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:
- The faint smell of sewage combined with car exhaust makes you mildly aroused.
- You believe that souvenirs are fleeting, whereas a good scar will last a lifetime.
- Each time you cross something off your list of countries/experiences, you replace it with at least 10 new items.
- Someone smells really bad. You look around and realize that nobody else is there.
- You can sleep on bags of rice.
- You like to sleep on bags of rice.
- Plump, toothless middle-aged Lao women begin to remind you of your mother.
- Dodging cars, motorbikes, pushcarts and livestock is your only form of cardio.
- Shaving your head seems like a really great idea. And you're a woman.
- 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.
- You can say "Here, kitty, kitty . . ." in at least five languages.
- 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!