What Happens When the Travel Bug Bites?
Many people are completely unaware of the travel bug until it bites them. It usually happens when they go on their first amazing trip, where everything is great and they feel like never going back home again. It doesn’t matter whether they’re traveling with family or friends. If the experience is indeed memorable, they’ll be hooked.
When it happens to you, you’ll instantly know the feeling. All of sudden, all your priorities change and travel becomes the main focus of your life. The more you do it, the better it gets.
Have you been bitten? Do you recognize any of the following symptoms?
You Travel at Every Chance
Do you know that friend that’s always away? They might come back from a week-long trip, but if someone invites them for a weekend away, they say “yes” and don’t even unpack? Well, you’re probably going to become just like that friend!
When traveling truly becomes a priority, it comes before everything. The thrill of exploring a new place and meeting new people is too big to pass. So, if the opportunity arises, you catch it in the blink of an eye and make the most of it.
You’re More Curious About Other Cultures
If before you were vaguely interested in other countries and only really paid attention to your own traditions and values, everything changes when you get bitten. You find yourself more inquisitive, really trying to understand other cultures and their points of view.
You’ll appreciate their religion, habits, and languages. You’ll become more interested in the story of immigrants and slowly appreciate the fact that people have a lot more similarities than differences,
You’re Constantly Looking for Cheap Flights
At the moment, the apps on your mobile home screen and bookmarked pages on your browser are probably related to social media sites, work, school/university, or your hobbies. As soon as the urge to travel frequently sets in, you’ll instead have many flight comparison websites, which you’ll visit daily.
Sometimes, you’ll check the prices to a random destination just to see if it’s expensive or if there’s a promotion going on. You’ll probably know most of the countries your local airport travels to and, in no time, probably visit all of them. Eventually, you’ll know the countries by their airport codes.
You Want to Learn Every Language Possible
It’s really hard for native English speakers to have the motivation to speak other languages. As it stands, English is quickly becoming the world’s lingua franca. As such, you can pretty much speak it everywhere you go.
However, once you start traveling around the globe and hear people speaking French, Spanish, Thai, or Arabic, you’ll get impressed with the different sounds, tones, and expressions. It won’t take long until you feel like learning these languages, so you have a more immersive experience.
You Have Several Trips Planned in Your Head
When traveling becomes the focus of your life, you literally can’t stop thinking about anything else. Because of that, it’s common to have at least five different trips all planned in your head.
You’ll probably have an ambitious long-term trip planned, where you visit many bucket list destinations. You may also have a weekend getaway to a place nearby or a culture-specific trip to do some volunteering or learn the language. The possibilities are endless!
You Worry Less and Less About Material Stuff
Have you noticed that frequent travelers tend to carry very little? Especially the ones on long-term trips. The more you travel, the more you realize you don’t need to take as much stuff you thought you needed. As a result, you often spend your money on experiences, instead of material things.
When you get back home you tend to maintain this behavior and only really buy things that are necessary. So why buy an expensive smartphone or pair of shoes, when you can go on an amazing trip with that money?
You Consume All Types of Travel Content
You’ll quickly find out that the travel bug changes you to your very core. All of a sudden, you’ll find yourself falling in love with travel writing, buying many travel memoirs, and literally becoming an armchair traveler.
But it won’t stop there. You’ll find many travel blogs you identify with, your shelf will be full of travel guides, and before you know it, you’ll have watched all the TV shows and films about travel.
If it smells like adventure, you’ll consume it.
You Wish to Find a Job Where You Can Travel a Lot
Many people choose their careers based on their passions, salary expectations, and family traditions among other reasons. But when you realize your chosen profession might not be entirely travel-friendly, you might freak out a little bit.
That’s one of the reasons remote jobs are on the rise. People want the possibility to travel whenever they feel like without necessarily quitting their jobs. Other people choose professions that traditionally involve travel such as flight attendants, tour guides, or cruise ship crew.
You Think Day-to-Day Life is Boring
It’s not that your life is boring. However, after you have jumped off planes to do skydiving, eaten weird insects, visited amazing temples, and met incredible people, it may feel slightly dull to be back home.
When you look around and see everybody working a lot to pay for their debts and only having roughly two weeks of holidays a year, you immediately decide you don’t want to be part of the rat race. While family and friends might disapprove of this lifestyle, you’ll be making the right choice for yourself.
You Become Part of the Hostel Community
The first time you traveled with your parents, you probably stayed in a nice hotel, camping site, or resort. You probably associated the word “hostel” with a shelter for homeless people and wanted nothing to do with that!
However, as you grow older you understand a hostel is an amazing concept, where travelers stay in dormitories, which in turn makes accommodation a lot cheaper. You tend to meet people from all over the world. Even if you’re not traveling, you can visit local hostels’ bars and still make international friends.
You Go Out to Exotic Restaurants
Do you know someone who always goes to the same restaurants and orders the same dishes every time? Well, you’ll never be like that after you start exploring the world. International cuisine is a big reason people travel to new places.
You’ll find yourself going to the local Thai restaurant just to see if the Pad Thai tastes like the real deal. You might also start visiting new places, such as a Nepalese or African restaurant, to try new and exciting dishes and put them on your bucket list, so you can eventually eat them when you visit the countries.
A Sabbatical is Always on Your Mind
Many people don’t understand how important a sabbatical can be. Even if you love your job and don’t mind working 40 hour weeks, you still need a break to realign and get some new perspectives. It’s not about leaving everything behind, it’s just some time for yourself.
The great thing about a sabbatical is that you’re just putting your life on hold. You will, most likely, return to it. However, in the six months to a year that you stay away, you’ll have the chance to explore the world, reflect on your life choices, and decide if you’re indeed following the right path.
You Explore Your City as a Tourist
The main change that happens in your mind when the travel bug bites is having a constant travel mindset. That is, you don’t have to be traveling to behave like a traveler. So instead of only looking outwards, you tend to fall in love with your city.
You’ll probably be more interested in its history. Even better, the monuments, museums, and parks you always ignored will gain new life. In no time, you’ll become an expert. Then you can take your friends around when they visit.