Many people love to travel. I mean, how can you not love a weekend beach getaway, a family cruise in the Caribbean, or a week exploring Europe by train? However, there’s a fine line between simply loving to travel and being obsessed with it to the point of making it a lifestyle. As a professional travel blogger and accessible travel agent, I spend more time away from home than I do in it, and I’ve developed some strange habits and a weird “language” shared by other digital nomads and travel pros. Are you wondering if you’re coming down with something after getting bitten by the travel bug? Here are a few signs you may have become a travel addict.
1. You wake up in the middle of the night and have no idea what country you’re in. Many people wake up confused at 3AM, but usually only can’t figure out what time or day it is. Travel addicts first have to figure out if they’re in their own bed, and if not, what city or country they might be in that night.
2. You have small piles of at least four different currencies laying around. On your desk. On your dresser. At the bottom of your purse. In your backpack. You couldn’t spend all of it while in country, and although you’ll probably never get the chance to use it again (or lose too much in the exchange), you can’t just throw away money. It doesn’t matter that all those bills with 100s on them are worth three cents.
3. The immigration agent takes a long time flipping through your passport trying to find the entry stamp. Immigration agents usually need to place a country exit stamp in your passport, and prefer to do it next to the entry stamp. If you’ve been to more than a few places – especially in the European Union, where all Schengen Area stamps look the same – they may be searching for a while.
4. You’ve got your airport routine down to a science…and get really annoyed with those who don’t. As a solo wheelchair traveler, I have a specific place and a system for everything. As a frequent traveler, I know how to get through check-in and security as efficiently as possible. Most people at the airport have no clue – and I’m the one who’s supposed to be slow.
5. You can say “hello” and “thank you” in at least five languages. To be fair, you’re cheating in Scandinavia because it’s the same word in, like, four countries.
6. You look at all of your souvenirs and sometimes have to think really hard to remember where you got them. I mean, how many countries specialize in hand-painted porcelain, right? Yeah…a lot.
7. You can figure out a foreign city’s public transportation system in one day. Sure, the maps look like a crazy circuit board of multi-colored lines branching out like a spider web. But after studying so many maps of metro, tram, and bus lines, you can get from point A to point B after a short time without even asking for directions.
8. The gate agents, TSA agents, and ramp agents at your home airport know you by name. You’re a special kind of addict if this happens to you with more than one airline and in more than one airport terminal.
9. You weigh the value of everything in travel terms. A new pair of heels? One night in a hotel. Car repairs? Those would have paid for a round-trip ticket to London. A fancy dinner at an expensive American steakhouse? Meals for a week in Thailand.
10. Half of your phone apps are travel related. Hotels, airlines, FlightAware, SeatGuru, Google Translate, Uber…need I go on?
11. You know the precise measurements of all your stuff in English and metric units. Airlines and accessible vehicle drivers have to know the weight and sometimes dimensions of your mobility devices, so you’ve got these numbers tattooed on your brain. You also know within seconds of looking at an opening or gap if you’ll fit or if you can go across it.
12. You expect things to go wrong…and travel anyway. It’s part of travel in general, and even more so when you travel in a wheelchair. The fact that you travel anyway knowing that at least one thing isn’t going to go the way you planned means your addiction is stronger than your fear.
13. Your friends always assume you’re out of town. You’ll start to miss out on some invitations on the rare occasions when you are home. But you can always count on their first question being, “So where did you just come from?”
14. Your refrigerator and pantry are devoid of anything that expires within a week. Uber Eats, pizza delivery, and Chinese food are your friends. Why waste money on fresh food you won’t eat before you leave again? And you definitely don’t want to come home to moldy food that’s been neglected for a couple of weeks.
15. No matter how much you say you need a break, you’re planning your next trip after a week at home. It’s important to rest, overcome jet lag, and stay healthy – all of which should occur in the comfort of your own home. But it’s not long before the itch starts for a change of scenery.
Are you a fellow travel addict and wheelchair user? Contact me at Spin the Globe/Travel and let me help you “get your fix” by planning your next accessible adventure!