Destinations Magazine

How I Know I’m Not Done with Travel

By Kellyabroad @kelly_abroad


My best friend Kate used to talk about moving to England for a few years and doing some travel before she settled down and got married. The phrase bandied about between us a lot was, “Getting it out of our system.” You know the one. The obligatory round the world trip that we Kiwis and Aussies generally embark on right after Uni or a few years after.

The theory is you have your big trip and then you don’t grow old harboring regrets about all the things you didn’t do. You get it out of your system so to speak so you can actually grow up and settle down with the white picket fence. Of all the weddings I’ve been to recently every single couple had included some kind of photographic montage of their lives and invariably there were the token Machu Picchu photos, Big Ben, a camel somewhere in Egypt. Taking off for your OE has become about as mainstream and predictable as a Shortland Street episode.

Alas, for most of us who do embark on these lengthy trips we find the opposite occurs. You don’t get it out of your system. You become more dedicated than ever to some arbitrary bucket list dedicated to visiting every continent, to collecting passport stamps the way some people collect purses. Ever since I arrived back in my native homeland three months ago, I have realised with alarming clarity that I will not be done with travel anytime soon. How do I know?

I get jealous

I mean seething jealous with anybody who posts a photo from a faraway city, writes a melodramatic status about how they’re never coming home or even so much as mentions they are planning a trip somewhere far away. It’s a disease.

The goalposts keep moving

I’ve always envisaged an appropriate travel history for myself. A few years ago I thought I’d be satisfied with a stint living in London and some weekend trips to Europe. Now I’m thinking about moving to Costa Rica to teach English and a six week trip to Asia.

I don’t buy furniture

Nothing substantial anyway. In fact, I don’t really own anything of value. My parents have loaned me things and I know it’s about time I buy my own stuff but there’s a niggling voice in my head that goes- what for? You’re not going to need it in (insert hopeful time period here).

I look at my world clock

All the time. I want to know what time it is in Chicago or London or New York. Then I think about what that city would look like at that point in time. It’s just gone midnight in London and I can hear the C11 making it’s last run down Mill Lane and the patter of tiny cat’s paws as they pad down the stairs and through the cat door at my old flat in West Hampstead.

I bargain with myself

I gave myself a year to be in New Zealand. To save some money, to figure out my direction, get my career started. I just got a great job so maybe I’ll be here two years in which case I have to do a six week trip towards the end of this year. And if I don’t do that trip then it will be necessary to move overseas the following year, to make up for the fact that I won’t have been on a plane in over 12 months. If things get really difficult with my itchy feet I’ve promised myself a trip to the South Island.

I romanticise

I recently wrote about my worst travel experiences on the road and even then, although they were horrific at the time, I find myself wishing for those same problems now. Oh to be sunburned, tired and watching your dimes like a hawk in Mexico.

Drop me a line. Will YOU ever be done with travel?


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