Is there life after backpacking?

This topic was created by Lou
[1998 Mon 31 August, 11:37 Tasmanian Standard Time]

I had the best time of my life backpacking through Nepal,
India and Sri Lanka. But it was to India I returned 4 times
since. Later back in Holland I ended up buying a house
(what the hell did I do that for?) and have what one calls
a "permanent" job. And now I am at home feeling so
miserable, and I just have this overwhelming desire to
leave everything and go again. Only this time, I can't
afford it (yet). I keep wondering what it is, after
backpacking, that makes one want to go and hit the road
again? Not just the thought, but the conviction that it
has to be that way? Not many people around me understand
that (hidden) desire. And I myself have not yet figured
out what is is. One of the most important things I noticed
was that making new friends whilst travelling seemed to be
so much easier than it is at home. Maybe travellers are
just more open to the new and different. Just knowing that
you probably will never meet most people again, makes it
easier to be completely honest and open to them, it takes
away the fear that things will slap back in our face. Why
is it, that one never seems to be able to find at home what
one finds travelling? Besides the beautifull sites and
culture shocks, sunsets, beaches and mountains that are
nothing like one has ever seen before? Has anyone ever
found something "at home" that equals the travelling
experience? Does this one big trip mean we are forever
doomed to travel on? Or does some of you finally settle
down, and how does that make you feel? I would love to
know what fellow-travellers think about it.. Give me a
hint, please.. Is there life after backpacking??

[There are 154 posts - the latest was added on 1999 Sun 9 Oct, 19:35]

  1. been there, done that Added by: kali
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 12:39 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know exactly how you feel. Five years ago I backpacked to
    Europe. God only knows why I came home to Australia. God
    only knows why I got married. But I know why I am now
    divorced with a ticket booked for February. It is a bug,
    the travel bug. It is the best form of insidious disease
    there is. And it's contagious. Because all I could talk
    about for the last 3 and a half years was travelling, my
    ex-husband is setting out to venture the world with me now.
    Who can explain it?

  2. Why Added by: Burra
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 14:26 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It is obvious that travelling means life without
    obligations and duties.Travelling is eternal holiday.
    Everybody would like to lead such a life for ever.
    It is easy to make friends on the road because all the
    travellers have a lot of spare time,they do not have to get
    up in the morning and go to work.Thet do not have to par
    The best advice i can to all of you is:lead a three phases
    life,unless you have endless resources.
    1)enjoy travelling at a young age for a while.
    2)then establish yourself in a good job.
    3)retire early,at 50 or 55,then you will be really free.
    and hit the road.
    I stareted at 55,retired and experience paradise ever

  3. Yep Added by: Billy
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 15:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I agree with Burra, right now I'm in the middle of career
    (?), mortgage paying, kid raising and all the horrors that
    entails. My wife and I can't just grab our packs and head
    off and we certainly can't afford to take the whole family
    O/s, so it's time to do all of the dull things, pay off the
    house, get the kids through school and hopefully, as Burra
    outlined above, retire early and have one hell of a time
    tooling about the planet as a couple of happy go lucky
    geriatrics. Whoo-hoo I can't wait. For me the countdown is
    October in the year 2013 !!!!!!!! (***%#@##) On the upside
    my favourite destination is India and I get the feeling
    that, in many important repsects, the place hasn't changed
    for several thousand years so I reckon it won't change too
    much in the next 15. So, if you're in India in November
    2013 and you notice a fat, grey, grinning old man you'll
    know it's me.

  4. Can relate Added by: Sarah
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 16:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I guess for some people the travelling bug never goes away, it only gets worse! I am in a similar situation. I came home about 8 months ago and intended to focus on a career more and "settling down" but already I am feeling the need to go somewhere else. When I travelled for 16 months I never felt so happy ( of course there are downs too) but in generally I felt like I was really living life to the fullest - and yes, it seemed easier to meet people and all in all I felt fearless in anything I did (to a degree!). If I didn't like a circumstance, I could change it or move or do anything that at home, seemed so much more frightening or difficult to do. Since Ive been home Ive been really trying to keep those feelings and for a while I did. Especially while I was still on a "high", but soon came down and had a bit of the "post travel blues". I prepared myself a little (I expected them) and settled a bit into home. But after a while it has become apparent that I want to travel again sooner than I expected. Now I am in a dilemma also and am trying to decide if I should work another year or so or be off!!! On one hand I feel pressure from family and friends who are settling down, buying condos and cars, getting married, making pretty good salaries etc. (I'm not!!) and some who are saying to me "I think you've done your world travelling" and "sooner or later you are going to have to start your life" But this is my life!!!!!!!!! It's frusterating. Other people are supportive and say there will always be a job and who tell me I wish I could have travelled like you did. (the fact is they CAN!) But the real thing is I guess we have to listen to ourselves and what we feel is right for us. Maybe one day I also will feel like settling down a bit, but if there is any doubt that I am not ready to settle down , what harm can travelling a little while longer do? No harm I don't think. I always think of how happy I am when I am travelling and all the good things that came out of it and the people I met and who knows, maybe it will lead to something to even help my career or enrich my future somehow. Wow, thanks, commenting on your question helped clarify my thoughts a little. It is comforting to know someone else feel how I do. Whatever you decide to do, good luck to you!!

  5. Billy don't wait Added by: Yarra
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 16:43 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Billy I've been getting over to India every couple/few years
    since the early 80s and the pace of change since Indira
    Ghandi got shot has just been amazing. I really feel the
    country has just sort of skipped the 20th century and is
    going hell for leather to the 21st.
    The jewel that was India is disappearing under a wave of
    population, exhaust fumes and rampant materialism in a way
    you can't imagine.
    Now I love all the changes and can deal with all but what
    has happened to the roads but its just not going to be the
    same in 2013.
    Billy go now! Take the kids they will love it

  6. Post travel blues Added by: Vicky
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 19:06 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    As many of the replies to your post started - I know how you feel! My husband (then fiance) and I went to South America for a month in January 1997 - climbed Aconcagua, travelled around, spent too much money etc - and in the 18 months since we got back we've been feeling the need to go on a big trip again (probably the Karakoram next). We are respectively 26 and 27 and both have good jobs (with lots of leave), but basically we're just working to earn money to travel. Forget having kids, buying houses etc: travel light. So many people, not that much older than us, seem so full of regret about the things they never did and places they never went to, and now probably will. Their lives just seem so empty.I don't think I could wait until retirement: I could get knocked over by a bus tomorrow. In other words, carpe diem! When people tell us to settle down it seems a bit like a conspiracy: are they jealous that they're stuck with 20-year mortgages and time-consuming children?
    But to everyone who is already in the "real life" situation, hang in there. You are interesting people who have done and will do interesting things, and bring up your kids to be the same way.

