12 Signs of Travel Addiction: South East Asia Style

South East Asia junkie and keen travel writer Rose Schwab describes the warning signs that prove you’re addicted to travelling in Southeast Asia…

Travel addiction is a serious condition that can affect both young and old. Symptoms range from mild (uncontrolled drooling during broadcasts of The Travel Channel) to severe (inability to stay in one place for more than 24 hours). Some people have reported instances on “travel attacks”, usually triggered by dismal weather in their home country or mind-numbing employment in corporations or government institutions.

Research shows that it is virtually impossible to “bring someone back” once symptoms have made an appearance. Prevention, therefore, continues to be the most effective means of combating the condition. Preventative measures include the following; cultivating wanton materialism, ensuring an enormous debt load that restricts the individual from travelling in the first place (ladies, this can be achieved with something as simple as a large collection of footwear).

Expensive cars, overconsumption of restaurant food and anti-ageing treatments are some of the favourite “trappings” that Westerners, in particular, can try. Copious amounts of television viewing and/or dope smoking are another excellent source of subduction. The internet is an outstanding substitute for real-life experience and can easily be supplemented with texting, gaming or compulsive reading of detective novels. Finally, fear of the unknown can be a real counterbalance to any sense of longing for exploration.

The following list contains statements that reflect common sentiments amongst addicts…

Warning Signs Of Possible Travel Addiction:

  1. The faint smell of sewage combined with car exhaust makes you mildly aroused.
  2. You believe that souvenirs are fleeting, whereas a good scar will last a lifetime.
  3. Each time you cross something off your list of countries/experiences, you replace it with at least 10 new items.
  4. Someone smells really bad. You look around and realize that nobody else is there.
  5. You can sleep on bags of rice.
  6. You like to sleep on bags of rice.
  7. Plump, toothless middle-aged Lao women begin to remind you of your mother.
  8. Dodging cars, motorbikes, pushcarts and livestock is your only form of cardio.
  9. Shaving your head seems like a really great idea. And you’re a woman.
  10. As your bungalow is burning down because of the citronella candle that you left burning unattended, you rush in to save the most important possession in the world: your earplugs.
  11. You can say “Here, kitty, kitty . . .” in at least five languages.
  12. At some point, you have considered using your copy of Lonely Planet for one or more of the following: a) sunblock b) a pillow c) a dating tool d) toilet paper e) rolling paper.

Do you suffer from travel addiction? If you ticked 9 or more the answer is YES! Better book that one-way ticket to South East Asia quick!

32 thoughts on “12 Signs of Travel Addiction: South East Asia Style”

  1. Karliene Vos

    hahaha spot on! “the faint smell of sewage combined with car exhaust makes you mildly aroused.” that time you don’t notice the distinct smell anymore and others almost puke… xD

  2. Choo Wen Tang

    Point 3 is spot on.
    After visiting countries which I set off to discover, I will add 10 or more new countries on my list of countries and territories to visit. It never ends

  3. At some point, you have considered using your copy of Lonely Planet for one or more of the following: a) sunblock b) a pillow c) a dating tool d) toilet paper e) rolling paper. ….


  4. You can’t bear the thought of eating anything without those amazing hot chili’s. And fish that doesn’t come whole with a giant piece of lemongrass sticking out of it just isn’t fish at all.

  5. Coming home and going to TGI Fridays and having a heart attack when you see the bill. 1200 baht!?!?!!

  6. You buy an attachment for your toilet and eat everything with chopsticks. The roads in your own country seem deserted.

  7. haha, these are funny and so true! I don’t get the ‘here kitty kitty’ one though, am i missing something?? Ive been here for a year and I don’t know how to say it in Thai…

  8. I spent 2 years going though withdrawals from SE Asia until I cam back and now I live here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. -You keep your left over toiletries in the bathroom and refuse to use them just so you can look at the thai writing every day and feel like your still there.
    -You say ‘Same Same’ to answer just about every question because in your mind it really is the universal answer to everything.
    -You keep the anklet on with all the little white shells even though in winter time they dig into you when you are wearing socks over the top of it.
    -You keep your South East Asia Lonely planet on your bed side table as though it really is the bible.
    -Eating out just isnt the same nor as enjoyable when all the spelling and grammer in the menu is perfect.
    -When a friend tells you they are off on an Asian holiday and ask you for some pointers you return to them the next day with ten double sided-pages of ‘essential’ places to go.

