few months! While I’m preparing I’ve been gaining travel inspiration in all sorts of mediums to keep positive and helpful things to keep the fear at bay.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is actually a remake of a movie made in 1947 but has quite a different premise. Life magazine is closing and becoming a website and Walter Mitty, a negative asset manager, loses the prized cover photo from Sean O’Connell, a famous travel photographer. Usually only living his life through day dreaming, he changes all of that and decides to follow Sean O’Connell to several places around the world. In the process he discovers himself and it has beautiful scenery to match.

Monte Carlo

Young Grace is from a small town in Texas and all she wants to do is see Paris. She finally makes it there with her friend, Emma, and step-sister, Meg, only to have a terrible time. Along the way she actually learns she looks just like a famous British heiress Cordelia and accidentally gets sent to Monte Carlo. There’s a bit of a love story or two (three) in there as well if you’re into that sort of thing. In the end there is more traveling that takes place, including Machu Piccu and Romania.


I’m sure you’ve all heard of it by now, the newest Disney princess movie, Moana. For those that don’t know she ventures beyond the reef against her father’s wishes to save her island. Along the way she meets the Demigod Maui and they voyage together. It’s a tale about finding yourself and even if you don’t care too much for boat travel (like me), it’ll make you love the ocean more than ever. Also, yes, the ocean really does look like that in the south Pacific.

The Descendants

Although almost no traveling happens in this movie, it takes place in Hawai’i. Matt King lives in Honolulu on Oahu and is a descendant of Hawaiian royalty that owns 25,000 acres of land on Kauai, with several other cousins. Due to a law, the land can no longer stay in the family and he has to figure out what to do with it while the whole state is watching. In this movie you can see the beautiful landscapes and learn some of the history (although not all of it is true) of Hawai’i. It’s ensure to inspire you’re next trip here.

Wild Hogs

Four best friends, Doug, Woody, Bobby, and Dudley, have grown apart and lost themselves over the years after developing their own families. They’ve grown to hate living in the Cincinnati suburbs with boring and mundane lives. While essentially having midlife crisis’, they all decide to go on a motorcycle road trip across the United States forming the made up gang “Wild Hogs.” Along the way they meet up with some interesting characters in a small town far away from home. It’ll make you want to go on a road trip and see the western part of the US in no time.


The Wonder List

Bill Weir traveled to several different off beaten track places around the world in and documented a specific issue in each area. When he went to India, he not only talked about the Taj Mahal, he went deep into the jungle to try to spot a tiger and a met a couple who were trying to preserve land for tigers. In Vanuatu he talks about the local tribe who still lives how they have for 1,000s of the years and they tell stories of rich white men who come and want to buy their land. In Greece he visits Ikaria which has some of the longest living people in the world, and discovers their secrets as to how. It goes on to other locations too and he’s made more “seasons.” It’ll definitely inspire a trip from you.

A Map For Saturday

Even though he traveled the world back in 2005 watching this documentary style movie will make you realize how far we come technology wise in just 12 years. In the movie he shows what it’s like to leave home for a year and backpack in several different locations around the world. He meets people and has experiences of a lifetime while showing audiences the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Born in America

Although this is more of a birth documentary than a travel documentary, it still has quite a bit of travel in it. A couple is preparing for the birth of their first child in the United State and along the way they learn how cultures have been birthing for generations. They talk about the controversial at home vs. in a hospital setting and even travel to the Netherlands and Germany to see what it’s like to give birth there vs. in America while a story is told of a woman who gave birth in Uganda.

TV Shows


You’re judging me already, aren’t you. I haven’t watched that much anime, to be honest. However, I can tell you right now most don’t have characters that look Japanese or display Japanese culture even though they’re all set in Japan (usually Tokyo). In Inuyasha we go back to feudal era Japan, 500 years ago, and get a glimpse of past Japanese culture. Although, you have to know what to take seriously and what not to, since there are demons in this universe. It can be inspiring to learn more about modern Japan, what they still do there, and the meaning of their traditional outfits.


