I grew up with very few photographic images of any sort. We had no coffee table or travel books and few magazines. And of course we had no PCs or Internet, so moving images were limited to TV and movies. Our television reception was limited to 3 networks, one of which did not come in well at all. Programming was rather mundane from an imaging perspective - there was no Travel or Discovery Channel. There was no videotapes or DVDs. On rare occasion we went to a movie theater or drive-in (see With Six You Get Eggroll here).
There were a few family vacations to scenic destinations and the occasional family Sunday afternoon drive in the country. There was certainly nothing locally.
Primarily, we had imagination, the world children live in and it was a ripe fertile ground for me when growing up. And I had a View-Master.
The only memory I have of any inspiring photos were those from a set of paper disks for my View-Master, with its remarkable stereo 3D images. I never tired of this small device and its ability to awe me with those three dimensional photos. Our collection of disks was small and I remember viewing them repeatedly, particularly the disk of Switzerland and its alpine wonders.
The occasional movie, like Heidi with Shirley Temple, did much to cement my impressions of Switzerland as the dream alpine destination, only to be fulfilled much later in life on a whirlwind tour of Europe. In the 1980s, I made a number of trips to the West Indies, where I always looked for tropical mountains, explaining my obsession with the island of Dominica - see Miracles In Our Midst here. It was always mountains and vistas - best of course were mountain vistas.
On my recent excursion via the Manhattan Bridge to photograph the enigmatic 110 York Street, I decided to proceed across to the Brooklyn side, looping around and returning to Manhattan via the footpath on the south side of the bridge, affording spectacular views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport, the Municipal and Woolworth buildings and the financial district (see more photos here) with American International Building and its mountain motif - see Magic Mountain here. If you enjoy panoramas, I do recommend a walk or bike ride across the Manhattan Bridge by day or night. You won't need your View-Master :)