  10. Too funny! I still have my Thai “Dream Bracelets” and a bracelet I got from a monk in Siem Reap and wear them very proudly. I actually carry chop sticks with me(to the dismay of friends and family) and when I go out to eat I will use them ๐Ÿ™‚
    1. Decide to go ahead and do your laundry in a plastic bag while u take a shower ๐Ÿ™‚
    2. Try to explain to your friends that it is possible to brush your teeth, use the restroom(in a toilet) take a shower, and do your laundry all at the same time.

  11. Sleeping on a bag of rice was one of the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had… Uh oh…

  12. > when you still sleep in ur sleeping bag when u get home cuz the smells remind u of ur journey

  13. You find that when u go home you cannot take a decent crap without squatting on the toilet and the idea of wiping your ass as opposed to hosing it disgusts you.

    You still have Thai coins and money in your wallet and get dirty looks when you accidently try to pay with them.

  14. Davie Pocstar

    I got some!

    – clicking on airasia.com before opening facebook or gmail
    – constantly devising a plan on maintaining the travel lifestyle
    – proud that you are a dirtbag backpacker
    – always considering how much more weight another fisherman’s pant will add to your backpack
    – you have a one-in-one-out policy for your backpack
    – you can bare the thought of putting on your trainers (except for trekking)
    – you’re trying to grow out your hair but keep cuttin’ it because it’s so damn hot and humid

    1. Davie Pocstar

      oops, second last point: you CAN’T bare the thought of putting on trainers (except for trekking)

  15. Justin McClelland

    This list is hilarious! I’d like to add, “when you start to slowly build a tolerance to drinking the tap water”.

  16. Sarahsomewhere

    Bah! What a crack up, I think I’m hooked, as I have actually considered shaving my head (for about 5mins). Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. >you buy everything in travel size (tiny toothpaste tube, folding toothbrush,small cam, ipad/tablet).

    >you’re wearing more than one bracelets made of different materials (thread, beads, wood, plastic, magnetic, etc).

    >you love wearing ethnic accessories and clothes you bought on your travels(sarong, ethnic earrings, wooden monk necklace, etc.)

    >you start comparing prices of anything and will wait to do it until you get there (like tattooing or diving).

    >you keep looking for cool outdoor activities after checking out promo fare websites.

    >you suddenly realize its hard to wear jeans, compared to just wearing shorts or fishermans pants.

    >you start saving as soon as you get a job for the next trip! lol

  18. i like this arcticle ๐Ÿ™‚ can i add

    When you get immune to the tropical weather. ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. + Every now and then you’re online checking the cheapest ticket to get back to Asia
    + you always wear flip-flops even at work!
    + rice became the first choice rather than steak and fries :p
    + you became even more friendly with Asian people :p
    + your facebook profile is the one wearing a rice hat, or riding in a carabao :p


    1. My GOD! I’m like so aware of anyone who remotely looks Asian and will whenever possible strike up a conversation. Was having serious Asia withdrawal so I went into a Thai restaurant….. ended up the owner was from Laos and his girlfriend was from Thailand……. I’m always wearing my Thai/Cambodian/Vietnam t-shirts….. I tell my friends “yes, I am addicted to all things Asian! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Dear Pere: I find it extremely weird that you commented on my article, because my moniker for years has been Mere Ubu. I played the role in college way back when. For what reason do you use the name?

    Just curious.

  21. Nikki Backpacker

    Love these Buddy! True true. Also bartering in every shop when you get back home, talking to randomers on the train and bus (considered weird in England apparently) and forgetting to put your shoes on when you go out. Anybody have any more please add! We’re all travel junkies here and proud! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. If I could add:

    11. Can’t drink beer without adding ice.
    12. Nod and automatically say “Khrup” to white guys who wonder WTF you are talking about.
    13. Instinctively reach for fish sauce and ruin your pancakes.

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