Travel Bug: Virus or Passion?
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
You catch it one day, without warning. Restless legs, a lack of something, too long without flying, without new horizons, without jet lag. You have always loved to travel, but there is a huge difference between loving to travel and needing to travel.
Like Julien Blanc Gras in his book "Touriste" (which I highly recommend by the way), you look at your world globe (or better said, one of your 10 world globes) and you realize that you have never been to Siberia. Moment of panic, you will never be able to visit everything in a lifetime.
Until the next departure, you collect objects related to travel, almost as an addiction, and your loved ones even encourage you by offering you a world map to scratch with the destinations you visit, or a world clock. A world clock!! You can have breakfast at Sydney time and dinner at Los Angeles time. Awesome!
Even better, the world shower curtain. Between the coconut bubbles, you dream of faraway places, when suddenly, you spot Ellesmere Island. You HAVE to go to Ellesmere Island, it seems inaccessible and super remote, perfect!
And then finally, you’re about to leave on a new journey. Oh no, a 6-hour stopover in Dubai doesn't leave you enough time to get out of the airport, so it doesn't count: you haven't visited the UAE.
No additional points on your travel map, showing off your adventures around the world and informing you that you have only visited 18% of the planet (while a true adventurer does not need a travel map, an adventurer does not show off).
But hey, besides this little setback, there you are, at the airport, in your element. You take off your belt to save time at security, your Lonely Planet bible sits quietly in your backpack and your liquids are perfectly arranged in their plastic bag. You get emotional while watching farewells and reencounters of your fellow citizens of the world. There is nothing more beautiful than an airport hall.
Once on board, the usual tasteless cheesecake (why is there always cheesecake on board?) is followed by tomato juice (same question!). And in the middle of the movie, you can't help checking the interactive map that shows your location. No matter how many flights you’ve been on, it's still magical to be up there, above the clouds. Besides, you’re so excited you can’t sleep. The hostess announces the upcoming landing, you fold your table, fasten your seatbelt and stick your face to the window to try to see the new landscapes that await you. Around you, the "plane-blasé" passengers keeping read as if nothing were happening... How dare they? Insensitive!
These are the moments when you ask yourself: Is it just a passion, or a virus, as my mom says? I would rather say a drug. I fly literally and figuratively when I am on a plane, and I experience a real sense of lack when I don’t go anywhere for several weeks.
Can you relate to this? Let me know!