When I look back at my original bucket list formulated in my early years I can see that my target destinations were largely inspired by what I had seen on the TV and I don’t mean travel programmes. After all, in those days before computers, tablets and multi-channel broadcasting, your favourite movies and cop shows were your window on the world. No surprise then that one of big aspirations was to see the Golden Gate Bridge which was so beautifully portrayed in the opening sequence of Ironside, a series which was compulsory viewing in my household!
These days a raft of travel shows and ready access to information online means that you can get an accurate picture of just about anywhere but the fact remains that you have to be inspired to look in the first place. Dramas on the big and little screens can still be crucial in our travel choices. The backdrops to the unfolding stories may seem somewhat incidental but judging by the popularity of movie location tours and the like, our viewing habits are still dictating some of our travel plans.
I am certainly still under the influence! Happily I did get to see the Golden Gate bridge but long after Ironside had been confined to the TV Archives. On the same trip I visited Alcatraz which I had been inspired to visit after watching the Movie Escape from Alcatraz. More modern productions do still through up inspiration, however. A few years ago I was watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. This was not my usual taste in movies but I found myself rather enjoying it. Someway through the story the action was taking place on and around a beautiful river. The scenery looked so breath-taking that I just had to know where it was. Here Google did come in very handy and I discovered that the glorious location was in Slovenia.
I am not normally particularly impulsive but on this occasion I had to make an exception and within days had booked a trip to Slovenia! Considering I had previously had no idea where Slovenia was this seemed like a crazy thing to do but proved to be a brilliant decision. I absolutely loved Slovenia and have returned on several occasions. It is a real gem that I never would have considered had I not seen the movie.
Now I find that the new hit American TV series True Detective is turning my thoughts to Louisiana. I have been to the state before but watching the show is making me dream of a return. Not that the series paints the region in a particularly favourable light being rather bleak, but it has brought back memories of fun on the bayous and the distinctive nature of the Deep South.
London, Rome and Sweden
As you have probably guessed I do like my cop shows. I have stopped short of a pilgrimage to Baker Street to visit the haunts of Sherlock Holmes, unlike many Americans who flock there in their thousands. However, Zen which was set in Rome was quite another matter. Wallander, on the other hand, had the opposite effect on me. That show was so dark and the back drop so bleak that it has completely put me off Sweden! I am sure that are many wonderful places to enjoy there but none of them feature in Wallander and so a search for all things Scandinavian is on the back burner for me.
So where will I travel next? Who knows but my plans could depend on what I watch over the coming weeks! Hopefully the next must watch movie won’t be set in Siberia!
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and travel enthusiast who is always looking for exciting new destinations to explore.