What Inspires You To Travel? | 10 Inspirational Resources


People often ask us, What inspires you to travel? Where do you get your travel inspiration from? There are a lot of resources that inspire us, so we made this top-10 list to help you get inspired to go traveling!

Resources that inspire to travel; 

1) Travel Videos
2) Documentaries
3) Books
4) Stories From Friends And Other Travelers
5) Cultures
6) Local Festivals
7) Food
8) Nature
9) Wildlife
10) Intrinsic Motivation

The above list is the resources we use most to find new inspiration. #10 is actually our most valuable resource, our intrinsic motivation. We just love to explore the world and learn more about other cultures. People often say; 

“Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, you stay infected for the rest of your life.”

We still use these resources to get new inspiration for travel destinations. Ready to find out more? Let’s dig in! 

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About us Leon and Kirsten Made For Travellers

Inspirational Travel Resources

We’ve basically been fulltime travelers since early 2018, and since then, we visited many countries. While being on the road, we’re writing for this website and a few other informational websites we own. Also, we do a lot of filming to create inspirational travel videos and documentaries. 

2020 is a year where we planned to travel less. We’re expecting our first child! So this year is all about getting used to a new family life. However, for 2021, our plan is still to discover new countries in the world. Until then, we use these resources to find inspiration for new destinations. 

1) Travel Videos

We love to watch and make travel videos! I feel it is one of the best resources to find new travel inspiration. A travel video can tell you so much about a destination. On YouTube, you can find them in many different formats.

One of the best inspirational travel video channels I love to watch is Sam Kolder’s channel, Kold. He makes relatively short, cinematic videos. Often with a lot of drone footage and as a drone pilot myself, it inspires me every time! Check out his compilation video of 2019; 

KOLD - My Best Drone Clips 2019

We also make travel videos and documentaries ourselves, which you might find interesting. Our videos are more focused on telling more about a countries culture. We have both shorter videos, which are more like an impression of a destination. These videos are our ‘travel guide videos.’ And documentaries, which I’ll show you in the next part of this article. 

You can learn more about our travel videos on our travel show page, or watching one of our videos below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, would be awesome! 

SAL CAPE VERDE | OUR TRAVEL GUIDE | Swimming with sharks and more things do in Sal

2) Documentaries

Let’s stay in videos for a while, travel documentaries can be very inspiring to awaken your wanderlust. I really love watching, and also making travel documentaries. Travel documentaries are often longer than an inspirational travel video. And thus there’s more time to tell an in-depth story about a particular subject. For travel documentaries, usually, that’s telling more about the culture, traditions, or nature of a country or specific place. 

One of the travel and nature documentaries that inspired me the most was the planet earth series of BBC. Also, the boy-to-man documentary series made by Tim Noonan is very inspirational, but sometimes a bit more extreme. He also produced “the extreme engagement” series for Netflix, which is fun to watch and also interesting if you want to learn more about indigenous and sometimes extreme cultures, check out the trailer below; 

Trailer | Extreme Engagement | Netflix Original Series

Travel Show ‘LeKi On Travel’

So, I mentioned just a few documentaries that inspired me to travel more. But we also love to film and try to capture the unique cultures that cross our paths during our travels. The most significant difference between the documentaries and productions I mentioned earlier, and our video productions, is that we merely film and produce videos as a hobby. We named our show LeKi op Reis (Leki on Travels). Leki simply is the first letters of our names, Léon and Kirsten. 

Luckily for me, Kirsten worked as a producer for several TV Shows in The Netherlands, so when we started a few years ago, we had some knowledge of how things worked. But, we’re still learning every day! It’s just a fun experience. 

What I like most about creating travel documentaries is that the purpose of traveling changes. It is not just sightseeing, we get to know countries, cultures, and local people in a different way. Which is very inspirational! 

Two documentaries we filmed were for us making our dreams come true. We were able to swim with humpback whales in Tonga. And when we were in New Zealand, we captured the story of the Māori culture, which is a very unique, indigenous culture. 

You can find our documentaries on our travel show page, or watch our Māori Documentary on YouTube; 

MAORI DOCUMENTARY | Meeting the Māori people of New Zealand

3) Books

Reading books can be very inspirational. Not only to awaken your wanderlust, but also many other things in life. 

Ikigai

Over the years, I read many travel-related books. The book I most recently finished was Ikigai, about the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. Maybe it’s not directly related to travel, but traveling for me is also learning about new cultures, and adapting the things that improve my life. I really recommend reading the book, it also made me curious about visiting Japan, I feel it can be such an inspirational country! 

The Ikigai book is available on Amazon. Click on the image or link to see the latest price on Amazon.

Il Milione

A classic book in travel literature is Il Milione, the story follows Marco Polo during its journey through the ancient Silk Route. A journey that took over 24 years, and made him the first Western traveler that reached many outskirts in the world. The most interesting about this story is learning more about the different cultures at that time (13th century AD) and how Marco Polo changed his lifestyle following the traditions of different cultures. 

