Are you infected?
The immune system is a funny thing. It is constantly active without us being aware of it. It is only when a virus or bug gets a substantial foothold do we feel the side effects of an immune reaction: fatigue, achy muscles, high fever. It makes you want to curl up with a hot water bottle, under a blanket and do nothing.
There is only one bug that I know of that has completely the opposite effect… and as far as I am aware, there is no known cure.
It makes you feel a tingling in your feet. Your legs become jittery. You start to drum your fingers and tap your feet. You feel like you need to jump up and start dancing like a wild African witch doctor in a tribal ceremony. But really all you want to do is pack you bag, race to the nearest airport, train station or sea port and, with passport in hand, and depart on a new adventure.
What is it?
It is commonly known as the travel bug.
You know you have it when you are hankering to get away from everything that is familiar and walk down that path you have never seen before, experience something you have never heard of before and meet people you would never second glance in your home town. Travel is like a book that you can’t put down.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St. Augustine
I can’t remember when I caught the travel bug, but the symptoms have been there forever. I get antsy and don’t like to stay in the same place for too long. Last time I did an employment check for work I had to recall eleven known addresses in the past ten years. My CV is updated with a new position every 1 – 3 years. I like to visit new places, sample new food and meet new people.
Can it be treated?
The travel bug has no real cure, but it can be treated.
First of all, try not get caught up in the hysteria that the travel bug brings. Don’t just pack up everything you own and take off. Travel can be time consuming and expensive. It also requires a bit of research if you want to do it properly and efficiently.
Secondly, much like prescribed antibiotics, if you are limited to time and money don’t misuse your travel. Set limits and use common sense. I am a true believer that travel is one of the only things in the world that you can buy that makes you richer.
Thirdly, for inspiration and ideas for your own travel read travel blogs, contact a travel agent, read articles and ask for tips from people you know who have travelled. Start with a destination or bucket list and work out your journey from there. There are a few ideas on this site that might help you get started and you can also check out my Ultimate Bucket List for some inspiration.
I don’t like to have everything planned and pre-booked but I always have an aim, a budget and a time frame to work with. One day I hope to have the time and patience to just wander from country to country with no real urgency.
“Not all those who wander are lost” – J. R. R. Tolkien
But at the moment, I just want to see and experience everything I possibly can… I blame the travel bug!
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” – Susan Sontag