August 16, 2013
Some may call me a travel addict. But being a travel addict suggests that traveling is an adverse activity and I have some sort of neurological impairment that results in repeatedly engaging in travel. Ok, maybe a drain on my bank account is adverse and categorizing the Skyscanner app on my smart phone as a game can be considered a mild disorder. But let’s dig a little deeper into this supposed addiction. So why do I travel?
I have friends and family in different parts of the world, so it makes me want to travel. Even growing up, I had to travel to see my cousins, travel to see my aunts and uncles. It has been a part of me all along. And now, since my parents and in-laws live on opposite sides of the globe, the traveling continues!
I am driven by the unknown. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a thrill seeker. Actually, far from it in the traditional sense. I do not have diving expeditions or climb the tallest mountains, I do not explore underwater caves or base jump. My thrills come from exploring new architecture, experiencing artwork, learning how people in other parts of the world live, connecting the dots of history and eating really good local food.
Trips allow me to reflect and learn about myself, but the greatest learning happens when I am living in a different country amidst different cultures. After the initial excitement has dissipated and the reality of life has set in (usually takes about 6 months), I then really start to analyze my discomforts. Through this process, deep realizations will inevitably result. Well, I also learned while living in Eindhoven that I can bike home while holding an umbrella!
I want to be like a child again, like seeing snow for the first time. Actually, I first saw snow when I was 21 years old in upper peninsula Michigan. I thought it was odd that the rain drops looked so big. It was still dark and as I made my way to school under an umbrella. I realized that the sound was not a gentle “pitter patter” but something entirely different, something I’ve not heard before. I put my umbrella down and just stared up at the sky. And of course my mouth was wide open, catching the snow flakes as they float down to earth. My travels bring me to all sorts of wonderful places.
By physically being in different cities and experiencing how its people live, my relationship with these places are never the same again. Dots on the map, “distant” news events, they become much closer to heart, making the world a much smaller place.
I realize I do not really fit in anywhere, and when I feel stuck in one location, I get the need to explore. My community are people that are like me, they are strongly connected to several places, hesitate for a second when asked where they come from and recognize the world as their true home.
This brings us full circle, back to the first reason: it has become a part of my life. And so the story continues, a positive cycle that ensures I never stop traveling.
I travel, I revel and I roam.
If there is such a thing as a travel addict, I suppose I am one but boy am I glad I picked this over a million other things to be addicted to. So the question is: are you a travel addict? And if not, you should plan that vacation you’ve always dreamed about, take that job that brings you to a different part of the world. I promise it won’t be a gateway to travel addiction… *wink*.
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