  7. yes Added by: Wasa the Swede
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 21:40 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I agree with Burra, PLUS there is lots of oportunitys for
    travel at the same time as you are doing your "career" ( at
    least if you live in europe and have some decent vaccation.
    For example: 5 week's in India. Thailand , malaysia and
    vietnam in five weeks. Kenya and Tanzania in five weeks.
    Peru, Bolivia and Chile in five week's. etc etc etc....

  8. Another travelling addict Added by: Martin
    [Timestamp: Mon 31 August, 21:52 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    As a student I spent every summer travelling and working abroad. When I finished the studies I've decided to take last trip to Asia before I find a pernament job, settle down, maybe get married and just do the things people usually do. After six month travelling I finished money, get sick, felt very miserable and wrote to my diary "stay at home and don't travel to such crazy places as India". So I went home, found a good job and was o.k. for one year. Next Saturday I'm going back to India. I just can't help myself. It is interesting to think about the reasons but I didn't find any use for eventual conclusions of such excercises. I just like to travel now so probably the best thing is to travel as soon as I can afford it. I want to live today not tomorrow. Once there will be no tomorrow (and I don't know when) so why I shouldn't do the things I feel I like to do ?

  9. Yes there should be!! Added by: Want to know what I think??
    [Timestamp: Tue 1 Sept, 1:37 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Isn't it so, that what you see and what do you and what you
    feel while travelling touches you somewhere deep inside? It
    reaches the real you, so to speak. It makes you connect to
    things that you never thought possible. You never paid any
    attention to it earlier, because you didn't know about that
    side of you. But isn't it so that the real you goes along
    with you wherever you go? So that means if you stay at
    home, it is there too? So than, there will always be life
    after backpacking!! Only thing to find out is what the
    real you really is, and throw of your mask and start living
    the way you really, really want to be living. Follow your
    heart and stop worrying about what other people might think
    of you or want you to do. People will always say and think
    SOMETHING about you.. If you feel that the only way to BE
    you and to act like you, is to travel, then maybe you've
    not met your true self yet. Stop hiding from whatever it
    is, and get out there. The world is beautiful no matter
    where you are... Agree?

  10. History Added by: Burra
    [Timestamp: Tue 1 Sept, 3:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Just to convince you.After my retirement i have been to:
    1)Annapurna Circuit
    2)Kala Pattar
    3)Annapurna Sanctuary
    4)Amazon and Rio Napo rain forests
    5)Cuzco and Inca trail to Machu Pichu
    6)Tanzania,climbed Kilimajaro's Uhuru Peak
    (5895m),Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater
    7)Tibet from Katyhmandu to lahasa and back
    8) Trekked the high mountains of Sinai
    9)All India form Jaisalmet to Puri and from Ladakh to
    10)Markha valley and Nubra valley treks,Ladakh
    And now i'm off to Sri Lanka,Indonesia,Philipines and
    Not bad?. Isn't it?.
    All this with ample of money.

  11. inspired! Added by: bon voyage
    [Timestamp: Tue 1 Sept, 11:25 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I have just been inspired to drop out of school, sell all my
    worldly belongings, and travel for as long as humanly
    possible before I too grow old, start a career/family, and
    post similar stories myself!!!!

  12. Mid-life cry-sissy Added by: Billy
    [Timestamp: Tue 1 Sept, 15:52 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hi again
    thanks for your comments Yarra and I take your point, but
    the truth of the matter is that I did a fair bit of stamping
    around in my teens and twenties and now the
    mortgage/career/kids nexus has taken right over. The simple
    fact is that I won't be able to afford to take the family
    O/s for many a long year, but thats OK. Providing for your
    future and raising your kids is a mind-blowing and
    positive adventure in itself provided that you can maintain
    your energy and your focus. A LONG LONG OH SO LONG trip
    through India at the end of it all is a mighty fine carrot
    for this working donkey and who knows, I might be able to
    afford to sleep in the occassional palace on a bed rather
    than the rope charpois in the crumbling tenements of my
    previous visits. I think I know what you mean though, in
    between my first and second trips India got TV and that
    single fact changed the landscape, both physically and
    culturally, quite considerably. Also I've got to fess up
    and admit that I am a little scared of taking my daughters
    there at least until they hit their teens. I'd like to be
    confident that their immune systems had developed properly
    before exposing them to the wild and wonderful bugs of Maha
    Bharat !

  13. Take your kids Added by: Ian
    [Timestamp: Tue 1 Sept, 20:30 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Billy, we recently came back from backpacking thru India
    and Nepal (as well as Thailand) for 4 months with our 2
    kids, a boy aged 11 and a girl aged 9. I implore you to not
    be so protective of them, what my kids experienced could
    never be replaced. We did make sure we knew how to diagnose
    and treat diarhoea (and we were careful), and as a result
    none of us were sick for any longer than 24 hours (and only
    once each in the 4 months). I have a website with photos of
    our kids in these places, anyone interested can email me for
    the url, or ask here.
    But I totally empathise with all those who can't settle down
    since coming home. All we want to do is travel, it's all I
    think about (to the point that I have to stop myself
    becoming a bore). We have the career, the morgage (and
    obviously the kids), but we feel so trapped and
    unfullfilled. We had planned on using my degree to work and
    travel, but so far we are too conservative to try this.
    "What if we can't get a job when we come back?", "What if we
    can't find work over seas?" What if, what if. I wish I could
    just DO IT!

  14. Itīs every man (or woman) for himself (or herself). Added by: Innocent Bystander
    [Timestamp: Wed 2 Sept, 2:05 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    We all have our priorities and solutions to our problems. We
    are in our 40īs, we have career, we have morgage (but we
    donīt have kids),and we want to travel. Every winter,
    usually December, we take off for four to six weeks to
    travel around. South and South-East Asia. We have to save
    for that and we understand that weīll be at least 55 when we
    can retire but we just want to travel, and we want to travel

  15. Wanderlust Added by: Kathleen
    [Timestamp: Wed 2 Sept, 2:40 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    When I travel there's two main things I notice: for
    once, I'm living in the present, and, I can re-invent
    myself in regards to meeting people. When I'm not
    traveling, I spend alot of time planning my next trip
    and future trips. However, I also enjoy being home,
    with my cat, my friends, and my garden. I think if my
    job were more engaging, I'd be more present oriented
    at work. But, it's just a job which will guarantee
    medical benefits, after I "retire" in nine or ten
    years with a RTW plan in hand. Bon voyages all!

