Sitting on a train to Bradford reading Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Experiences, I suddenly get a longing to be on a train or plane in a foreign country, butterflies in my stomach as I pass by unknown views to a new destination, ready for a new adventure.
I’ve been back 4 months now and the travel bug is starting to bite me, it began creeping up slowly after all the Christmas and New Year celebrations were over. The mundane day to day life set back in and it was then I realized I was beginning to long for another adventure, a new country to explore, until now I had managed to surpass the dreaded bug, with art colleges about all the possibilities of places I can go and things I can do. But as I sit on this train today, staring out over Yorkshire with the winter sun low in the sky that awful bug is really biting me. Reading over the experiences Lonely Planet describe it makes me long for the summer just gone, many of the adventures outlined in the pages I’m droolling over; Yosemite National Park, Pacific Coast Highway, Grand Canyon – just to name a few. Through the rest of the pages it becomes clear there are a few places which repeat many times throughout the book, these are the places I want to go. Armed with my red pen, I’m scribbling away on the pages marking places with stars and drawing messy rings around the places I really long to visit. It’s that dreaded echo of all these things costing money which bites at this bug, without a bank account full of money, there’s little you can do except dream of getting on a plane for a new adventure.
My mind starts to wonder and think of the first time the travel bug got me; I was going to volunteer in South Africa, but I had to get there all by myself; with 3 planes and many different time zones I was a ball of nerves and excitement. Sitting in the window seat of my second plane flying south from Dubai to Johanasburg, I remember looking out of my window and seeing circle patterns in the landscape with thin clouds hovering over this perfect view, it’s hard to explain the beauty of what I saw, but even now a year and a half on I can still picture that view perfectly even though at the time I never took a single photo of what I was looking down upon.
It’s the moments like that, which stay with you forever that make travelling become so addictive, always biting you, always leaving you longing for that next adventure. I once read an article about the travel bug, where the writer described it as a real life person and that’s what it’s slowly becoming for me.