Il Milione is available on Amazon. Click on the image or link to see the latest price on Amazon.

These books are also available as an e-book via Amazon Kindle. If you want to use Amazon Kindle, you can use this link to subscribe. You can easily use the kindle membership on different devices with the Kindle app or using an e-reader;

Coffee Table Books

Other books that inspire to travel are Before They Pass Away from Jimmy Nelson. A unique coffee table book, where he showcases unique tribal cultures from over the world. 

Land of Giants made by Will Burrard-Lucas is the newest inspirational book we’re reading. It’s a real artwork about the last wild African great tuskers (elephants). 

These unique and inspirational coffee table books are an excellent gift for every traveler, or to buy as an inspirational guide for yourself. 

4) Stories From Friends And Other Travelers

As full-time travelers, you might think we’ve seen it all, but that’s actually not true. I love talking about traveling with friends and family, and also other travelers who we meet while we’re on the road. 

It is inspiring to listen to other stories and travel adventures of fellow travelers. When we’re on the road, we meet so many different people. The funny thing is that most conversations with other travelers start kind of the same. Subjects like; ‘where you from,’ ‘where have you been,’ and ‘where are you going.’ Are like the basic questions to start a conversation among travel-minded people. 

Sometimes these conversations turn into real friendships, but most of the time, I find it just inspirational to listen to other people. Learn from there stories, and get inspired by their adventures. 

Travel Must-Haves For Every Traveler

These items are must-haves for every traveler, and I can highly recommend them without any hesitation:

Travel Hammock:
This lightweight hammock is made of ultra-light parachute silk material. The hammock fits in a small portable bag and is very-easy-to you use. You can relax comfortably anywhere: on the beach, by the lake, in the forest, campsite, your hotel, Airbnb and even at home! 

The North Face Backpack:
This is a high-quality, versatile, and practical daypack from one of the best brands in the world. It is a perfect choice, no matter what kind of travel plans you have.

Oasis Kindle E-reader:
A waterproof E-reader for unlimited reading while traveling. It is a must-have for every traveler that enjoys reading. This E-reader has an adjustable warm light to shift screen shade from white to amber. It also works with Audible, so you switch effortlessly from reading to listening.

Sony Noise-canceling headphone:
A world-leading noise-canceling headphone to make your travel trip more comfortable and less exhausting. One of the best travel products out there. Either for listening to music, podcasts. Or to block all the noise during traveling, for example, when you’re in an airplane. 

GoPro HERO 8
We’ve been using a GoPro camera since the first generation came on the market. It is our go-to travel camera ever since. Perfect for making the best pictures and memorable videos. It’s easy to use, waterproof and fits in your pocket or daypack. The new generation has a built-in stabilizer so that videos will be even better quality! 

Check out our recommendations page for more travel gear and recourses. 

5) Cultures

I’m a cultural addict. I really love to learn about traditions and different cultures. How certain things developed over time, and how specific events in history influencing the daily life of different cultures. 

I find it all inspirational, and it is one of the main reasons I love to travel. Not only the basic stories about culture, one can easily find when Googling. Sure these facts are also interesting, but I’m specifically interested in the people. Is life really that different within specific cultures, how do people cope with cultural traditions and expectations. 

During our travels, we learned that there are many differences within cultures all over the world. But the most important things in life are the same everywhere you go. 

Happiness, Health, Safety, Family, and Friends. These are the important factors you find in every culture around the world. 

6) Local Festivals

When I start learning more about a new culture, I always look for local cultural festivals. Events that are celebrated annually throughout a community. Sometimes there are many differences in cultural events in the world. Like with Easter celebrations. A catholic event that is celebrated at many places in the world, but differs in each country. These cultural differences are, for me, the most inspirational. 

In our own country, we also celebrate unique cultural festivals. We’re from The Netherlands, and the two most significant cultural events in the country are not related to religion. The largest cultural festivals in The Netherlands are Kingsday and Liberation Day. 

Kingsday is the day that we celebrate our King’s birthday. It is a public holiday, with many cultural festivities throughout the country. Everyone dresses up in orange, which is the national color of The Netherlands. The Dutch Royal Family visits a different city in the country each year to celebrate Kings Day among the locals. Read more about Kingsday in our article What Is Kingsday in The Netherlands? 

Liberation Day is the other unique cultural Dutch festival. During Liberation Day, we celebrate our freedom after World War II. Each year many festivals and celebrations are taking place on the 5th of May. The day before, on the 4th of May, is the national remembrance of the death. You can find out more about these cultural events, and other unique things of our country, in our article What Is The Netherlands Famous For?

Cape Verdean Culture

I got inspired by many cultures during our travels. However, the Cape Verdean culture is one that inspires me very much. We traveled for 10 weeks through the archipelago, and it surprised me how positive and friendly the people are. 

