Confession: Most of my travel is inspired by films and television.
I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. Some might choose their next destination based on their Instagram feeds. Some might pick their next adventure based on magazines and it-blogs that promote the latest hotels and exotic resorts. Some might even shut their eyes, and randomly point to a map, then open their eyes and go wherever fate takes them. Not me.
As a cinephile, I constantly view life through the lens of movie scenes that play in my head. From recent blockbusters to slept-on indie dramas and even nostalgic childhood favorites, if a film is set in an iconic location, you can bet it’s on my to-travel list.
My first trip to Paris was a dream straight out of Mary Kate and Ashley’s Passport to Paris. Like the Olsens twins, I strolled about the Louvre Museum in awe. I donned a leather jacket and hiked up the steps to the Sacré-Cœur as they did. And drank milkshakes across from the Arc de Triomphe as the girls did in one of the best scenes ever.
It might sound silly, but I watched that film so many times as a kid it informed my perception of Paris. Even if I hadn’t meant to, no doubt I was influenced by the thousands and thousands and thousands of hours I logged glued to the TV screen. I longed to live a life as cool and chic as Mary-Kate and Ashley. My magical Parisian tour was an extra-special experience because my sister joined me and was happy to indulge my cinematic fantasies. We both grew up modeling ourselves on the infamous Olsen twins. So much so, that we used to tell people we were twins. And they believed us!
There we were: living out our childhood fabrications and it felt so good. We connected our trip with our childhood selves and romanticized every single moment. We were starring in a movie of our own making. So we whipped out our phones and snapped photos incessantly. I often flip through those memories in my virtual photo albums.
When I headed to Rome, I assumed the role of Lizzie Maguire in the seminal movie of the same name — a film that shaped much of my adolescence. In the movie, Lizzie is charmed by an international pop star and persuaded to play the part of a famous singer who looks exactly like her. No matter how much I longed for it — unfortunately, this didn’t happen to me. Despite the absence of a Disney Channel-inspired romance, I was still fascinated by the sights I’d only seen on screen. The Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Pantheon. When I arrived in Rome, there they were — finally real — right in front of me.
This wasn’t me merely living out some pre-teen wish. I watched all those movies at pivotal moments in my life, and parts of them actually inform who I am. Like anyone, the media I consumed in my formative years is sacrosanct — nothing can compare. The lessons they taught me about friendship, the messages they contained about how to be a person in the world, and the clothes they wore are still relevant to me.
For most of us, our favorite music in high school will remain our teen anthems. This is a psychologically proven phenomenon — and why nostalgic playlists always hit the hardest at an event. According to Psychology Today, we grow more attached to the music we’re exposed to in adolescence than at any other time in our life because of our neurons.
“The more we like a song,” they report, “the more we get treated to neurochemical bliss, flooding our brains with some of the same neurotransmitters that cocaine chases after. Music lights these sparks of neural activity in everybody. But in young people, the spark turns into a fireworks show … Between the ages of 12 and 22, our brains undergo rapid neurological development—and the music we love during that decade seems to get wired into our lobes for good. When we make neural connections to a song, we also create a strong memory trace that becomes laden with heightened emotion, thanks partly to a surfeit of pubertal growth hormones. These hormones tell our brains that everything is incredibly important—especially the songs that form the soundtrack to our teenage dreams (and embarrassments).”
The same is true with all the other media we consume. Nostalgia hardwires our brains to fire more intensely when we’re reminded us of our youth. So planning a trip that activates memories of the things I loved way back when will make that trip all the more memorable.
It’s also a way to nurture my inner child, which is an important part of being a balanced adult. According to Healthline, one way to get in touch with your inner child is to bring back the joys of childhood — indulging in the things I loved then, and giving myself the gift of things I wasn’t able to do.
“Adulthood certainly comes with plenty of responsibilities, but relaxation and playfulness are both essential components of good mental health,” they muse. “Getting back in touch with your playful side and making time for fun can help heal the pain of missing out on what you needed as a child. It’s also important to enjoy small pleasures, like ice cream after a walk, games with your partner or children, and laughter with friends. Whatever you do, making regular time for fun and lightheartedness in your life can help rekindle the positive emotions of youth.”
For the benefit of my inner child, I get in touch with all the places I dreamed of going to and do all the things I deeply want to do. Then, whenever I need to remind myself of how far I’ve come in my lifetime, I recall the vivid memories from my various trips.
These recollections are sacred. So, when I dropped my phone and shattered my camera right before my last trip, I replaced it immediately. However, I learned my lesson. No more flimsy phone cases for me. What if this had happened mid-trip and missed capturing many precious moments? So I decided to invest in a durable, high-quality phone case.
Casetify makes the best phone cases out there, no question. They tick every box: they’re sustainable, they’re virtually indestructible, they’re lightweight, and they have a ton of designs to match your personality.
Identifying a phone case that reflects my taste is super important. With hundreds of cases out there to choose from, Casetify narrowed things down for me and I easily found a case that suits my tastes perfectly. My Casetify phone case is one of the most exceptional purchases I’ve made for my phone, my travels, and my inner child.
Casetify is the one-stop shop for tech accessories that keep your belongings safe and stylish. Their all-new phone straps wrap around your wrist to keep you from dropping your phone — something I could have used in the first place. Their beaded designs lend a funky vibe to your phone. The same is true of their Airpod cases and all other accessories.
To those travel lovers, I can’t recommend my Casetify phone case highly enough. Run. Don’t wait, they’re offering free worldwide shipping right now to sweeten the deal.