For all we know, there's no such thing as too much travelling. Humans tend to explore and wander from one place to another since the beginning of time (I am talking about you, Mr Columbus). The trend followed and now travelling is synonymous to happiness, gratification, enhancing confidence, broadening horizons, making you more creative, and all things good. So ideally, the more you travel, the better person you'll be in many ways. However, this is one end of the spectrum. Let's talk about the more covert and infamous term: travel addiction.
Do you travel almost all the time? Do you spend all your money on travelling? Do you feel depressed after coming home from a trip? Please visit a doctor because you might have travel addiction, my friend. Travel addiction or Dromomania as it was called in mid-1800 refers to a condition wherein the sufferers don't want to stop travelling. For this, they are prepared to sacrifice their jobs, spend beyond their limits, and even abandon their family and lovers, all for the lust for travel. Before you start worrying about yourself, here's a guide that will help you diagnose and treat yourself from this unique disorder.
Overview & FactsThis not just claims made on the internet. It is actually a problem which is backed by science. In the year 2000, it was listed under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as both a psychiatric problem and impulse-control disorder. The addiction is purely psychological and not biochemical like a drug or alcohol addiction is.
It's no surprise that travel addiction is spreading like a virus. The problem is more common amongst millennials, thanks to social media enthusiasts wanting to post a hundred stories on their trip to literally any place on Earth.
Symptoms & ComplicationsIt always starts with an unwinding excursion and a memorable experience. But before you know it, you've also got few or more of these symptoms:
1. You feel depressed after coming back home from every trip. For the first few days, it is okay to take some time to start living a normal life, but it's troublesome if the problem continues for a longer period.
2. You have already planned your next trip on your current trip.
3. You only spend (or overspend) your money on travelling.
4. You always think about travelling.
5. Your favourite film genre is travel documentaries.
6. You love reading books, blogs, content related to travel.
7. You don't like working and only want to get away from your 9 to 5 job.
8. You feel happier in hotels than in your home.
9. There is a constant urge to eat out.
10. You visit airports more than you visit malls.
11. You take your passport everywhere with you.
12. You have more aeroplane miles than anyone else.
13. You love looking at world maps more than paintings or art pieces.
14. Websites like Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Trivago are your browser's homepage.
15. You can't live a stationary life in one place for an extended time.
16. You are always the one to make travel friends amidst your friends.
17. You don't care if someone cancels the plan, you are more than happy to travel alone.
18. Your travel bucket is endless, literally.
19. You have a packed suitcase even if you are not travelling.
20. You have multiple currencies with you at all times.
21. Apps like Google Translate, Uber, Google Maps are always listed under the frequently used section
22. You wear hotel room slippers at home.
23. Your travel stories never finish.
24. You are broke because you spent all your money on flight and hotel bookings.
Treatment and CareEvery addiction has a cure, and so does this one. For starters, it is necessary to admit that you have an addiction. It is only when you realise you have a problem, that you can come up with a solution. After doing so, get a hold of yourself. You can turn down this addiction into passion by merely planning and organising things a bit better.
1. Plan trips in intervals: If the travel bug in you does not go away so quickly, instead of taking consecutive trips, plan an itinerary according to your budget. This way, you won't make impulsive decisions and head out of the city, running away from your adult responsibilities.
2. Become a travel blogger: If you are addicted to travel, might as well make a career out of it! Or like a wise fictional clown once said: "If you're good at something, never do it for free". Travel blogging is trending. This gives you the freedom to travel and make money out of it. While travel blogging may look like a dream job, it has its cons. Believe it or not, you need to take frequent breaks from travelling to relish the experiences.
3. Get an exciting full-time job: Your daily job and routine might be putting you off and hence, would create an urge to simply get away from it all the time. If this might be the case, get yourself a job that would give you the motivation to get out of bed every morning. This can be anything, from working as a data analyst to a film-maker, as long as you love it.
4. Cut off travel websites and social media for a while: Social media is where all the action is. Your friends and followers post stories and pictures of their travels, and those oh-so-aesthetic Instagram accounts that post pictures of breathtaking locations, enough to get your wanderlust going.
5. Consult a therapist: If nothing is working out for you, it's time you take professional help. Consult a therapist, talk to them and seek their advice. The key here is that you are brutally honest.
So there you have it. If this write-up made you think "Oh my God that's so ME!" you might have a familiar yet unique disease called travel addiction a.k.a. Dromomania. Get it before it gets you!