An Unlikely Travel Hero: Clue – He’s a Large, Grey, Fictitious Animal

Travel Photo of the Week: Hot Air Balloon

I fell in love with the romance of travel and hot air ballooning as a child.

Seeing the beautiful illustrations of Babar the elephant and his blushing bride Celeste going on their honeymoon in a hot air balloon made me yearn to travel widely and go hot air ballooning too.

Reading The Travels of Babar made me want to drift off on my own adventures.

I haven’t been hot air ballooning yet but just seeing hot air balloons float across the sky is magical. It’s the silence, the color, the shape, the wonder of knowing that all that’s keeping those balloons afloat is a roaring flame and some hot air.

We sometimes saw a hot air balloons from the roof garden of Dingley Hall and last time we stayed there little Luke enjoyed watching one float by.

Every time I see a hot air balloon it takes me on a little journey back to Babar, my childhood travel hero, and forward as I wonder when and where I’ll be when I follow in Babar’s elephanty foot steps and finally take flight in a hot air balloon.

But mostly seeing a hot air balloon makes me stop whatever I’m doing and watch, wonder and enjoy.

I’m trying to practice mindfulness right now so I guess that’s a good thing. I’m learning to notice my thoughts and acknowledge them but not judge them.

To notice thoughts then watch them drift away like so many hot air balloons on a balmy summer’s evening.

Travel photo hot air balloon

You can find the excellent book The Travels of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff on Amazon. Check it out here.

Do you have any travel heros? Either real people or fictitious animals?! Just tell us who or what makes you want to travel in the comments below. We’d love to know. Thank you. 

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  1. se7en April 26, 2013 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Oh wow, oh fun!!! We share a childhood favourite!!! Just have to love Babar!!! I dream of ballooning over a game farm one day – well the Serengeti really… but frankly will settle for anything!!! I am sure it is a major sport and you can try it out in the name of 52 exercises!!!

    • Annabel Candy April 26, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Hi Se&en,

      Oh Africa would be THE place for hot air ballooning. You couldn’t get more romantic than that and you might even spot of Babar’s distant relatives from the air :)

      Glad to find another Babar!

  2. Ali Manning April 27, 2013 at 5:05 am - Reply

    Thanks for the reminder of happy childhood memories reading about the adventures of Babar :) Riding in a got air balloon is on my list of things to do before I’m 50.

  3. Susan @ Travel Junkette April 29, 2013 at 12:09 am - Reply

    Yay! I love Babar, but I’d completely forgotten about that book. What a wonderful story!

    • Annabel Candy April 29, 2013 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Hi Susan,

      When I started writing about Babar I’d forgotten that actual book title too but it all came back to me when I started searching for images. Spooky :) Jean de Brunhoff and Babar have a lot to answer for!

  4. Dennis Aimes May 3, 2013 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I miss some of these great children’s tales, like Babar. I feel like contemporary children’s literary characters just can’t compare, although some of that is probably my own nostalgia.

  5. Louise Boylen May 14, 2013 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Good old Barbar. Your blog brought back a memory; Barbar was the first book I borrowed from the library. And I remember reading about Paddington Bear who journeyed across the world to start a new life in London. Maybe he’s the reason so many young adults travel to London for a few years of working and touring Europe.

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