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The Inspiration Initiative – My Sources of Inspiration

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Posted on / by Alex Berger

Mount Fitz Roy Boots

The Inspiration Initiative: #InspireTravel

Recently EasyJet Holidays reached out to me and asked if I would help them launch a new project they’re calling the Inspiration Initiative.  I loved the idea and in turn I’ve put together the following inspiration initiative post. Join in and help to inspire travel by sharing your own holiday and travel inspirations.  You can find out more here.

Who

In 1994 my Mom and Dad rented out our house, uprooted my younger brother and I, and loaded the family into an airplane bound for Europe. We spent the next 11 months exploring Europe by foot, plane, train, and automobile. All the while they taught me about history, culture, tolerance and curiosity while also providing for my academic basics. What’s more, after returning to the states and spending a year to re-adjust they did it again, this time in a 32 foot fifth-wheel trailer as part of a ’round-the-US year-long trip.

I knew what they were doing was amazing at the time but, it has only been as I’ve transitioned into adult hood that I’ve truly realized and come to appreciate the amount of planning, preparation, and inspired drive that went into these trips. As I’ve transitioned from a child to a man in my own right, they’ve smoothly gone from parent and guide to mentor and friend. They have not only inspired me, they have also laid the groundwork and foundations which drive me to seek out inspiration; which push me to identify and associate with people who challenge, inform, and empower me.

What

Star Trek: The Next Generation. As a child growing up in the 80s and early 90s the voyages of the USS Enterprise captivated me. The intro narrative, “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before” fostered an intense desire in me to explore the world (and beyond). It drove me to look to the far horizon, to dream of visiting the stars, and to embrace a passion and belief in a better future. It not only inspired me to travel and to appreciate new cultures and the arts, it instilled in me the passion of a futurist – a dreamer with a strong desire to also be an enactor working to bring science fiction to life. To this day I still consider Captain Picard to be one of the more influential and inspirational role models in my life.

When

Despite being born in Colorado and raised in Arizona, a large part of my childhood was spent on the Mexican beaches of Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). Some of my first brushes with adventure were as a diaper-wearing toddler bravely making my way across what at the time seemed to be giant sand dunes, all under the watchful eye of my parents. As the years passed I traded in my diaper for a swimsuit, bucket, and net while roaming further afield. With these in hand I spent hours upon end exploring the beach’s tide pools and further nurturing my sense of curiosity as I sought out new life, ecosystems and discoveries one tide pool at a time. I can’t name a specific year, as we’d spend at least one month out of each year camped on the beach, but it was a formative part of my childhood. To this day there’s something about the smell of fresh ocean air which captivates and invigorates me.

Where

Preikestolen Norway – located along Norway’s southwestern fjords. This wonderful natural formation is unusual, beautiful, and awe-inspiring.  With a semi-strenuous 3.8km hike along a rustic, boulder-littered path you’ll have to work a bit to reach Preikestolen or the “Preacher’s Pulpit” as it is also commonly known.  The small uphill hike is well worth it.  In addition to being beautiful, the final destination is heart-stopping and sure to take your breath away.  The pulpit’s rock formation is a large square roughly 25 meters x 25 meters which protrudes from the cliff face over the picturesque Lysefjorden fjord below. The sheer face of the cliff drops off nearly 2,000 feet (604 meters) to the fjord and offers an incredible panoramic view of the Norwegian countryside and surrounding mountain range.  If the weather is cooperating, it’s also possible to sit at one of the corners or along the outward edge of the pulpit where tradition suggests either dangling your legs over the side into empty air or crawling forward on your belly to glance over the edge into the void.  As someone with a fear of heights, it was a rich experience pushing my comfort zone while soaking up the sheer majesty of the location.  It served to further re-enforce my passion for travel, adventure, and exploration while showcasing the wonder and magnificent beauty that the world holds for those willing to seek it out.  You can see my post from Preikestolen here, and a video from over the edge here.

Inspiration Initiative Nominees;

Travel Yourself
Pommie Travels
My Travel Thirst
Wild About Travel
The Planet D

I wish you all safe travels and inspiring adventures. 

Click here for more information on the EasyJet Holidays Inspiration Initiative

Alex Berger

I am a travel blogger and photographer. I also am involved in academic research into the study abroad and backpacker communities.

18 Comments

  • Nilda
    March 5, 2012

    Alex, what a lovely and inspiring comment on your life and travels so far! Now we know you are preparing for Africa! Happy Trails to you!! You are always in my thoughts and prayers!

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      March 5, 2012

      Thanks Nilda! Yep, preparing and getting extremely excited about it! It is coming up quickly!

      Reply
  • Miruna
    March 5, 2012

    Great article!
    Thanks for sharing :)!

    Reply
  • Ed Berger
    March 5, 2012

    Thank you Alex. Mom and I always wondered why you boys hauled us all over creation. What adventures we had! And, we’ll join you in Africa and then back for some more Europe romping. Did you book our Easy Jet Holidays flights yet?
    POP

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      March 5, 2012

      Thanks Pop! Can’t wait for Africa, it really will be a wild adventure! Still waiting for the final few pieces of information for booking Scotland!

      Reply
  • Brock – Backpack With Brock
    March 5, 2012

    What a cool initiative! Great to hear about your inspirations.

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      March 5, 2012

      Thanks Brock! Definitely is. Let me know if you decided to participate and post your own!

      Reply
  • Dan
    March 6, 2012

    Great post man 🙂

    Reply
  • Katie Martin
    March 13, 2012

    You are so lucky to have already done so much traveling and seen so much of the world. Although I know I’ve been to some interesting and lovely places and haven’t simply been stuck in one town all my life, I feel as though I have been relatively stuck when it comes to seeing the world. Your version of it sounds much more exciting and compelling! Also, your parents sound awesome. Can I be their friend and go on a European adventure too? Haha! It is so amazing that they took that much care to show you and your brother so much and still were able to keep up on your schooling. Kudos to them for sure. Where in Africa are you planning to go and be inspired by next?

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      March 16, 2012

      Thanks Katie! I really have had amazing opportunities! I think that feeling is always there though. There’s always more over the horizon, always more to see and the more of the world we explore and are exposed to the larger – not smaller it feels!

      We will be traversing Zambia for a month, heading up to the north to visit my brother (http://davidberger.net) who is based out of Mansa, over to a Safari in the north east, then down to the Capital and to Livingston to see Victoria falls. It will be incredible!

      Reply
  • Anil
    March 21, 2012

    Yes! Star Trek has also been one of my biggest inspirations to get into the sciences and later to long-term travel! Really cool, there are a lot of traveling Trekkies out there 🙂

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      March 21, 2012

      Nice! Yep, there really are a surprising number of us. It makes me hope there is a similar show inspiring the current generation! If not, well, let’s just hope they keep playing Star Trek re-runs regularly!

      Reply
  • Vicky
    April 1, 2012

    Aw, great post. Love that your parents inspired you so much. I don’t actually have any kids, but when I do I love the idea of taking them abroad and exploring how amazing the world is outside the class room. You’re very lucky!

    Reply
    • Alex Berger
      April 1, 2012

      Thanks Vicky! It is definitely a type of parenting/gift to my kids I hope to emulate when I eventually get around to having them.

      Reply
  • Round up of the Inspiration Initiative blog posts And the winner of the easyJet Holidays #InspireTravel competition is…._Go Time Travel Blog | Go Time Travel Blog

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