Why I Owe My Travel Itch to James Bond
Believe it or not, I remember when there were no computers or video games, much less the internet. I remember a time when kids actually played outdoors–we explored the woods and built forts, we played in the direct sunlight all day with no sunscreen, we played basketball, baseball, football, soccer (the other football), and anything else with a ball. I also remember when a trip to the movies was a real treat. I remember mowing lawns as a kid to earn enough money to buy movie tickets and popcorn. And the movie I looked forward to the most as a kid was the next release of a James Bond film. There were two reasons I loved Bond films; 1) my dad was my real life hero and I always thought my dad had a similar look of the 1960s Sean Connery–the best Bond actor ever!, and 2) all those incredible and exotic places where the Bond movies were filmed. Oh, and of course I liked the ‘Bond girls’ too.
But it truly was the filming locations that hooked me as a kid. Back then you couldn’t quickly Google some foreign place you’d never heard of and instantly view a wealth of information with loads of pictures. And there was no Travel Channel to show you mysterious cultures and exotic places in the world. Instead I was only able to view the world through the nightly network news (which sadly was mostly fixated on warring nations and negativity) and through movies.
Let me pause here to acknowledge that my wife is British, so yes I know that movies are films, soccer is football, and a vacation is a holiday. So forgive me all you British readers and friends if I don’t use the Queen’s English throughout this piece, and I hope you don’t rate it rubbish.
Anyway, growing up in America–like most Americans–I had never been on vacation outside the USA. My grandmother had a world atlas and I would spend hours looking at its maps of different countries and dreaming of visiting them. Apart from that world altas and a few library books at school, movies were my only other source of viewing worldly destinations. So the James Bond movies were my window to the world. Sean Connery gave me my first dose of Jamaica through Dr. No and I was mesmerized by the beauty of Istanbul through From Russia With Love. I was exposed to the majestic Alps of Switzerland through Goldfinger and was hooked on the gorgeous beaches and underwater reefs of the Bahamas in Thunderball. After seeing You Only Live Twice I yearned to visit Japan.
In the early 1970s Roger Moore assumed the Bond role and introduced me to Thailand in The Man With the Golden Gun. Some 40+ years later I was fortunate enough to visit the popular ‘James Bond Island’ or Ko Khao Phing Kan northeast of Phuket (see our Phuket, Thailand blog) where filming took place.
The Spy Who Loved Me took me to ancient Egypt, Moonraker exposed me to Rio de Janeiro, and For Your Eyes Only revealed Greece and that spectacular monestary built high upon a rock mountain (Monestary of the Holy Trinity in Meteora, Greece). I was intrigued by the mysteries of India, which was the primary filming location for Octopussy. By this time some 20 years of Bond films had been produced. In all those films, there were many scenes shot on location in exotic places like Venice, Paris, England, Scotland, Iceland, and many others.
Each time I saw a Bond film, I was more and more intrigued about the world and its variety of exciting and mysterious countries, cities, languages, cultures, climates, and landscapes. As a kid, I pledged to myself that I would someday, some way, some how travel to many of those destinations when I got older.
So here it is many many years later and I still yearn to see those filming locations and many other destinations that James Bond introduced me to over the years. In my head I’m still that kid who longs to see the world, even though when I look in the mirror there’s a gray-haired bloke staring back at me. In recent years I have been blessed with opportunities to not only travel extensively, but to live and work in Europe and Asia. To date, I have visited 5 continents and have plans to visit South America and Antarctica over the next few years, God willing. Nina and I have now visited over 60 countries and we are happy to share our excitement with you via the posts on this travelogue.
So thank you James Bond for inspiring me to become a ‘worldly trekker’. I look forward to your next adventure and a new inspiration for future travel destinations.
You can also follow us on Twitter @WorldlyTrekker. God bless you all and safe travels!
If you are a world trekker like us and want to become more ‘worldly’, then you will want to try our books below. Thanks to the former British Empire and current Commonwealth, the English language is widely spoken across the world, however it is spoken quite differently depending on where you are traveling. We believe the books below are essential to worldly trekkers and think you will find them both fun and informative. The books include a dictionary of everyday words and phrases, traditional cuisine, some history and culture, and other handy information.
Simply click on the book covers below to find out more: