Travelholism starts innocently enough – you go backpacking through Europe , to have that “once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Only, somehow, through the wine, the food, the smells and the feel of centuries-old cobblestones under your feet, it gets into your blood, and sets up permanent residence in your heart and mind. Always there, whispering, encouraging, urging you to go back. There’s so much more to see and do. You dream of the cadence of the languages, the rhythm of the train speeding cross-country, the incomparable feeling of setting your feet on foreign soil for the first time. And you find yourself thinking, always, of the next adventure. There is no cure for travelholism. The good news is, millions of others share it, and the treatment is to board a plane for a new destination. Here’s how you know when you’re a travelholic:
- You buy tickets for your next trip as soon as you return from your last one – unless you are in advanced stages, when you buy them before you even leave for your next trip
- Your web browser’s start page includes weather forecasts for cities on your upcoming trip and the exchange rate for the countries you plan to visit. Bonus points if it also contains a countdown to the day you leave.
- All your purchases are made with a card that earns air miles, hotel points, or both.
- You know the *secret* way to determine which hotels are being offered by Priceline or Hotwire.
- You have at least one heavy-duty photo album for each trip you’ve taken, but the last few years of your “real” life scarcely fill one tiny album.
- Your bookshelves groan under the weight of all your guidebooks for past, future, and dreamt-of destinations. Three months before you leave, the only books you read and films you watch are set in your destinations. If you watch foreign films in the language of the country you’re visiting, you may be in advanced stages.
- You scour TV listings so you can record all the Food, Travel, History and Discovery channel shows about your destination.
- You have a playlist on your iPod of songs for the trip.
- You check your travel discussion board posts before you eat breakfast.
- You’ve changed your cutlery mannerisms because “that’s how they do it in Europe.”
- You’ve changed your wine, food, and dining time preferences as a result of a trip.
- You’d rather travel than buy almost anything, so your closet is full of clothes from your pre-travel days, except, of course, for the clothes you buy for the trips.
- Your friends and family don’t even raise an eyebrow when you announce your next destination.
- Your Christmas card is actually a newsletter highlighting your travels for the year.
- You have a map of Europe hanging on your office wall – autographed by Rick Steves.
- You list the number of countries you’ve traveled to on your resume.
- You can say “please,” “thank you,” and “where is the toilet?” in at least 4 languages.
- You never, ever call your trips “vacations.” Vacations are for people who lie on beaches.
For the record, here’s where we’ve been: