What Book or Movie Inspired You to Travel?

AAA Members discuss the books and movies that moved them to see the world.

What Book or Movie Inspired You to Travel? Andrew Lyons

Whether it’s contained in a classic book or a blockbuster movie, a good story can take you places. AAA Members share the films and books that not only stirred their imaginations, but roused their wanderlust and inspired them to set out on adventures of their own.

“I was blown away by the film Two for the Road with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. I was 16 in 1967, and when I saw that movie I just knew that I had to see Europe! Two years later, I was there for my first trip of many. I loved the way the film followed their changing relationship and situations. What an inspiration! I became a travel agent because of that film and still enjoy watching it.” Karyn Bottomley

“The Elizabeth Gilbert book Eat Pray Love really inspired me to travel more and try new things. While I haven’t been able to go to Italy, India or Bali, my husband and I have made it a point to try new restaurants around our town and when traveling. We’ve found wonderful Italian restaurants such as Clara’s in Woodridge, Illinois. We’ve also tried several of the diners featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” — Valerie Amstutz

“I have read most of Karen White’s books, and location often plays an important part in her work. She has a series that takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. I loved traveling to Charleston where I recognized all of the streets, and many of the streets were named after important historic figures in Charleston, which are also important characters in her books. I can’t wait to go back to Charleston again someday.” — Angie Smith

“I started to read J.A. Jance’s series about Ali Reynolds and became fascinated with Sedona, Arizona, because of all the beautiful descriptions she uses in describing the red rocks. So, this past March I finally made it down to Arizona and that was the top place that I wanted to sightsee! It was beautiful beyond belief, but I sure wish that I could’ve had a sweet roll at the Sugarloaf Cafe!” — Chantelle Sundberg

“A film that has inspired the traveler in me is Letters to Juliet. Taking place primarily in Italy, the entire movie has become my dream vacation, including the scene at Juliet’s Wall in Verona. Seeing that movie made traveling exciting for me. It’s constantly a surprise who you’re going to meet, where you’re going to stop, the landmarks you’ll pass, the history behind the smallest cities and so much more. That endless wonder that the movie inspired in me will never be stopped, only broadened, hopefully bringing me to Verona someday.” — Natalie Lutz

“Dana Stabenow’s mystery series featuring private investigator Kate Shugak inspired me to visit Alaska. I love her descriptions of Alaska’s natural beauty as well as some of its quirkier residents. Kate, an Aleut, lives in a park based on Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, so I made sure to include it on our trip. It was fun to see the park’s food cache and fish wheel, which Stabenow mentions in her books. There are now 21 Kate Shugak books, but I recommend starting with the first, A Cold Day for Murder.” — Helen Huntley

The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux captured my imagination and fired my wanderlust like no other book. Thanks to Theroux, travel by land across Asia became an adventure fulfilled for many of us.” — Kale Butenhoff

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