  16. Ian Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Wed 2 Sept, 2:41 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Well, I can see I'm not the only one fighting with the
    travelbug!! When I was travelling, I met a few people with
    kids, some were quite small to, but it was a lovely site.
    They told us that because of their children, their travels
    took on an even greater dimension. They had a wonderfull
    time, and so did their kids!! Those kids just went out and
    played with the local kiddies; no language problem ever!
    Reckon they've got a secret language that we adults seemed
    to have forgotten. But what greater present could a parent
    give their kids than the ability to travel? To learn how
    to cope with the real unexpected and the different..
    Ian, I would love to see your website!!! I can E-mail you
    for the url, but I'm sure there are plenty other people,
    especially the above, that would enjoy knowing the address
    too. Hey, I have another idea. Your kids are big enough
    to be able to do their say and write. (Or they talk and you
    write?) Can't they write us a little story of how they
    liked it, and what they liked most and also what they found
    different or difficult?? Impatiently waiting for it..

  17. And while we are waiting... Added by: Duffel Bag Traveler
    [Timestamp: Wed 2 Sept, 6:51 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Sometimes this TT has some pretty good threads. It makes wading through the
    drivel almost worthwhile.
    Lou, what a thoughtful essay about the travel addiction.
    Maybe some of us are just prone to explore and see what lies
    at the end of the road (and then get on a boat and sail away
    from there). I think that it is genetic and that there is
    no resolution to it. I am someone who dreams of new places
    and foods and cultures and landscapes. I love to learn and
    experience and see for myself. So I love to travel, and now
    I miss it because I have the mortgage / family life.
    But it's a good life, really. Chasing your boy across the
    park as he giggles - this is better than any magic from
    travel. Coming home to your own house is great. The
    mortgage is a bummer, but sometimes you have to
    be tied down to really experience some important aspects of
    life. Home isn't just obligations, is it? I have seen a
    lot, and experienced a lot, but there is still no experience
    as fulfilling as the middle class career and family life
    (oh, so corny - but true!). Maybe I appreciate it more
    since I have traveled so much. Or maybe I'm just
    concentrating now on the things that I enjoy that are only
    possible at home, like gardening, having children, and
    friendships. I can always travel again.
    I am encouraged by the folks who take their youngsters
    abroad. I hope to also some day, but I'm not brave enough
    to do it when they can't fully communicate any health
    problems and appreciate the dangers of moving vehicles.

  18. Duffel Bag Traveller Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Wed 2 Sept, 7:31 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Thank you, but what I was really trying to find out was HOW
    people end up content with themselves, with their lives,
    after travelling? When they do it no more, because of
    whatever: kids, mortgage, or just getting caught up in the
    trap that lies in the western world, the must-does, the
    must-haves, the must comply, the must go by the "rules" or
    your out. Because I for one, I just can't seem to find
    it. What I would like is to hear some of other peoples
    magic tricks?
    You seem to have accepted something inbetween the
    travelling and the mortgage trap. How do you do that?
    What is the trick that I don't have yet? In some way,
    "want to know what I think" hit the right button. I do not
    have the impression that I lead the life I want to live.
    Am very busy changing things and finding out what it is
    then that I want. I only know that I don't want what I
    have now. And yes, I am very bothered by what people
    around me say and seem to think. It's just like, me, as a
    person, is never good enough, is never sufficient. I do
    not really know what is is that I seek, and as long as I
    haven't found that out, I won't reckognize it when I fond
    it. But if you ask me what I found travelling, was that I
    did seem to be sufficient. I had fun. I met lots of
    people, travelled along with others. There just seemed to
    be so much input in my life all the time, that was so
    overwhelming. Even though when you travel you are quite
    busy with things like booking trains, finding hotels etc.
    Things that seem trivial in every day life back home. At
    home I just never have that feeling, this is really good.
    This is me, and my life's fantastic. And what scares me
    the most is that I'm afraid to stay stuck in that. That
    one day, I will be so caught up in the "metro-boulot-dodo"
    from this material world, that I won't have the force to
    extract myself from there anymore. It already NEARLY
    happened. I have that permanent job, a house we're talking
    about selling, and all the stuff that's in it. Before
    travelling, I had it all, and left it all. Sold all the
    stuff, left my rental place. After travelling, it took a
    long time, building it all back up. Must have this, must
    have tha. Can't go to work in an unironed shirt, must look
    neat, must do that. Now I have it all again, and I'm
    actually just tossing up whether to extract myself, or
    wether to stick it out a little longer, untill I've got my
    mood back again. Cause the mood is low, as you may have
    I think I can get a lot of answers from the people that
    visit this site, and maybe just a little more time untill
    the sun shines again. Here in Europe winter's knocking at
    the door, and that doesn't help at all. Sunshine and blue
    skies can lift your spritis always. Maybe I just wasn't
    meant to be born in Holland. Thanks for your helpfull
    comments, Duffel Bag Traveller. Your kid is a lucky kid,
    and don't let him forget that ever!

  19. best posting yet.. Added by: mc
    [Timestamp: Wed 2 Sept, 22:31 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    To all of the above, this is the most positive, constructive and inspirational TT I have read so far. To me you all define the true rewards of travel : Open minds, practicality, self belief and tolerance. Safe Traveling !

  20. Yes, there is no life... Added by: Mich
    [Timestamp: Thu 3 Sept, 1:06 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It depends on the person, what is important for me is
    completely unimportant for the other , and on the contrary.
    When I was in highschool, and I had a Daddy, I took my
    backpack, and went by hitchhike anywhere with my friends...
    The main thing was to hit the road... to feel the nature,
    smell the air, to listen to birds, to see new
    places, to meet new people, to try to understand
    This was some years back...
    In the meantime my Dad, who financed my trips when I was
    young, died, I finished schools and now I am working. I have
    10 yrs mortgage on my flat...I go to work at 7 in the
    morning, and get home by 7 in the eve...i have 3-4 weeks a
    year for holidays, and as I've just bought a flat I cannot
    do to spend all my moneys for travelling...also as I need my
    job, cos it is not a bad job in my country - i can go to
    holiday, when i am let....not too often for longer
    So, if you ask me, why am I in depressive mood for more then
    the last half a year, just read the above mentioned....
    I feel, I don't leave my life, I feel, I live a life that
    was forced for, parents, society,
    My opinion is I guess similar to Vicky,,, forget kids,
    house, and live your life the way you WISH.

  21. A response Added by: Duffel Bag Traveler
    [Timestamp: Thu 3 Sept, 4:20 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It is unclear to me how much my current state of mind (the
    one you seem to envy) is just my personality, and how much
    of it is something you can imitate (if you should want to do
    that). Here are some of my particulars - judge for
    I traveled in two big trips: a 4 month one to the Far East
    and then an 18 month one to Europe, South and Southeast
    Asia, Australia and the South Pacific. Since then I have
    done short trips to Latin America. My first trip (mostly a
    college tour) gave me the dream of further travel and
    knowledge of the possibilities. I felt a compulsion to
    fulfill this dream - I really had no choice. When I took
    the second trip 5 years later, I had mapped out everywhere
    else I had ever wanted to visit. I gave up my job, stored
    everything, and left. Then I made sure that I visited my
    entire list of places before coming home. At the end of the
    18 months I felt fulfilled, I was sick of wandering (to the
    point of depression), and I really wanted to come home and
    "be normal." If I had quit sooner, I may now be in your
    situation, dreaming of more travel. Also, I am probably
    older than you and that changes many things. Already at 39
    I have trouble at the end of the work day coming up with the
    energy required to properly parent a child. It was either
    now or never for having a family. I guess men have a
    biological clock, too. That can scare the travel bug out of
    a person.
    People in postings above have joined me in talking about the
    pleasures and rewards of traveling, but traveling also
    provides an escape (from yourself, from responsibilities,
    from problems, from commitments) just like drinking alcohol
    can. One can abuse travel just like beer. I also think
    that the "traveler's scene" is infectious to people, and
    this is why everyone goes to the same places and does the
    same things: the Nepal trek, the African safari, the Thai
    beach, etc. But this "community" is really a phony one, and
    only imitates real life, real friendships, real family, real
    achievements, real culture. If you don't believe me now,
    keep traveling and you will someday agree. And think hard
    about the how local people in places you visit look at you,
    and study you. Plenty of them think this vagabond traveling
    existence is nuts.
    Maybe there is something here to help you appreciate your
    current situation more. Western culture is magnificent in
    its own way and hardly just a "trap." Or it may convince
    you to travel till you feel that you have had enough. Good

  22. GO FOR IT! Added by: Neal
    [Timestamp: Thu 3 Sept, 6:11 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hey, I don't believe in following the rules. I would love
    to travel forever, but want to make my money first. So
    there is a balance -- make some money AND don't wait too
    long to do whhat you love.

  23. A kid's perspective. Added by: Blake
    [Timestamp: Thu 3 Sept, 20:00 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    This is Blake, Ian's 11 year old son. I would just like to
    say I loved travelling through Nepal, India and Thailand,
    and I am definitely going to go back. I am definitely going
    to travel when I'm older. The people were really nice to us,
    and the food was really good too. Dad asked me for a
    highligt but I don't have one because it was all good. But I
    loved trekking in the Himalaya, the food in Varanasi,
    staying in the fort in Jaisalmer, bamboo rafting in
    Thailand, the Taj Mahal was great too. I loved it.

  24. Another kid's perspective Added by: Gemma
    [Timestamp: Thu 3 Sept, 20:48 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    (This is Gemma, Ian's 10 year old daughter.) I loved our
    trip because because I saw places I had never seen before.
    The people were polite and kind. Overall I liked Ko Chang in
    Thailand, the elephant rides in Nepal because I had never
    been on one before. We were walking along and the elephant
    driver needed to go for a pee. So he got off the elephant
    and put his stick on the elephant's head. The elephant knew
    the way so we kept walking. Soon the stick fell off, so the
    elephant stopped and picked it up with its trunk and put it
    on its head again. We all laughed until our heads fell off.
    While we were in Nepal we touched our first rhino. He was an
    orphaned baby rhino. Whichever place we went to on our trip
    I would always get traditional dresses (Ian's note; photos
    in our website). It was the best trip I have ever been on
    and a trip of a lifetime. From now on, I want to travel for
    the rest of my life.

  25. Thanks Duffel Bag Traveller.. Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Fri 4 Sept, 6:53 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    .. That helped, hadnít seen things from that point of view
    Nevertheless, I need to share with you a story about a
    friend of mine. Her kid T is 12 now, but when he had just
    turned 4, his parents decided to spent 14 months in South
    America together, travelling mainly through Chili, but also
    Ecuador and Bolivia. One of the aunties met up with them
    too there and travelled along for 3 months. For hours they
    sat in busses and T copied the local kids, had no problem
    and seemed to love every minute of it. (Besides the
    regular little tantrums as every 4 yr old, he wasnít an
    angel and could get tired too) Therefore they sometimes
    rented a little house at a beach or so and stayed put for a
    few weeks to allow the kid to get a rest from travelling.
    He thought it was wonderfull, raced out in the morning to
    go play with the local kiddies, and came back at the bell
    at lunch time, his cheeks red with excitement, his pockets
    full of shelves and rocks and whatever (creepy crawlies) he
    had traded with his friends. They enjoyed every moment they
    spent together and said it brought them closer to each
    other. Now some years have past. The auntie died in 1991,
    and the father passed away unexpectedly last year.
    So not going travelling anymore because of the mortgage and
    all that, isnít that something we should NOT use as an
    excuse? Cause while we live in nice houses, we need to
    work for them too. And all the time one is at work, one is
    not at home. Wouldnít it be the most wonderfull thing to
    try to spend so much time together so intensely, as a
    family? Not let society take over with the must-doís and
    should-doís etc.
    Because the ďlittleĒ T still talks about the time they
    spent in Chili and the things he did together with his
    daddy when they were there. He didnít have to share his
    parents with ANYBODY ELSE - for the WHOLE 14 months - and
    still remembers so many details he even manages to cheer up
    his mum. He has a very vivid memory of who his dad and
    auntie really were, and still thrives on that today.

