A month ago, after I impulsively bought a flight to Ethiopia for Easter holidays just because I had 10 days off and no plan, I did a bit of research on impulsive desire to travel. I couln’t help but think my constant wanderlust resulting in manic purchases of airtickets must have a medical diagnosis.
‘Dromomania, also known as travelling fugue, is an uncontrollable psychological urge to wander.’
This ‘illness’ comes with neverending desire to explore and discover, and leaves the infected with experiences and memories noone will ever take away. It opens minds, teaches life, broadens horizons, introduces presence. It requires patience and high tolerance for discomfort in form of hurting back, bug bites, sunburn, stomach issues and forced use of the world’s most creative toilets. And it is so f*cking awesome.
I am proud to be a dromomaniac. It means that wandering has become integral part of my life. It is not a runaway from the daily routine, school obligations, work stress, family issues or boredom. It is not different from the normal. It is the new normal.
I truly enjoy coming back home to my routine and organized daily life, good coffee, healthy salad and familiar smell of bedsheets after periods of sleeping on trains and planes, tasting extravagant foods, hanging out with locals, not understanding their language and walking distant mountains. One cannot be without another. The beauty is in their balance.
On (not so empty) promises
I still vividly remember my first steps in the streets of Bangkok – my very first wandering destination back in 2008 – when I was as excited as scared crossing the road to buy fresh exotic jackfruit from a street vendor across the road. Back then I made myself a promise to do at least one ‘big trip somewhere far away’ per year.
It makes me smile and my heart jump with gratitude when I think of my four wonderful journeys in the past 13 months knowing I am already planning another one.
A few days ago I was sitting on a balcony of my temporary home in Lalibela, Ethiopia, after a perfect day of exploring. I sent a few pics to my bestie including a little remark: ‘I wonder what I will do once I do not have the opportunity to travel the way I do now.’
‘The opportunity cannot be taken away from you. You set your own priorities.’ she responded.
I still fear that one day I will not be able to travel, but I know that exactly for this fear, I will always find a way.
What is your take on travel? Keen on hearing from you!
Thank you for reading.