“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.”

–Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life : An autobiography

I feel like I can’t possibly share some of my icons of travel inspiration without first telling you about the man who started it all…my dad. He is a watercolor artist, a poetic story teller, and a retired navy veteran. My dad spent his life traveling all over the world with the navy. And when I was little, he would send postcards from where he was and I would go and find it on the map and then try to learn as much as I could about that place. Even now as an adult, he is the first person I go to with plans of where I’m going and questions about places I would like to visit. Everyone should be so lucky to have such a beginning of exploring.

So now allow me to share with you my favorites in TV, books, blogs, and websites that are my go-to sources of inspiration and planning for all of my adventures…

::TV inspirations::

Next up is the ever vivacious and charming Samantha Brown. Have you seen her new series ‘Places to Love’? It is absolutely a spectacular travel show and I would highly recommend it. I have followed Samantha ever since ‘Great Hotels’ and all through her Passport series of Europe, Asia, and Latin America. And if that weren’t enough, my collection of her signature luggage and travel bags is getting to an embarrassing large number. ( )

Then of course is Rick Steves, not only a travel icon but a travel legend. His travels through Europe are probably the most watched show that ever goes on my tv. His down to earth manner and his focus on travel being accessible to everyone makes him invaluable in travel planning. Everyone believes they can travel Europe with Rick Steves guiding them. He also has a number of tour groups that you can join to make the experience all the more rich. (

:: Travel Books & Guides::

A must have travel book that I feel everyone should have is ‘1000 Places to See Before You Die’ by the incredible Patricia Shultz. There is one for US& Canada and one that includes the entire world. I seem to have multiple copies of both, each of them have been lovingly marked as I check each place off that I’ve seen. They have also come out with calendars based on the places so each day you can get a little taste of places to go and things to see. Someday my book will be full and I would have seen all the places in it. (

DK Eyewitness has an entire group of travel guides and I have used them for most of my travels. They break down a place into smaller areas and include street maps listing where everything is and brief descriptions of what to see. They also include sections about traveler needs including medical, currency, transportation, etc. These are great books to take with you and use on your travels. (

Another favorite guide book comes from Rick Steves. His guides gives great ideas and guidance when planning a trip. He also has a couple of books about travel but are not guide books that are very interesting and help you get ready for an area. I really love his ‘Europe 101’ book as it gives a great overview of history, art, and travel. It really helped me understand the history and the timelines of civilizations and helped to guide me on the art in an area that should be appreciated and why. (

Another great group of guidebooks comes from Moon Travel books. They have a wide variety of guidebooks for places, but I have come to rely on their guidebooks for the across the US. They really help break down a state or area and the list of places to go and things to do is so inclusive that no matter the interest you can find where you want to go.(

Because we are a hiking family, we love Falcon Hiking Guides to help us to hit the trails. These books offer all the trails in an area and list the difficulty level and also other considerations that might affect your ability to hike the trail. If you are going hiking, then I would absolutely recommend getting a Falcon Guide to help find the trail that is right for you.( falcon)

:: Websites ::

My all time favorite website for travel planning is Tripmasters. This user friendly site helps you to create the trip you want. If you don’t know where to start, they offer a lot of suggested itineraries that you can select. Or you can create your own with cities you want to visit for however many days. They offer tours and experiences on their site and you can even add a personal car to pick you up from the airport. I spend hours on this site dreaming of trips and exploring possibilities. (

Another site I use frequently is Tripadvisor to find the best of what an area has to offer. Their reviews of places are trustworthy and professional, gathered from the numerous people who have gone there and I rely on them wherever I go. (

:: Blogs ::

Love Traveling Blog (

The Hungry Travellers Blog (

I’ve Bean Travelling Blog (

The Princesses Diaries (

Travels with Ali (

Ariela On The Go (

The Chronicles of History (