  26. Cat Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Fri 4 Sept, 6:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ... I think we might be fighting the same evil stuff here..
    I managed to get quite a lift just recently by a
    book written by Anthony Robbins called unlimited power: the
    new science of personal achievement., Simon & Schuster,
    1986, ISBN 90-6325-291-9. AR considers besides food and
    drink, that everything we do in this world is created by
    moods (Donít we know them, those moods). It is not about
    depression, but is often used as an example. AR considers
    depression doesnít just HAPPEN to us (as I always said,
    canít help it) but that we do things to create that mood.
    He seems to have figured it all out, and gives you ALL the
    tricks to create your life as you want to have it. It is
    truly some amazing stuff he has there, best book Iíve ever
    read. If I believe it, how come Iím still low? Well, Iím
    still in the "middle", but I let myself be convinced that
    Iíll be NEVER as bad as it was for me. Iím on my way out
    so to speak, fighting hard to arrange my life the way I
    want it. (me and my backpack going on a another trip being
    one of those changes for sure!)
    Also, check out ďIn the meantimeĒ by Lyanla Vanzant. I
    didnít read the whole book, but the whole first chapter and
    readers comments can be found on the net:
    It is all about love (yes, again) but some parts could be
    applied to the travel blues as well. Yes, I really think
    many of the posters here are in the meantime. I am, thatís
    for sure. Good luck!!

  27. What a lovely post Added by: Marion ( Holland as well)
    [Timestamp: Fri 4 Sept, 12:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hello everybody! This must be by far the nicest topic I saw
    so far! Quite a subject, been surfing here for a few
    days. Blake and Gemma, thank you for your stories. Glad
    you liked the travelling, I did too! Did you carry your
    own backpacks? Do you find it difficult having to go to
    school now again after so much excitement? Or were you
    glad to find your friends back at school? Strange having to
    wear normal clothes again now, isn't it? Let us know,
    because that's what it's all about..
    Lou, thank you for the advice on the books. I Think I can
    do with a bit of lift too. Did you see that Lyanla on the
    Oprah Show? She was pretty impressive, huh?

  28. Thanks Lou and all the others Added by: Alex
    [Timestamp: Fri 4 Sept, 16:59 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hi there,
    this was great fun reading all this stuff. Amaizing that so many other people are all suffering from the travelbug. Reading your posts I think I learned something for me as well. I became 30 this year and have just started my "early mid-life-crises" (Sounds silly, I know). In my twenties I did a lot of traveling for months each trip. Now I've got a, so called, good job with good money am married and start all this stupid (?) things everybody does (for example bying a house). Yesterday, when I drove home from work I was thinking about, what the hell do I need a house for?!?!?!? Just keep flexible as possible! Maybe I quit my job in a couple of months anyway. In that case I would have a house then, what for???!!! To have the problem to pay for it and to have the need for looking as fast as possible for another job? When I arrived at home I just called my bank to say them that I don't need the credit any moore. (They could'nt believe it, but I had my fun).
    Reading all the posts I learned another thing. Thanks to Ian, his wife (don't know the name) Blake and Gemma. You showed my wife and me that it could be great fun traveling with children. We want to have children and we want to have our flexibility in traveling. You are a the best example how to deal with this "problem".
    Ian, I don't want to be indiscreet, but what is your occupation, that you could manage to travel for such a long time? (You see I'm jealous) And how did you deal with the school of Blake and Gemma?
    Looking forward to hear from you, Alex

  29. Lou Added by: Cat
    [Timestamp: Fri 4 Sept, 17:05 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I was thinking in the last days about the topic,,there are
    two possibilities, i guess, one has to decide which to
    choose.... I would like to mention, I dont say anything that
    you couldnt know before...i am just thinking loudly...cos
    Lou, you said, on an other page, you are waiting for the
    golden tip...
    So, two possibility...i can imagine the solution.
    Yes, first is to convince yourself that this works how it is
    now...i mean carrier, life at home..and in this you try to
    put as much traveling as you can do... This is the easiest
    solution, I guess. And by the way a lot traveling can be put
    among weekdays....mainly in Europe as you are European. THis
    is the solution, that I guess many people choose...
    The other possibility, that I love,,,i had an English
    teacher, he was originated as English, was French as
    citizen, and he was teaching English all over the year...he
    spent 1-2 years in every country, and then went to the next
    country...he came here to Hungary - i am Hungarian - from
    Tanzania, where he spent 2 years...he spent some years here,
    and next country came... i just know he lived in many
    country in Africa, and he was crazy after that continent, I
    am not surprised on that at all.
    So if someone can choose a job, by what can travel, and work
    in different countries, I guess he solved the problem...
    travel and he can still pay mortgage.....
    And, Lou, thank you very much the book-proposal, I will read

  30. Thanks all... Added by: Ian
    [Timestamp: Fri 4 Sept, 20:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Thanks all (Alex, Cat and especially Lou, who stated us all
    off and keeps us going), To Alex: I work as an environmental researcher. But the
    important thing here is our location not the job. I'm
    Australian, and many people in Australia get long-service
    leave after 10 years(!!!) with an organisation. This is 3
    months PAID leave, PLUS 20% extra "leave loading". So I just
    added my 1 months annual leave to this (my wife Gail
    resigned), and had 4 months fully paid leave. Great, hey!
    (This is beginning to be a thing of the past, though).
    We had good support from Blake and Gemma's school to
    take the time off (some of it was over the 7 weeks Christmas
    school holidays). We had the teacher's maths texts for them
    to work through, but this was the only formal work they had
    to do. The rest was covered by daily writing in their
    journals, and by the experiences they had every day! one
    thing did stand out which was unexpected. Through the hours
    on planes and helicopters, the total of 64 hours on trains
    and 100 hours on buses, neither one ever complained on those
    long journeys. I guess there is a fairly simple reason for
    that. They were excited about their next destination! While
    watching the scenery pass by their windows, they, just like
    us, were wondering what new adventure was waiting for them
    at that journey's end. And that for us is what travelling is
    all about. They also both came back with noticable increases
    in self-confidence, compassion for others, and a completely
    different perspective on the world and their lives. And,
    they were AHEAD in their maths.
    To Duffle bag Traveler: Having kids while traveling
    means you are not just another tourist face to locals, they
    see you more as normal people like them. Having the kids
    opened doors that otherwise wouldn't even have been visible
    to us otherwise. We had invites to private homes and to
    local weddings, and these are just a couple of examples.
    Marion: I'll try to get them both to write some more,
    keep an eye out below (yes they carried their own packs).

