Traveling is a drug too, ya know!?

Much like drug addicts, travelers and traveling comes with an underlying notion that one must revert back to that original high. That engrained image, feeling or emotion that came with that first needle.

I am an addict just like any other. Only this addiction when remedied doesn’t cause health problems, it certainly doesn’t downgrade my social life, it doesn’t put me on a fast track to an intervention, nor does it cause strife among my family, the negative kind anyways, however it does render me simply ‘not here’.

With this addiction, as it were, it constantly makes me look for my new place to stay, the best price on a flight, train, bus etc. I browse travel blogs, photos, Google maps, and I have even dwindled down my bathroom reading to the oversized Atlas that sits next to the throne.


I never considered myself an addict of any sort. I have smoked weed I estimate less than 20 times, I have never pill popped and certainly never imagined myself doing any of the ‘hard stuff’, although from the stories I have heard… cocaine doesn’t seem so bad as long as i can keep it under control… JK.

It’s the first stub. The little piece of white paper torn off by the gate agent with a hand written signature from the security agent saying you are cleared. It’s snuggling up to your window seat even though I am 6’4″[192cm], it’s the free booze on the transcontinental flight [on a side note, I only fly with airlines that give free drinks… eh-hem US Airways? Really?]. It’s walking on your first European tarmac or seeing the Mediterranean in person for the first time. It’s that initial memory stuck in your noggin never to leave the forefront of your mind.

Ever since that moment you have been recreating events that will give you that rush. Oh sure you still get it here and there… but not like your first. It was so sweet: you lost your innocence, you saw signs that you couldn’t read, you saw food stands with unrecognizable dishes — what is this place?… where the eff am I?… my senses are heightened and my eyes are peering as i soak every second in. I remember every moment of it.

I remember the coastline of Portugal, which quickly came and went. I remember descending and getting closer to Madrid then going into a holding pattern circling around the same cities. Olive orchards everywhere, bull rings from ten thousand feet, round-a-bouts everywhere (which are apparently undesirable and unlearnable for Americans). Strolling through the T4 terminal with my eyes half open from the redeye while my mind is running on 200% capacity… at this point I am simply observing.

Scroll ahead a few years, I am a pro. Casually mentioning cities and places i’ve been to. The people I spend my days with. The dichotomy of languages I know. I am half way fluent in Spanish and know parts of Italian and I know scattered amounts of ten other languages. As soon as you start learning one and genuinely have the real desire to learn others, then all utterances from humans becomes fascinating. I walk around with my head down now as I exit terminals and train stations – not out of shame rather out of familiarity. Cities all over Europe have become my hostel away from hostel. I have been told that home is the place where you are needed. Currently my home is inside me and I am needed and wanted in lots of places.

So… I cannot stop. I cannot stop traveling and learning. I am an addict. There, I said it aloud.

Is there even a rehab for this sort of thing? Would I even go if there was? The traveling bug becomes an addiction, and the addiction is called wanderlust. The only medication I can think of is seeing clouds at thirty-five thousand feet… which probably explains my interest in becoming a pilot.

Wanderlust is something doctors would probably describe as the overwhelming feeling to feel like you are five years old again. To be ignorant of everything by default and be curious of everything out of necessity. I want to be a kid again. I want to start all over in a new town with new people but not because my bridges have been burned but because my name is written on too many of them around the world and I am an architect in need of a new and exciting project.

Wanderlust addicts are the only addicts that I know of that everyone wants to remember; that everyone wants to be around; it is the only addiction I know of that everyone wants to have.


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