Travel is an organism. Travel settles in your body. I am not sure if you born with travel genes, but let’s suppose not.
How do we get addicted to travel?
Well again, let’s suppose you are not born with travel genes. If today you are a passionate traveler like I am, you have reached that state of mind by moving from one stepping stone to another.
First you went out camping in your own backyard. Your first night not sleeping in your own room! How excited was that!? Do you remember? Lights went out in home and your parents went to their own bed. Safe behind wood, stone and glass. You were out in the dark, watching the stars, dreaming. Maybe you cried. Growing pains?
When it would start to rain you could always knock on the door and your worried parent would gladly welcome you back. But you were out there! Outdoor air all for yourself!
Then you went camping with your parents. You started to discover other surroundings, other habits. You might went abroad, hearing different languages and eating different food.
Most global travelers also had some kind of international experience with studies or research abroad. That particular stepping stone made you want to learn more about these far-away countries. New cultures, wow!
Stepping stones are your personal way to travel reformation. Stepping stones are different for everybody. They can be places you visited, people and cultures you met, and travel stories you listened to.
One of my important stepping stones was my Japanese penpal Hiromi. She lived in Kyoto and triggered my interest to learn about Japan and Japanese culture. We met for the very first time in September 1995 in a subway station in Kyoto (note: I made a terrible cultural mistake by giving her a welcome kiss…Sorry Hiromi).
Meeting my penpal in Japan!! Can you imagine the excitement and the drive to meet more people in far-away countries.
My advice: use every stepping stone that comes your way. Take advantage of the opportunities!
And after a couple of stepping stones you will get addicted. The travel virus settles in your body. Here is, finally, when the Body Snatchers jump into this story!
We have to guard our travel addiction with our lives! Our body has become a cocoon of valuable travel memories and experiences. We live to travel and we travel to live.
Don’t let the snatchers take away the travel inside you. Don’t let them make clones of you, devoid of travel emotion.
Don’t let fear guide you or let other people tell you there are better ways to spend your money!
Don’t let people tell you shouldn’t drag your children to far-away places.
Don’t believe you are getting to old for this travel sh*t.
Don’t let the snatchers get you.
Don’t get frustrated when you experience a sudden drop in income, because there are many ways to enjoy traveling, on a budget or close to home .
Take every opportunity to be a traveler and to enrich the virus.
Kill the snatchers.
It’s your decision, your virus. You are in charge of your own story, your own travel addiction.
It might take you some time to reach ‘preferable’ levels of addiction. Travel stories cannot be created as such but they have to emerge from experiences.
But mind that moment when traveling becomes an addiction. Ignition.
My name is… [fill in your name] … and I am an addict.
Then start watching over your shoulder for the body snatchers.