  31. wow... Added by: Alex
    [Timestamp: Fri 4 Sept, 23:09 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    To Ian: well, you are lucky there in downunder. Here in Europe, I don't know about such a regulation. But maybe I've got just the wrong job. For me it's the only possibility to go for a real long trip in between two jobs. So did I last year, when I changed. But on the other hand we have got loooooong holidays in Germany (thats where I'm from), at least in comparison to other countries. So it's not to bad. In november we are hadding for India and the Maledives for a month. (By the way, any suggestions/ideas about the Pushkar Camel Fair from anybody very much appreciated!! Thanks!!)
    But let's get back to the main topic: I think everybody has to handle his/her life to his/her full satisfaction. Means for you, Lou, if you don't feel comfortable you definitly have to change something. On one hand you can change your life on the other you can change the way you see your life. For me this seems to be easier. And may be, to pick up a point of someone else in the beginning of this tree, you will have the chance to retire early in your 50ies. Than there is nothing on earth which keeps off traveling. If you can't deal with this, you should change your life NOW and should not wait another day.
    Maybe this sounds a little harsh, but life is to short to feel dissatisfied with it.......

  32. Alex, you "naughty" chicken Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sat 5 Sept, 1:26 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Alex, what a daring thing: calling off the bank! But what
    a GREAT thing to do!! I can imagine you're feeling quite
    elated now. Good on you!! Further, I totally agree with you
    there. I'm very busy doing just that. Maybe how I see
    (saw) my life wasn't the best way. I realize I'm a bit of
    an ungratefull cow, cause I too am allowed those 5 weeks
    per year. I could have gone, but I didn't. I was just
    sitting there winging on about how miserable my life was.
    And not so long ago, I realized that wasn't getting me
    anywhere. But one of the things I really missed was
    friends. I had lots of them on the road, but not at home.
    Big part of the problem. But if I keep sitting at home, I
    won't find any friends too, will I? I was a bit in hiding,
    from the world, from eveything. I just kept thinking, it's
    no use, nobody knows who I am, they don't wanna know and
    nobody understands me anyway.. And now, on this site, I
    have found out I'm not so different of a lot of you's. We
    are quite alike, actually. The other day it crossed my
    mind what a pity it is that you all aren't part of my daily
    surroundings. But then I realized that you all ARE. We
    are regularly exchanging information here, aren't we?
    Also, I realize that this site isn't supposed to be a
    chatbox for depressed and unsatisfied people. But somehow
    I seemed to have cheared up so much in the last few weeks,
    since talking to you all. I seem to get my act back
    together and my inner wailing and carrying-on seemed to
    have suddenly stopped. I realize very much now it's all up
    to me. It's just that "talking" together and sharing a
    little piece of my life and my concerns with others, was
    just what I needed. I'm pretty sure one day I'll be
    completely out of my dip, and am, still astonished, looking
    at all the little lights shining at the end of that
    tunnel. Thank you all. Looking forward to hearing what
    you all think.
    By the way, I've posted another (maybe more positive? Can't
    be less interesting though) topic on this tree: "Anecdotes,
    Unforgettable incidents". Hope you will have a look, and
    share some of your own unforgettable happenings there too.
    Love you all! Hear from you soon?

  33. Just keeping in touch Added by: Duffel Bag Traveler
    [Timestamp: Sat 5 Sept, 4:27 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It's hard to keep the train of thought going when people
    keep posting while I'm asleep! Lou, you must have spent
    some time in Australia judging by your slang. I haven't
    heard "wingeing" or "good on you" for a long time. Maybe
    too long?
    Lou: I'm looking forward to more of your posts. Remember,
    you can always travel next year (or next month) if things
    don't improve. Why not set a timetable of what you expect
    in the way of happiness by what date, and then stick to it.
    "If things aren't better by July, 1999..."
    The story you told of the child in South America is great.
    I do have to point out, though, that the 4-yr-old would
    probably have enjoyed his father's company just as much at
    home as in Chile. Or was it your point that financially a
    year in Holland without working was impossible, but a year
    in Chile without work was? Maybe I'm slow. You may find if
    you have a young child that you get used to not being able
    to do want you want (sometimes, it seems like you can't do
    anything at all that you want and the whole day is just
    auto-pilot). Then travel becomes an unattainable luxury
    just like quiet reading time or a hobby. Can't do it, so
    why even think about it. Of course, the children will grow
    and start to amuse themselves. Then think of the

  34. I have a possible answer for you! Added by: Mehitabel)
    [Timestamp: Sat 5 Sept, 4:28 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I think I may have a possible answer for you. My hubby is
    in partnership with a factory which makes brass decorative
    accessories, etc. in a little town in India. We go to India
    often, but we live most of the time in New York City. What
    a dichotomy! In New York, we feel very stressed, as though
    we cannot get enough done and feel restricted because of the
    demands of Western culture. In India, we are, despite being
    exasperated with the challenges in getting even the SMALLEST
    thing done right or at all, we feel truly alive, relaxed,
    and very, very lucky. Why? Because we see the dead bodies
    on the sides of the roads, the starving, the ill, the
    burocracy (sp?), the close family ties, the reliance upon
    God (whichever one that might be) rather than insurance or
    money, etc. You must understand that I don't mean this in
    a condescending way towards Indians or India. Our factory
    is in the middle of nowhere in the U.P. and we see pariah
    dogs hovering over dead villagers all the time. It is a
    challenge, both mentally and spiritually (as well as
    physically, if you happen to go in the summer) and as my
    husband says, our western culture denies the negative
    aspects of life so much. For instance, when we die, we say
    the person has "passed on". We dolly up their corpse and
    say "They look better than they have in years" as we parade
    by to look at them. Then we bury them in a sealed box and
    no one (save the funeral directors) sees the real DEAD body
    during this process. No one sees pie (pariah) dogs eating
    baby corpses in the Ganges River here in the good old USofA.
    It's all a sham and you don't even realize it until you get
    to India and find out that life isn't that pretty deep, deep
    down. But it is liberating somehow to know that we can be
    free of our blind materialism. And that's probably the
    point at which most people who visit India, and perhaps
    yourself, once you see past the dust and grime, the
    overpopulation and the economic troubles SEE WHAT I THINK IS
    THE REAL REASON TO GO TO INDIA: the PEOPLE. Just some food
    for thought. Cheers!

