Dealing With Travel Addiction

Sweat beads on your forehead. Your heart is pumping and you can feel a euphoric bliss coursing through your veins. Your legs shift and move and you lose the ability to control them. You can barely contain your excitement.

You’ve been waiting to try it for so long that you can hardly believe that it’s happening. You soar high above the clouds and as you look down at the life you used to have, you wonder what took you so long to experiment with this stimulant.

This is your first trip abroad. And what a trip it is. The very first time you land in a new country and embark on a real journey. The first sip of the travel tonic hits you like a freight train and knocks your whole perspective of the world off-kilter.

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You’re hooked. You are now a traveller for life.

Your needle is your passport, your drug dealers are the border guards that stamp you in, and your high is the indescribable ecstasy that comes from waking up in a new place each morning.

The Anticipation

Long before you take that first experimental taste of travel, you dream about it. You talk to your friends who have done it and try to get a feel for what it might be like. You’re nervous – scared even. You don’t know what to expect.

All your life you’ve been told to go to school, get a job, create a family and buy a house. Travelling might threaten all of this and it’s so out of the norm that you wonder what your parents might think when they find out.

But you don’t want to conform.

That all-inclusive vacation in Mexico last year was your gateway trip, and now you’re on a slippery slope into a life of full-time travel.

The First Hit

The rush that you feel when the wheels of the plane first touch down in a new country is like nothing you could have imagined. Walking down the streets of an exotic place is so exhilarating that you immediately fall deep under the enchanting spell of travel.

Total Amount Of Time Spent In Transit: 843.5 Hours. This even shocked us seeing as it adds up to 5 weeks on buses, cars, pickups, trains, planes, boats and motorbikes!!

New cultures, food, music, dance and traditions are so different from what you’re used to that your head spins.

You sample too much from time to time and you end up sick in bed, but even vomiting from a bad case of Delhi belly is better than waking up at 6:00 am to go to a job that you hate.

Your life has changed.

From this point on, you’ll always be chasing that first high. That first intoxicating blend of confusion and chaos will forever be on your mind and you will now be an addict for life.

The First Come Down

It’s all fun and games until you run out of money for the first time. You’ve drained your bank account and spent way more than you promised yourself you would. You even called your parents to ask for more.

“I just need to get to Cambodia where it’s cheaper and everything will be ok.”


They have been concerned about you for months. You’ve lost 15 lbs and when they talk to you now, it seems like you’re a different person. Your friends are also worried about you, but they’re so busy with their own lives that you’ve started to lose touch.

Once the money runs out, you have no choice but to fly home and try to save up for another hit.

When the plane lands in your home country, the euphoric bliss that you felt at departure is replaced with the exact opposite emotions upon your return. Anxiety, fear and despair creep into your thoughts.

How long will it be before you can go on another trip?

You see everyone differently now and while you’ve been on this amazing high, everyone else has gotten on with their lives. They’ve bought the house, had the children, been promoted and saved money.

They’ve fulfilled their dreams and you’re happy for them, but all you can think about is how many more places you want to see and experiences you want to have.

You’ve spent all of your money on your new addiction and yet, you see absolutely no reason to ever buy a material item again. You’re now willing to spend every cent you earn on the amazing world that you have just been awakened to.


Finally you’ve scrounged enough money for another trip. You worked jobs that you didn’t like, picked up some overtime, collected change, returned bottles, borrowed, sold everything you owned and maxed out your credit card.

sleeping at the KL Airport

You tell yourself that you’re going to go back into that life and make it work forever. You’ll still come back and visit your family, you’ll keep your friends and your citizenship, but you’re going to be abroad for good.

You’ve ignored the nay-sayers. Anyone who told you that you shouldn’t do it, doesn’t understand what it’s like.

“They have no idea” you tell yourself.

They’ve sampled a vacation, maybe had a taste of a holiday, but they’ve never felt the ineffable high of long-term travel. If they had, how could they just give it up?

The moment the plane starts on the runway and you feel the roar of the jet engines propelling you back into the life you’ve come to love, the high returns. But it’s different now. It feels like more of a relief than a rush. It’s comfortable rather than chaotic.

This is just the way it has to be.

Functioning as a Travel Addict

You’re now a seasoned traveller. You’ve been on the road for 3 years and you’ve learned ways to not spend so much on travel, and even earn a few bucks to support your addiction along the way.

You go back for visits with friends and family and you’ve learned how to connect with them in so many different ways. They begin to accept your choices and are amazed at how you’ve changed, but are proud that you’ve made a life of it.

Arriving at the Clark Airport


They even come on trips with you from time to time. Growing up, you couldn’t imagine your mom doing something this crazy with you, but now she’s flying across the planet to share your high with you.

You’ve successfully gone where few other travellers have been. You’ve turned your travel fascination into a lifestyle and you are actually doing very well in your life.

Travel is Not an Addiction… It’s a Passion.

Reading this with the negative connotation that the title suggests, makes a travel addiction seem like a bad thing. But in reality, there’s no better high in the world and nothing better to be addicted to!

If you change the word “addiction” into “passion”, you suddenly see that falling head over heels for travel is a very romantic story indeed.

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This passion broadens your mind, strengthens your body and enriches your soul. Your passion is simply a special kind of love that is so overwhelmingly positive that you really can’t think of anything bad about it.

Ever since you took the first hit of travel, everything in your life has gone right, which is quite the opposite of any other high that you might have chosen to chase.

Travel is not an addiction.

It is a passion.

It is a euphoric high with none of the consequences. It’s a way to explore not to escape. It’s a way to learn and to grow naturally. There’s nothing in the world like travel and you can have your first hit at any time.

Have you ever tried it?

It’s soooo good.

Come on.

Give it a try.

Everybody’s doing it…

Like it? Pin it! 🙂

Dealing With Travel Addiction

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Written by

Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging. Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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