I’m not sure if it only takes one trip to know you’re hooked; if one small taste of wanderlust is enough to make you need more and more. I suppose it could be possible. I’ve loved roaming for so long now, and it’s been such an integral part of my life, that I’m not sure I could pinpoint exactly when it was that I fell head-over-heels, madly in love.
What I can tell you, however, is that there are some specific red flags – methods of behavior if you will – of a typical wanderlusting nomad. So, if you’re currently wondering if you fall into that category, read along while I reveal the warning signs (honestly, though, this is an addiction I’d be happy to hold onto my whole life).
1. You are constantly searching flight itineraries (even when you don’t have any trips planned).
This is the most basic of warning signs that you might be addicted to traveling. If you opened up your phone right now – this very minute – how many travel apps would you find? To make you feel better, I have 10, plus every major airline I most commonly fly (and then some), hotel apps, train apps ,and car services. I told you…I know I’m an addict.
2. You talk to your luggage like it’s your child.
It’s hard to find the right bag. The perfect size, easy to handle, fits all your most important things, is both pretty and practical, etc. etc. I get it. Your relationship with your luggage goes deep. Honey, you are preaching to the choir. This most definitely constitutes a red flag for the quintessential travel addict: your love affair with your baggage.
3. If you’re home too long, your feet actually start to itch.
Not like the gross kind of itch, but more the ‘my god I can’t sit still one moment longer’ kind of itch. This usually results in taking up some kind of rigorous sport or exercise to expend all your pent up energy. C’mon, you can tell me. How many miles did you bike last week? 38.5 plus running? Yeah. Your love of travel has even eclipsed your physical fitness routine. Mine too.
4. You also have adventures at home.
Sometimes even the exercise doesn’t cut it, and you’ve got to find some way to get your adventure on without going far. This is actually really awesome because you end up discovering some really cool places located in your own backyard. You can even pat yourself on the back for supporting the local economy in the process.
5. You constantly monitor websites for last-minute deals.
Apps aren’t enough for you. You have to be in the know when it comes to travel deals—you can’t miss one! I mean, it doesn’t matter (really) if you don’t have the vacation time approved. These kinds of details can be ironed out later, but that airfare – it won’t be there tomorrow. The window for purchase is limited, and you can’t lose the opportunity.
6. All your friends ask you for travel advice.
Really, you should just go into business as a travel planner because you do it so often for your people already. Who do they come to when the need ideas for honeymoons, beach vacays, cultural excursions, backpacking routes, etc.? YOU. They always come to you because you are the (blows on and buffs fingernails) expert, and here’s another truth: you secretly adore it and are proud they consider you a professional wanderluster. Man, that is a badge of honor—wear it with pride!
7. You have the mentality that you could ‘do anything for a year.’
And you really kind of mean it. In the grand scheme of things, a year really isn’t that long. If you’re in a new and exciting place, the time is already going to fly by at warp speed. You even often find yourself Googling destinations that you could see yourself living in for short and/or long periods of time: What’s the visa situation? Can I work while I’m there? Would the plane tickets be my biggest expense? These questions run on repeat for you, and the traveler in you savors it.
8. The moment you step into an airport you feel giddy like a kid.
It’s always the same at the start—no matter how many times you do it. Every time you get ready to take another trip, your heart beats a little faster and you’re a little bit breathless with excitement. There is a perma-smile plastered on your face from the moment you step into the airport until you exit at your destination. The trip is like a life-source for you, breathing in new energy and enthusiasm for all things to come. It really is almost like a high—and you love it.
To be perfectly honest, if you even had the question about loving travel or not before reading this, you most likely didn’t even need the list. Anyone asking this question has already traveled enough to qualify as a wanderluster. You just wanted (needed) some support.
Don’t worry. It might not even be something you can help. Scientists think they’ve found a wanderlust gene. How ‘bout that? So, sit back, relax and bask in the glory of knowing that you can count yourself among the blessed and born to travel numbers. It does make for a pretty exciting life though, doesn’t it?