  35. An answer Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sat 5 Sept, 7:51 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Duffel Bag traveller: Old addition: I'm 37, not so much
    younger. Further: 2 yrs, and my husband is from Oz. And:
    I'll need some time figuring out my priorities; but top
    idea!! Those friends were from France. I didn't mean
    finances, although it is essential before even considering
    such a trip. (And I don't think they culd have done that in
    France. The new environment certainly made things a lot
    more exiting, and made them discover things about
    themselves that they hadn't found if they had stayed home).
    And had they not gone away as they did, that little kid
    would have hardly known about his father. Dad was working
    very hard (especially after having made the decision to
    go). When he came home after work, the kid had been long
    since asleep. If they were lucky, they'd see each other
    for 5 minutes at the breakfast table. And sometimes he only
    came home in the weekends. So now I'm just gratefull on
    behalf of T that he had that chance to actually meet his
    dad, to get all that undivided attention.
    Mehitabel: nice to meet you. Is that for real, your name?
    Where does it come from? So any time you're asked for your
    name you can say that? Wow! Mine's just plain and simple.
    (Actually, it's Louise, but on the net I lgo under Lou:
    short and firm. Unlike my posts, huh?) Well, I think you
    have a point there, and a good one too. Yes, Nepal and
    India touched me, changed me, and I never managed to
    clearly explain to myself what it was exactly.
    Sometimes the hussle and bussle and especially the never
    ending noise seemed to much to cope. I sometimes wished I
    were invisible, or just somewhere else. Sometimes we turn
    our head at those confrontations like the ones you mention,
    but too late. We already saw it. It becomes a piece of
    us. And we can not forget it, no matter how hard we try. I
    don't really want to do that though. I feel my inner world
    vibrate, just talking about it (Maybe I hadn't done that
    enough after getting back). No, it isn't just the
    travelling, nor the traintrips. I agree it is the people.
    Other people a little, but more so ourselves. The need to
    find out what we'll do in the future with those new and
    strange things we never even knew existed, cause our world
    used to be a lot smaller, and thta now suddenly are part of

  36. I just thought of something.. Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sun 6 Sept, 3:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I wonder if anybody in Nepal for instance manages to access
    this thorntree. I know from India people do. I wonder
    what they must think about our conversation here. Do they
    understand any of this, our line of thought, do they
    understand anything of us?? All of us who long for India
    (or other places) Because for all I know, they just might
    wish to be here, just where we are now. And have that
    house and that permanent job, and all the securities life
    in the "West"has to offer. Can they understand anything at
    all from the fact we're (sort of) longing to leave it all,
    exchange it for "having nothing" and wander the world? But,
    in order to do that, you first need that money to allow you
    to do that..

    I suddenly realized something REALLY important!!! Do you
    realize that we are here sitting debating a CHOICE???
    That mortgage f.i. or those jobs, that's still a choice.
    We are actually "FREE" to decide what we want to do in our
    lives, where we want to go and how we want our lives to be
    in that "July 1999".
    And that's more than most people on this planet have, a
    choice!!! Are we all a bit "strange"? Still, it's very
    nice talking about it with other strange people..
    What about our Indian friends, what would they have to say
    about it all?? I wonder..

  37. Lou Added by: Geraud
    [Timestamp: Mon 7 Sept, 14:12 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know this is out of place in such a lovely
    and sensitive thread, but I just can't help
    wondering why you don't follow your heart and
    go. Is the not-so-secure promise of security
    really so important if it forces you to go on
    spending your waking hours either dreaming or
    reminiscing on memories of the little things
    that happened to you when you used to be happy?

  38. Cost Added by: Billy
    [Timestamp: Tue 8 Sept, 17:07 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Guys, guys, guys
    I finally remembered why I've gotta go through this mid-life
    consolodation stage. I've been making some inquiries and it
    seems that for my wife and I and our two young daughters to
    get to India we're going to have to shell out in the
    vicinity of $5,000 (Aus) just to get there !!!! So to spend
    2 or 3 months there, travel around and stay in a range of
    ordinary and not so ordinary hotels, we'd have to take
    around $10-15,000. Thats a lot of cockle shells. Gone
    forever, it seems are the days of scrounging 2-3 grand and
    just taking off. Ah well, India, I think, teaches you to be
    happy with your lot (strangely the Christian faith teaches
    you the same and is reviled by people who otherwise admire
    the fatalism of the Hindus) and, of course, the other great
    lesson of India is the virtue of waiting...and waiting...and

  39. Thanks, Lou! Added by: Shankar
    [Timestamp: Tue 8 Sept, 22:40 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Thanks Lou, for bringing a breath of fresh air to the TT
    which, thanks to the muck that was flying around, was in
    danger of turning into a forum for the worst type of sexual
    and racist abuse. You will have noticed that many of the
    Indian regulars like duh, Maha, Suhas, R Kalia, Ramanpreet,
    VR Indian, Keshav (and a host of others whose names I cannot
    recall offhand) have not been contributing to the TT for
    quite some time now for fear of attracting further
    abuse. Well, I am taking the risk and do hope that this
    beautiful thread will not take a nasty turn after this post.
    We Indians are not much into backpacking as such but do like
    to travel. Indeed, a recent survey carried out by
    American Express show that Indian tourists are now one of
    the biggest spenders in the world. However, these guys must
    obviously be the super rich types; the average indian
    "domestic" tourist can be placed somewhere between these
    super rich types and the backpackers. Most travel with
    families (often extending to three generations). A great
    many are religious tourists and since it is possible to stay
    free in dharamsalas in all religious places and train
    tickets are cheap, even the not so affluent families can
    afford to take their families to these places.
    I am fifty and would like to travel all over India one day.
    Since I - like most Indians - cannot get leave for more than
    a week at a time, I have to make do with short trips twice
    or thrice a year. Not entirely satisfactory but that's the
    best I can do now. My wife and our 20 year old son, who is
    also a serious trekker, accompany me; my son acts as my
    navigator since I - again like most Indian middle-class
    people - prefer to drive my own car (for distances up
    to 400-500 km) rather than depend on public transportaion
    (Poor Mark Jones must be having heart attacks at the very
    thought of driving on Indian roads). To get back to the
    point, I intend to work for a few years more, say five, buy
    a pair of NIKE shoes and JUST DO IT. Frankly, it's just not
    possible for us Indians to leave everything and go out for
    extended trips to far and distant lands. A gap of even a few
    months in one's CV will effectively mean no further
    employment in one's present life. Also, the Indian
    middle-class is pretty much softer than it's western
    counterpart. For instance, none of my friends would agree to
    go backpacking with me. Not that I would ask them to do so
    in the first place. While travelling, my budget for a family
    of three would be in the region of Rs 3,000 (US$ 75) per day
    inclusive of board, lodging and travel expenses. But I do
    admire the spirit of all backpackers and I fully subscribe
    to the points of view expressed above. But, unlike our
    friend Jon who dreads the thought of turning thirty, I feel
    that I will still be fit enough to travel on my own five
    years down the road (remember I am fifty now). By then, my
    son would be working, my bank balance would be reasonable
    (hopefully) and I will not have a care in the world. And, in
    the meanwhile, Cheers to all my fellow travellers - armchair
    and otherwise. I hope the TT will continue to inspire me to
    see my own country. Thank you everybody.