A cartoon that takes place in old China. The Magistrate owns a family of cats that writes out all the scrolls. The cats are the main characters but seeing the Chinese architecture and learning some Chinese history (although, remember it’s just a kid’s TV show so don’t take everything so seriously) is a great way to inspire going to China yourself. Although China isn’t like this today (and cats aren’t the ones who have done the scroll writing) it’s still a fun TV show your kids can enjoy and will inspire you to see what it’s really like there today.

Rick Steve’s

Traveling around Europe, while might seem like an easy task but Rick Steve’s makes it even easier. For years he’s been traveling around the continent and giving Americans and other tips and tricks on how ever blend in with locals and places off the beaten track to find. The best part is every year he puts out new tips and updates on what to do where, so his stories are never out of date!

Doc Martin

A British TV show about a doctor in a small town. He seems to be the only competent one there (although is very angry all the time, probably because he’s the only competent one there). He doesn’t do much traveling in the show but the scenery is beautiful. It’s shot in Cornwall, a southwest portion of England. If you’ve never been to England (like me) you probably didn’t realize how beautiful the scenery it has, especially along the ocean. In the TV show Martin is a doctor that has a fear of blood. He becomes the sole doctor in the small town and helps people all over the place. Whether or not you care for British humor it can be quite a funny show and can inspire your next trip to England (outside of London for a change!).


The Secret

Not actually a travel specific book. It’s a very inspiring explanation of the Law of Attraction where gaining a more positive mindset can change your view on the world. Ever notice how there are only two types of old people? Old cranks that hate everything or wonderful old people who just love life and are living it the best way they can. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between when someone gets over 80. Everything horrible seems to happen to the old cranky people and everything wonderful seems to happen to the happy old people. It’s no coincidence, which can also help you conquer fear before traveling the world.

How to Travel The World on $50 a Day

Nomadic Matt’s book can help get into more specifics on saving money, finding cheap airfare, generally what to expect around the world, etc. instead of having to sift through 1,000s of travel blogs (wait a minute…). It’s a great read and gives you something realistic to expect. Not too positive thinking but it doesn’t sound condescending. It’s a great read whether you’re just planning a two-week vacation or an around the world trip and it’ll help you get over those initial fears stopping you in the first place.

100 Wonders of the World

Not sure where to go? I had no idea either when I was 15 and first spotted this book. I knew I wanted to travel the world but what is there to see? There was once a time I had never heard of Machu Piccu and I couldn’t believe it after learning what such a popular destination it was and the history that filled that area. There are several other places around the world in this book and they’ll definitely make you gain inspiration to go there for yourself.

Tales of a Female Nomad

I found this gem in a library not too long ago. It’s slightly dated, starting back in 1986 when children’s book author Rita Golden Gelman finds herself on the brink of divorce. Her husband says he wants a few months to think to himself. Instead of wallowing in sadness she decides she needs to find herself as well and heads to Mexico. Once she returns her husband says he hasn’t been able to catch a break so she’s off again. Her adult children thinks she nuts at first (and I’m sure have similar reactions to people in your life). Eventually she does get divorced and from there she frees herself to travel the world, including living with indigenous people from around the world and staying with royalty in Southeast Asia. This book is sure to give you inspiration to see the world (especially as a solo female traveler) and make you realize even in places deemed unsafe to travel you can always find a friend.

Three Cups of Tea

Greg Mortenson makes a trip in 1991 along with some friends up K2, the second highest mountain in the world, located in the Himalayas. After trying to aid a fellow climber who got severe altitude sickness he stops in a remote village of Korphe, Pakistan for a while. It is debatable on whether or not he actually did go there and build schools, in the book is explains how he did build schools so everyone could be educated. While reading this book you’ll learn more about Pakistan’s culture and it’ll inspire you to go there and see it for yourself (although, avoid the Taliban).

