People always talk about the “7 year itch”, when you’ve been with someone for 7 years and you start to get sick of one another! Well, lucky for us we don’t have that problem, we have another kind of problem…the 7 month itch. We’ve sat still now for 7 months and our travel itch has definitely come back, it’s just waiting to be scratched! For those of you who don’t know what this “itch” is, it’s the feeling a traveller gets when they’ve sat still for too long, when they know there’s so much more to be seen and done. Our feet are getting antsy and ready to move on, to pack our backpacks and explore more of our beautiful world.

travel itch
These feet need to be travelling around! Enjoying Pokhara Lake, Nepal.

Don’t get me wrong, we love living in China, we love teaching English to our precious little students, but we are travellers at heart. The novelty of having a routine, an apartment and a job is wearing off! When we signed our year-long teaching contract, we figured we’d be able to do some travelling. We had high hopes of going to Japan, Korea or Taiwan, or all three. It turns out that the holiday time we get is during the same time as the rest of China. We tried battling it out for space during the Autumn Festival in Suzhou, but that was crazy. So, when it came time for the Chinese New Year, we figured we would stay put and not bother travelling when 1 billion or so people are moving around.

travel itch
It’s best to stay home during festival time in China. So many people in Suzhou during the Autumn Festival.

We’re both so glad we had a month of travelling around this stunning country before settling in and working here in Yangzhou. We were able to see the amazing Great Wall of China, ooo and aww and the adorable Panda Bears in Chengdu, visit the crazy metropolitan city of Hong Kong, gaze at the beautiful rice terraces of Guilin and cycle through the massive karsts around Yangshuo.

travel itch
Cycling around the stunning countryside of Yangshuo, China.

Since living in Yangzhou, we’ve been to Shanghai a couple of times, wandered around the old town of Suzhou and made a day trip to Wuxi. We have a fellow backpacking friend visiting us in April so we’ve been saving some of the cities and sights for when he’s here. We plan to see the cities of Nanjing, Hangzhou more of  the gardens and sights of Yangzhou.

travel itch
It’ll be really hard to say goodbye to my adorable students.

Our teaching contract is up at the end of July, 2013 and although it will be very sad to say goodbye to everyone we’ve met here, we will be more than ready to set off on our next journey! We need to scratch that travel itch. We’re planning an epic, adventurous, nature filled trip through Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and making our way through Europe by train. We’ll be trekking, hiking, fishing, camping and riding horseback, we’re very much looking forward to it. Stay tuned!



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The Travel Itch - Why True Travellers Can't Stay Still

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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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7 thoughts on “The Travel Itch – Why True Travellers Can’t Stay Still

  1. You’re so right about the itch. It’s so hard to scratch! Even after you do, it comes back with a vengeance. I’m glad you enjoyed teaching in Yangzhou, but I’m really looking forward to reading about the -stans countries!

    I also recently wrote a post about the traveler’s itch. If you’re interested:

  2. Thanks for the comment Jessica! Yep, that itch definitely comes back…that’s why we have to constantly be travelling 🙂 I hope you enjoy the ‘Stans posts, even if they won’t be for another 5 months. I also enjoyed your post you linked us to as well as your photos of Delhi, India is definitely one of our favourite countries, hope you enjoy it! Cheers.

  3. Once you start travelling it’s very hard to stop. A lot of people mistake teaching English in Asia as constant travel, but it has really great perks. I’m sure you wouldn’t trade your time in China for anything else. Living in a country is a lot different from travelling through it.

  4. You’re right, staying put and living and working abroad is totally different than travelling around. We don’t pack up our backpack every day or anything like that, but we are able to do many weekends away to nearby towns, stay in hostels and meet other we still feel as though we’re travelling (even if it is just a little!)

    We’ve enjoyed experiencing living abroad but are now ready to pack the bags again and head off…3 months until we will be trekking our way through the Stans! Can’t wait.

    Cheers for the comment Natalia 🙂

  5. In the days before guide books Tony and Maureen Wheeler showed up at my hotel in BKK one day thirty five years ago talking about writing Lonely Planet…..I didn’t think it would catch on…lol. Now the worlds full of backpacker blogs and cheap hotels. My wife and I raised a child while traveling….and we’re still at it…..touring the first world because we’ve done with the third. My suggestion…….get to where no one has been ……do something less derivitive….live an exciting life…be unique.

  6. Thank you for the comment!

    You actually met Tony and Maureen of the LP? That’s a very interesting story! I think it’s wonderful that you raised a child while travelling and are still on the road. It’s a great life 🙂

  7. Travel was a much more interesting experience before guide books came along. Travelers would meet on the roadside, at bus and train stations or airport bars to exchange information as to what was ahead..or conversely behind, depending on which way you were headed.

    Had I known the effect Tony and Maureen would have on the world I would have put an effort into dissuading them from their endeavor. Don’t get me started on what a disaster backpacker tourism has been for all the other places that guide books have affected. I’ve written extensively on this subject in my novels and magazine columns.

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