How is March treating you? And yes, it is March 2019 already! How did that happen?
I’m sure many of you have heard of the ‘travel bug’ and I’m also pretty certain plenty of you have had it, or are still bunged up with it. Well, don’t worry I’m right there with you. I live with the Travel Bug, even when I’ve just got back from a vacation. It has to be said that I have recently realised how difficult it is to suppress my travel bug.
I thought I would write a short post expressing a few thoughts I have about having the travel bug, how I’ve changed the reasons why I travel and also a few of my favourite snaps from some of my trips (with some photos!)
At the end of last year, I was lucky enough to buy my dream home, which for us at the moment is in the perfect location. I’m exceptionally grateful for the home we have and the gorgeous little family, albeit more on the furry side, we are now so blessed to have. Since moving and adding our fluffy little girls to the family, I love being at home. I am beyond content with our bubble that we’ve worked so hard to create. I think before I ramble on about how much I love travelling, it is important to say that I’ve learnt how crucial it is to be content with where you are. To not be constantly feeling like you need to travel somewhere to be happy, or have that sinking feeling when you know your vacation is over and you have to go home. I think there is a very fine line sometimes, between wanting to see the world and needing to escape the world you’re living in. I’ve realised that I used to get the travel bug as a way of running away from unpleasant situations or feelings. However, now I know I have the travel bug because I genuinely enjoy learning and exploring the world. AND, I know when it’s time to go home, I am honestly equally as ecstatic; knowing I get to cuddle up on the sofa, amongst my mountain of pillows, with a cuppa tea from my favourite mug and have as many animal cuddles as I like.
I think I came down with a case of the travel bug when I was pretty small. I remember our family holidays; we would always go off the beaten track, get up early to avoid the crowds and make friends everywhere we went. I loved the idea of meeting new people that lived in a different place to me. I would love trying different foods – even if I ended up just eating bowls and bowls of pasta, I would always try everything. I would ask questions about the people we met, the places we visited and where we were going to next. So, I guess the bug came early on and surprisingly it hasn’t gone away. Since I’ve become older though, I have learnt that I love organising and planning pretty much everything and anything. I am incapable of not organising something if I have nothing to plan for or organise I start to feel a little lost. This does not stop when it comes to vacations. I think this probably adds to my travel bug symptoms. This is why I like to have a travel project or two on the go each year. You know, just to keep me busy in between all the other things I seem to juggle!
Last year we backpacked around India, took a road trip through France and ate ourselves into a food coma in Boston. I tend to find a destination, research it and then listen to my gut feeling. I know what I like about travelling and I know what I dislike. For instance, I am not a tourist kinda girl, I dislike tourist traps and I very much dislike being surrounded by massive groups of people. I dislike restaurants that are stupidly expensive, just because they are in an area lots of tourists are likely to visit. I also very much dislike when people stick to one path and leave no room for anyone else – other than themselves and their giant cameras/backpacks/floppy hats etc. See, now I know I will have probably offended a few of you by saying that. However, as I always say, ‘each to their own’ and if you’re one of those people I’ve just described then that is absolutely fine! Do you. I just won’t be too close to you, I’ll meet you at the none touristy bar a few streets away.
After the success of our road trip around France, I decided to start organising another. Our trip around France was so incredible; we loved the freedom the car gave us, we loved the unique things we saw off the beaten track, and it also meant we were able to see a lot more than if we had to rely on public transport. Although I love exploring Europe, this year I fancied a road trip around somewhere a little different. However, this time slightly further afield. It may also have something to do with the fact I know a certain person who has been banging on about this particular road trip for as long as I’ve known him.
So, I opted for the adventure of Route 66! I had heard so much about the legendary route, and although it has changed somewhat from what it was in its hay day, I am beyond excited to explore everything the route has to offer. I will most probably be writing a few posts about the planning and the actual adventure, so do look out for them!
If you have read any of my other posts about travel, you will have already picked up that I’ve used travelling in the past to escape. Escape lots of things; feelings, responsibilities and pressures. Now I travel not to just run off to a different country in order to avoid something at home. Instead, I now love being at home, but travel to explore and learn about new places. For instance, when we travelled to India it felt like we were transported to a different world, but then I was so excited to go home and fill our home with all the memories we had made. Memories of riding around in a tuk-tuk, whilst gawking at Chinese fishing nets and eating my body weight in delicious, authentic Indian food. Overall, I think the way I see travelling has changed. It has now become an addition to my happiness, rather than my only bit of happiness.
I think lots of people find travelling a bit addictive. But also for those people who haven’t travelled that much, I’ve noticed they still think about all the places they would like to visit. Speaking with my friends, who would openly say ‘I don’t travel much’, will tell me about the many places they would love to visit. In fact, I recently travelled to Marrakech with a group of friends and my Mum, some of whom (including my Mum) would probably say they don’t travel that much. Now, my Mum is not a hugely adventurous person when it comes to travelling. However, she has all the enthusiasm of a kid in a theme park – well that is until she sees the pirate ship that swings back and forth. Then she’s not going anywhere. So, in a similar sense, my mum is not a great traveller. Before last year she had never been outside of Europe. So, flights longer than a couple of hours were a bit of a mystery to her. I think she felt like she was jumping into the unknown, making her a little fearful of venturing anywhere ‘too far’. But! What I have learnt about my Mum, in more recent years, is easing her into things, reassuring her that ‘I got this’, and there is nothing to worry about because I will look after her, is a very effective way of getting her on board with anything, well almost. Our group had another inexperienced traveller, which is one of the reasons I had organised everything for Marrakech so far in advance. That way no-one needed to worry and everything was taken care of. My friend did struggle a little with the flying, however, she did say that having other people who were more experienced travellers put her more at ease. So, for anyone who does find it difficult to take adventures a little further from the nest, then maybe do what I do with my Mum. If you ease yourself in, go with someone who you can rely on and do your research to ensure you’re reassured as much as possible, and you’ll love it!
I’m not sure there will ever be a cure for the travel bug, you think it’s been cleared up and then you see a photo in the national geographic magazine and all of a sudden you’re all bunged up with it again. I’ve thought about changing my exercise regime or diet, to help with my urge to see the world, but alas each year it starts up again. Ah well, I’ll just have to keep finding new, beautiful places to travel to just to evade getting too sick from the bug!