Travel Blogs


My first travel blog experience! I still remember being 14 and reading about a Polish woman living in China by choice and it going against everything I had ever been told was safe to do. But there she was. That was the first step in me realizing that maybe the news was wrong (or at least only showed negative things happening around the world). Today friends Agness and Cez continue to post unique travel experiences and tips around the world on their blog.

The World Pursuit

American Couple Natalie and Cameron have been traveling around the world for many years now. When I first found them they were driving around the continent of Africa in a car they bought in South Africa. Since then they sold the car in Uganda and are making their way around the world (and still other areas of Africa). They’ll make you realize that the world isn’t as dangerous as you once thought, and that you really want to see a wild zebra with your own eyes (and camera).

The Blonde Abroad

Kiersten of her blog was once like many Americans, thinking everyone was made to go to college, get an office job, get married, and make babies before retiring at 65; and she started down that path. Studying abroad in college and backpacking Europe made her change all of that! I love her blog because she’s not just a budget blogger, she does luxury too. Also, she mentions things other travel bloggers don’t, like travel make-up and hair supplies. I never would have thought to get a mini cordless curling iron but guess what is on my list now?

Disrupting the Rabblement

I’m so glad I found this guy (it was actually through etramping, imagine that!). Remember what I mentioned before about not being sure if I’d make enough money through this? Well, have no fear! Niall Doherty is an Irish man who was once in this predicament and now he makes thousands of dollars a month working online. At one time he traveled the world without ever catching a flight and now he’s here to inspire you to work online as well. Do you have what it takes?


Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift

This song doesn’t actually talk about traveling the world, however much of the music video was shot in different parts of Africa. It shows flying over wild animals in planes and seeing animals on a safari and the natural scenery. It’ll have to wanting to go to the continent in no time. The cinematography in this music video is quite awesome too, even if some of it is CGI added in later.

Talk Dirty To Me by Jason Derulo Feat. 2 Chainz

This song is much more upbeat, louder, and has a hip hop vibe. While the message is sexual (and the dancing you see in the music video) in the song he talks about traveling from London to Taiwan not knowing the local languages wherever he goes around the world. Also, if lipstick stains are on his passport, it might be a problem. I personally laugh at the song, especially at the end when the girl says, “What? I don’t understand,” in the most innocent voice.

Round and Round by Selena Gomez

Again, the song has nothing to do with traveling however the music video was filmed in Budapest, Hungary (actually while she was filming Monte Carlo). During the song she runs around the city showing it’s cityscape and beautiful architecture throughout it. It’s sure to inspire you’re next trip to Europe and experience Budapest yourself. Which did you know it was originally two cities but was united in 1873?

Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts

You can’t have a road trip without this song! Don’t let yourself get hypnotized by the yellow line (or as the picture shows, the white line), instead listen to this! Is describes the life of always being on the road going through several cities and towns all the time sometimes staying for a while and sometimes leaving the very next day. It’s the ultimate travel song that’s for sure.

Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Although this song is more about finding for her place in the world as a singer in Hollywood, a lot of the lyrics work for people traveling the world too. She sings about fighting the haters and that she’ll be okay even though she spent a few years from home and misses everyone there. Also, in the music video she has a view shots of the Pacific Coast Highway, so that’s worth a look for sure.

Disclaimer: It might seem like this was a sponsored post (I wish!) however it wasn’t. No one paid me to promote them and these are just the books, movies, TV shows, travel blogs, and songs I follow on a day to day basis. No sponsorship or affiliated link in this article.

About Leanne

Leanne got the inspiration to travel the world at 12-years-old when her family moved from Washington State to Florida. Although she still had to attend 7th grade she used her time to gain inspiration from travel bloggers. Now, 7 years later, here she is! Today she’s living in Honolulu, Hawaii and preparing herself both physically and mentally to travel the world. Come join her here on Countries To Go!

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