Cape Verde is one of the youngest and most stable democracies in Africa. But it is also a very poor country. Since the discovery of the islands in the 15th century, and until 1975, Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony. Without the possibility to thrive as an independent nation. 

Despite the economic adversity, the Cape Verdeans always stayed positive. They always found a way to celebrate life and be happy. The Cape Verdean lifestyle is the best way described as no stress. In Cape Verde known as Morabeza. A way of life that is best experienced on the island of Santo Antão. 

But they also find a way to celebrate the beauty and happiness in life. Cape Verde islands are actually one of the best places to celebrate tropical carnival. The island São Vicente is known as the cultural heart of the archipelago. Check out the tropical carnival celebrations in Cape Verde in our travel video; 

CARNIVAL IN CAPE VERDE? | OUR TRAVEL GUIDE TO SAO VICENTE

When you’re inspired to visit this African archipelago, I recommend reading some of our articles about Cape Verde. An interesting article to start with is What is Cape Verde Famous For?

7) Food

Another great way to learn more about a culture is by exploring the local cuisine. By finding unique local restaurants and eating local food, you can learn a lot about the cultural heritage of a country. 

For example, in Cape Verde, their local, national dish, is Cachupa. A stew of basic ingredients like corn, meat, and some local vegetables. For a long time, it was food for the poor people of the country. But today, the Cape Verdeans are proud of their national dish. It’s interesting to learn how things develop over time. 

One of the most inspirational figures, when you talk about exploring culture food, was Anthony Bourdain. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2018, but his travel documentaries are still exciting to watch. The series Parts Unknown, and No Reservations, where he, in a brilliant way, combines cultural food, with everyday life. You get a great insight into learning more about specific cultures. 

8) Nature

We love being outdoors and explore the beautiful and remote parts of the world. However, we’re not extreme travelers. We just drive around in our small Toyota Yaris with a rooftop tent on top. Looking for places off the beaten track. Getting away from the rat race, being outside, and live within nature. And even as full-time travelers, we still have dreams and a bucket list. Exploring the northern lights, visit the Amazon Jungle, visit Patagonia, and many other things. 

When you love to visit nature, I recommend reading more about New Zealand. This beautiful country has it all and amazed me every day when we traveled through the country. It’s such a beautiful environment! 

9) Wildlife

Nature and wildlife are two things that are closely related. We love to explore wildlife, but always respectfully. We don’t want to disturb the wildlife but visit certain parts, merely to explore and experience. And let the animals be in their natural habitats. 

During the last years, we made some inspirational wildlife trips. When we were in Indonesia, we visited the island of Sumatra. Here we could visit one of the last wild Orang-Utans. A unique experience, in a very remote part of the island. 

We also visited the Kingdom of Tonga, where one of our biggest dreams came true. We went swimming with humpback whales. These gentle giants come to the island of Tonga annually to have their young. A great experience and something we’ll never forget. I would recommend everyone planning such amazing trips. But always in a respectful way for nature and wildlife. Remember that we are just visitors in the natural habitats of these animals. 

TONGA DOCUMENTARY | Swimming With Humpback Whales
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10) Intrinsic Motivation

When it comes to traveling, we are our biggest inspirators. We have that urge to learn more about cultures, to see unique countries, and meet other people from all over the world. Explore the beauty of nature and wildlife. 

Like we started this article, we are infected with the travel bug. 

I can’t really describe where it’s coming from. Maybe it has something to do with my mixed cultural background. My family comes from Indonesia, which makes a part of me Indonesian. So a mix of different cultures. During our trip to Indonesia, I also visited my family’s heritage on the island of Java. I created this video about it; 

OUR TRAVEL GUIDE TO JAVA INDONESIA | Watching Sunrise at Bromo Volcano

Our urge to travel has definitely something to do with the fact that we don’t want to participate in the western rat race. I think it is one of the biggest reasons why we all travel and go on vacation. To get away from the busy moments in our daily life. The most significant difference for us is that we didn’t want to get away from those busy moments for only a few weeks per year. We didn’t want to be in that rat race at all. 

We participated in several office jobs, and made our first steps on the western ‘career ladder.’ Still, quickly we discovered that’s not the lifestyle that suits us. 

We want to create memories and live our lives in the happiest way possible. For us, that means traveling to enrich ourselves with the knowledge of different cultures. And also being at home, together with our family and friends. 

So, these are the things where we get our travel inspiration from. Of course, sometimes, we also look at Instagram to get some inspiration. But honestly, the travel related images and stories there are most of the time to picture-perfect for me. It doesn’t reflect reality. 

When you’re looking for some travel inspiration, I recommend reading our destination articles. We love to inspire you to go travel more. Check out the different articles here. Of course, you can also watch our videos on our travel show page. If you like our videos, please subscribe to our YouTube channel

Léon Kopijn

Léon Kopijn works and lives as a Digital Nomad. He travels the world with the love of his life and writes about inspiring cultures and practical travel tips. Find out more about Léon on his about page!

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