The embarrassing movie that inspired my wanderlust

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All of us have that certain movie that makes us embarrassed to confess that has somehow inspired us to some point. What is yours?

As recently as today I found a movie that was fundamental in my teenage years: The Lizzie Mcguire Movie. Yeah, these were some of the most important scenes of those years.


Yeah, this was of the main moments of my life when I said “I want to travel”. Lizzie McGuire Movie. For years I dreamed of how amazing must be having the chance to see Rome that way, to meet a gorgeous Italian guy and to live adventures. All the opposite as my Rome experience turned out to be.


Lizzie Mcguire Movie: Brenda ♥’s Rome



So, even though Lizzie McGuire Movie was the one that definitely, make me say “hey, I want to have an experience like that someday” my traveling life has taken a totally different route than the one the movie shows, and the one I thought I will have when I was 14. I needed to see first a few places in the State, the Caribbean, Scandinavia and Azerbaijan to end up seeing Rome, and not exacly because I was meaning to, but because I needed to catch a plane somewhere in Italy.

Lizzie McGuire Movie: How everything started

After thinking of Rome as that Città Eterna that you have been told in history books and tourist guide books, I went to university and obtained a Foreign Language major. I studied Italian. I spent a lot of years listening Italian language, watching Italian movies and tv, reading newspapers. It was somehow like Italy taking part of my life. I felt I knew the country thanks to my major because of how immersed I was in the culture from abroad. I even did an internship in the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce where I met many Italians and took instructions of people in a hurry, even in the weirdest italian accents. I was the Italian translator and interpreter when I was requested to in some situations. I don’t know why, but while most of my classmates in college wanted actually to experience the culture of the languages we were learning, I wanted to do the whole opposite: I wanted to see something differentI needed to go somewhere people will struggle to understand me. That’s why my Lizzie McGuire desires basically dissappeared in my early 20’s. It did not happen only with Italy, it happened as well with Brazil since I studied also Portuguese.


Lizzie McGuire Movie Location: Arriving to Rome

I arrived to Rome in an afternoon coming from Perugia, the town of the Baci Chocolate Factory, as I said earlier, only because I needed to use the airport there. I slept the whole way, I woke up when my landscape started to be gray and somehow dirty, when I knew I was definitely approaching. I finally arrived to Rome and everything I was told about Rome in my Italian culture classes was totally true: there were gypsies all over the place, people who didn’t really look trustworthy, not exactly that beautiful place the movie told me about.


Ever seen someone so tense at the Trevi Fountain?

Lizzie McGuire Movie and the Trevi Fountain

I managed to see some of Rome thanks to an amazing friend at my hostel. She has been in Rome for a while and she insisted that I shouldn’t leave Rome without seeing that amazing Trevi Fountain. The same fountain where all the adventure Lizzie McGuire has begun. I did the same thing as the movie (fortunately I did what happened in Lizzie McGuire, and not what happens in La Dolce Vita!) I threw a coin to the fountain. I threw it making a wish of not coming back again. The boys in the city weren’t as amazing as the movie in my teenage showed me. And yes, I felt like if I was living a deja vu (thanks Italian class!) because everything seemed so familiar to me.


I thank Lizzie McGuire Movie for waking up my wanderlust. Maybe without that movie I would not be traveling as much as I should. The only bad thing about it, is all the false illusions that it gave me about Rome.


They say that all the ways lead to Rome, I definitely will definitely look for the way that lead away from it.

All of us have that certain movie that makes us embarrassed to confess that has somehow inspired us to some point. What is yours?

Brenda: + 34 years old + Puerto Rican + Viajera Boricua + Master in Cultural Tourism + Foreign Language Major + Hispanic Studies Minor + Portuguese + Italian + Russian + Literature Freak + ♥’s Indie Music + Volleyball Enthusiast + Tricolor do Morumbi(SPFC) + San Antonio Spurs +


  • March 10, 2016

    I love this post! I completely forgot about this movie, but actually I think it’s a wonderful topic you’ve covered! There aren’t a lot of movies that really glorify or explain “travel” to kids and teens. There’s definitely movies which make me want to visit locations that they’re filmed in, but I struggle to think of movies aimed at kids which cover what travel is like, and what it can give you!

  • March 15, 2016

    My movie inspiration to travel was the Sound of Music, there’s something about the endless green of the Austrian alps which made me want to see it right away when I was a kid. Until now though, I haven’t seen the alps. 🙁

    Although your Rome travel didn’t end up like Lizzie’s, I think your journey in general is a lot more better than hers. Italy taking over your life I think is such a wonderful feeling! 🙂

  • Roger

    May 13, 2018

    Not sure if you’re still updating this blog, found it via the huffpo article about loneliness and travel and was curious to know what ended up happening, and if you were still traveling/blogging, seems that there aren’t any 2018 updates..

    In any case, interesting article, one that sticks in memory was ‘Before Sunrise’ for me.


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