Travel Fever: 7 signs you’re addicted to traveling
There was a time the backseat of my car wasn’t actually a backseat, but a makeshift bed padded up with a kid’s air mattress, a blanket mum had made from her old concert t-shirts and hordes of graham crackers and single serving packs of peanut butter shoved into the pockets behind the front seats. I just wanted to be ready to hop into the car at a moments notice and trek off into the unknown.
It was the first signs of what my mum called “wanderlust”– and it was the way I lived out the final days of my senior year of high school, jumping from town to town on the weekends just to get a taste of what it was like to be on my own and discover new things.
It didn’t matter that I was only ever a few hours outside of my own backyard— it was just about getting to feel the wind in my hair and taste the freedom that came from breaking past the city limits.
So my wanderlust grew and with it so did the tell tale signs that I was just born with the globetrotting gene, and there wasn’t a single thing that I could do about it.
Think you’re meant to roam too? If any of these 7 things sound like you, it means you’re a goner, and you should tie your hiking boots on tight because it’s going to be a wild ride.
- You’ve learned to pack light in all situations.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the to the beach, the doctor’s office, or the coffeehouse, you’ve become a master of slimming down the things you put in your arms or on your back to the absolute basics in every situation. And why wouldn’t you? You’ve become an expert at knowing what you’ll need and what’s extraneous because you’ve carried your shoes, a week’s worth of clothes, and all of your other wordly possessions—like your favorite wide brim hat you just couldn’t leave at home–in your Arc’teryx Altra 65 for two months. Your calves and shoulder muscles are proof that the things you can’t live without is a small list, but a heavy one. So why carry extra weight?
- Everyone asks you if you ever work.
You know you’ve made it when your Instagram becomes a legendary documentary-style logbook of the National Georgraphic-like adventures you’ve been living. Heck, if National Geographic had any sense at all they’d just contract you to start working for them, since all of your followers think you are never working anyway. Comments like “You’re on vacation again?!” and “Tell me how to get your dream life, I’m at work” are the most common reactions to your artful black and whites of the Bastille Square Market or the aerial views from Macchu Picchu. So if you’re feeling the heat for showing the world just exactly what it’s like living through your eyes, don’t worry–they’re just jealous of your travel spirit!
- Travel photography makes you book plane tickets.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve just happened past the travel section of Barnes & Noble or stumbled upon a gallery of Abandoned Places You Must See Before You Die on Buzzfeed, your immediate reaction to any exposure to far off distant lands is to open Orbitz in a new tab. It’s not just your devil-may-care attitude and general “live by the seat of your pants” mantra that spurs these impulses, it’s that the pictures are literally calling you. Come see me! Let’s explore together! You know you want to!
- You get emotionally attached to your shoes.
How many people can say they’ve been with you through every step of a thousand of miles, gallons of sweat and tears, and every weather imaginable? The answer is most likely no one, but if your shoes could talk, they would be screaming trying to remind you of all the sand dunes you’ve squished your soft soles down into, or mossy rocks you’ve treacherously teetered between over a fast flowing stream. Companionship like that is hard to let go of so no matter the holes, the frayed laces, or the missing buckles, there’s a special place in your heart for the shoes you’ve traveled in. You also may or may not be creating a collection of sneaks, all labeled and dated with your adventures together. Hey, it’s not hoarding, it’s proper documentation, right?
- You’ve memorized your passport number.
Most people rattle off their phone numbers or current level of Candy Crush faster than you, but you have a skill far more impressive: your passport number might as well be burned on your skin it’s so ingrained in your head. Whether it’s from purchasing travel insurance or the continuous forms at hostels and hotels that require you to fill in those magic digits, you’ve become a natural at your issue date, expiry date, and of course the mother of them all, your actual passport number. Maybe at home you don’t need it so much, it’s true, but here’s to hoping you’re never at home long enough to figure that out.
- The idea of “communal” doesn’t make your skin crawl.
Let’s be honest, you’ve had your fair share of crowded buses, shared dorms, and showers that require a trip down the hall. But it doesn’t bother you at all, in fact, it’s one of your favorite parts of travelling. You like the fact that there are a lot of people in the guest kitchen at the same time, and there’s hustle and bustle throughout dinner. Sure, it means you have to take turns at the stove, but it also means friends to share your meal. Every empty seat you see on the metro is an opportunity to meet someone new, and that’s just the way you like it.
- You know there’s no place like home.
No matter how far your feet take you, there’s a certain satisfaction in crossing the threshold of that one place where you unpack your suitcase. It may surprise people who know your wandering ways, but when it’s time to recharge there’s only one place you trust to deliver the R&R, and that’s home sweet home. Before you know it, it will be time to pack up and get back on the road, but you always set off knowing exactly where you’ll be coming back to. And that’s really comforting.
Have your own wanderlust checklist that let’s you know you’re in the mood to get on the road? Add it in the comments—we could have them in common!