Why I Blame Disney for My Wanderlust

In one of my first posts, I described succumbing to wanderlust after a semester abroad. The need-not desire but need- to travel was so intense and abrupt that I figured it was some minute part of my DNA that was bound to overtake me one day; I would have been attracted to a life of traveling even if I had never left my hometown.

Then, I spent a day re-watching some of my favorite Disney movies. In an afternoon I watched a misfit find happiness in Paris, an orphan travel from the UK to New York City in an oversized piece of fruit, and a long-lost king reclaim his throne in Africa. That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t born to travel. Disney brainwashed a sense of travel into me! To be honest, it was through their movies that I was first exposed to the far away places I desire to experience now. While the movies aren’t the most accurate of travel guides, they introduced me to foreign landmarks and cultures that I would later recognize during my travels. The stories -as outlandish as they were- got my imagination going and made the unconventional career of a professional traveler seem possible.

I’m not quite there yet but another thing that Disney taught me is that the unusual always wins. Especially if there’s singing involved.

Below are the top 5 Disney movies responsible for my Wanderlust .

5. James and the Giant Peach

imdb. com

imdb. com

This story of a neglected orphan who, along with a handful of insect friends, travels across the sea in a giant magical peach always intrigued me for some reason. This was probably my first encounter with NYC being the “land of dreams” and the happiness James and his new family finds there is enough to make the city seem magical to young and old.

4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame



When I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral last year I wasn’t thinking about how beautiful of an archaeological feat it is. I took one look at it, pointed, and squealed, “Quasimodo’s House!”. I was around 5 when this movie came out so it was probably my first introduction to Paris, the Cathedral, and Victor Hugo’s tale of the deformed bell-ringer who lived inside its towers.

3. Mulan



I was obsessed with Mulan for years and had the collector dolls to prove it. The most memorable scene for me is of the title character defeating the villains with fireworks in The Imperial City. I see other bloggers documenting their visits here and can’t wait to do the same.

2. Aladdin



I never knew the exact location of Aladdin but it’s obviously someplace in the Middle East. My favorite scene is when Aladdin takes Princess Jasmine on a magic carpet ride around the world. They pass by the Pyramid, watch the fireworks over, the Forbidden City, and even see some future ruins of Greece.

1. The Lion King



The lucky animals in this movie not only talk but also live among some of the most beautiful backgrounds in animation history. Because of this movie, I’ve always thought of Africa as a lush, beautiful place. When I do get to Africa, I want to go on a Safari and, most likely, I will be the annoying one calling all the lions “Simba”.

What movies inspired your travel addiction ?

My Travel Playlist

Inspired by Travellersoul76 (Check out her amazing blog. She’s lived everywhere!) , I decided to make a list of my favorite traveling tunes. These are songs that have calmed me to sleep during flights, entertained me on long bus rides throughout Spain, and , recently, have been reminding of all the places I’ve been and where I want to go.

Click on the titles to hear the song.

1. “Good Life” by OneRepublic

Favorite Line: “Woke up in London yesterday/ found myself in the city near Picadilly.”

I found this song the summer before visiting London and now every time I hear it, I remember my favorite city. And the time that old guy attacked a car in Picadilly Circus

2.”I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

I listened to this over and over again while packing. I haven’t been to most of the places but it’s catchy as heck. And, yes, I was a bit annoyed when no one realized Rihanna sampled it in ‘Where Have You Been”

Favorite Line: “Of travel I had my share, man/I’ve been everywhere.”

3. “Me Gustas Tu” by Manu Chao

This song was used in a grammar course to refresh us on the use of me gusta.  Translate the lyrics if you need to and you’ll find it’s both funny and useful for learning the language.

Favorite Line :“Me gustan los aviones/ me gustas tu.’

4. “Mas” by Nelly Furtado

I listened to the whole Mi Plan album constantly but this song is a bit special. I had been in Spain for a few months and had this playing one day while I was walking home. I noticed that I actually understood the lyrics and wasn’t just enjoying the beat as usual. For me , it signified that I was actually learning Spanish and not wasting time there.

Favorite Line :“No quiero perder mas todo mi tiempo/al lado de alguien quien no quiere entenderlo.”

5. “I was Here” by Beyonce

At every new experience, I keep thinking that no one would ever be able to take my memories of it away from me. Traveling felt like a dream to me, which is why I am working so hard to continue. The video also features clips of her travels around the world.

Favorite Line: “ I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted/And it was more than I thought it would be.”

6. “Sofa” by Ed Sheeran

One day I will love a man so much that not even the prospect of travel will make me want to leave our sofa.

Favorite Line: “Say the word and I’ll take ya/ But I’d rather stay on the sofa with you.”

7. “So Good” by B.OB

The video for this song is awesome and full of places I’ve been and want to go.

Favorite Line: “ Five hour layovers from Norway to Egypt/I’m to the point like the Pyramids of Giza/ Still leaning left like the tower out in pisa.” 

I would love to know what travel songs I should add to my playlist as well as what songs are on yours.

An Evening With Ed Sheeran in Penn’s Landing

Penn's Landing

Back in Spain, I met and fell in love with the music of Ed Sheeran. After a weekend of Sangria and Tapa-tasting, I was exploring Youtube when I stumbled upon one of his videos and  have been hooked ever since. … Continue reading