  40. Hi everybody.. Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Wed 9 Sept, 1:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Kali: as for me: no problem! But please come back and let
    us know what the project is for (uni, documentary??)
    - - -
    Geraud: It isn't for me. The whole point is actually that
    because of this thorn tree I actually remembered that I was
    once happy, before my life turned into black and white.
    Just the fact talking to all of you and getting all of
    these answers made my heart laugh again. There's plenty
    little lights shining again at the end of my tunnel, and I
    wasn't even aware of it. Now I am. I'm resetting my life,
    only things take time. I don't think therre's anything
    wrong about talking abut happy times. But I do agree I
    shouldn't just do that. Thank you for the warning!
    - - -
    Shankar: thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
    It sure is a lovely thread, isn't it? Thanks to all those
    travellers taking an interest. It was lovely hearing from
    you how you see travel. You know, that I never thought
    that western travellers would also do that: inspire Indian
    people to go see more of their own country? That's a very
    nice gift you give us there! I didn't know, but am glad to
    find out. I often had the idea that the people I met
    wouldn't really say what they thought of us. And I kept
    wondering how strange they thought we were in fact. It is
    a pity Indian people have hesitations posting here. We are
    all looking forward to hearing from them!! Possibly you
    started something good by your own posting. Let's hope so.

  41. finding your life's work? Added by: michelle
    [Timestamp: Thu 10 Sept, 10:13 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    This is amazing to come across this wonderful posting as I
    was feeling particularly overwhelmed by these questions this
    very morning. I am definitely a carrier of the TRAVEL BUG
    and have been working-for-a-year then travelling-for-a-year
    for quite some time now. I'm happy to come home for a while
    after a long trip, as long as I have travel plans in front
    of me to work towards. Travelling is my absolute favorite
    thing to do. I truly feel in my element when I'm out there
    exporing. There are good days and bad days but somehow I
    feel that I am always growing. Some say that travelling is
    another form of escaping from yourself but I believe the
    opposite is true. The adventures and challenges not only
    teach you about the different ways that people go about life
    but they force you to look inward and discover more about
    your own abilities and limitations.
    The problem, for me, lies in the idea of getting older and
    still doing boring jobs because I'm never around long enough
    to build a career (not to mention saving for a home or
    raising a family). I understand that it is one of the
    greatest challenges to find your life's work. Can
    travelling be this for those of us who dedicate our lives to
    it eventhough it doesn't pay? Most of the time I'm
    content knowing that I am following my heart but other days
    (like today) I wish (but only for a moment though!) that
    I was inclined to pursue a more conventional lifestyle
    Does anyone struggle with such ideas too?

  42. BALANCE Added by: Salin
    [Timestamp: Thu 10 Sept, 17:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Enjoyed reading this thread.I grew up watching my
    parents and their endless,endless regrets.Married
    young, never REALLY travelled, had 4 kids
    etc.Determined to never do that.BUT, alas, money
    doesn't grow on trees.So, my solution, study, work
    butt off in crappy places, and travel on a shoestring
    as much as humanly possibly for my 20's. At 31 I can
    look back on 12 years of a wild, fabulous time,
    backpacking across every continent, met thousands of
    fabulous, free-spirited people.Then (the plan) in
    `establishments' putting down roots etc Then off I
    travel again, kids off to uni, house paid off.So far
    I'm on track.31, engaged to be married, good work in
    accounting firm, heart full of free-wheeling times,
    which, god willing, are waiting for me again down the
    road.And absolutely no regrets.What can I say but life
    is short and carpe diem!!

  43. There's a lot more people out there Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Fri 11 Sept, 4:24 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    .. all fighting the same thing I just found out. Ya'll
    might be interested in reading the many posts on the topic
    "post trip syndrome" in the women travellers section.

  44. Great.. Added by: raman
    [Timestamp: Fri 11 Sept, 21:29 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ..just what I wanted to hear in a long long time.
    Sorry Shankar, I have not been posting on TT for a long time
    for the precise reasons that you pinpointed, but this was a
    Travel Bug? Really don't know what it means apart from the
    fact that if travelling is what gives a meaning to your life
    then may as well go ahead and do it all the time.
    I have just turned 25. But it has been my travel memories
    that have made me appreciate life beyond that numerical
    Listening to you all guys talk about heading out for months
    on end kind of makes me jealous. All that I can think about
    living in India on a yearly salary ( at best equal to you
    first worlder's couple of months hard work) is around a week
    or a fortnight at max. This month end I am of to Roopkund
    Lake trek in Gharwals, a 9 day affair, which I had planned
    for around a year or so. So I guess I am OK as long as the
    trips keep happening. BTW, anybody interested in joining me
    for the trip from 25th sept to 4 oct.?
    A lot of people commented on the true meaning of life being
    more evident in India becoz they had the priviledge or
    should I say the shame of witnessing human bodies lying
    around without getting proper funeral. It is not a novelty
    or an eye opener as you made it out to be. It was becoz some
    poor chap could not even afford to buy enough wood to burn
    the body and the services of a priest for the last rites of
    his loved one.
    It is certainly not one of the thing about my country which
    I want people to seek when they come from all over the
    There's much more to India than those sorry sights. And I
    encourage you to dig them out and take home as memories.
    Ian the site is terrific. I am posting my own trekking
    photographs pretty soon so maybe you can visit it and send
    your comments. Ditto for the rest of you. Blake and Gemma, I
    see some very determined future travellers in you. When do
    you plan to hit India next? Give me a buzz, I can at least
    take you to some happening places in Delhi, what say you??
    Catch you backpacking sometimes. Lookout for a tall, balding
    (@ the age of 25!! sometimes genes can go crazy) fellow with
    a worn out blue and gray backpack ( my fav) on some dusty
    trails in the himalayas (again my fav).

  45. Hi Raman! Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sat 12 Sept, 8:22 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    .. nice to see your post! Looking forward to be able to
    see your photographs; let us know when the site is ready!
    Actually, itís not a lot of people who mentioned seeing
    bodies in the streets: if I recall, it was 2 of us only.
    And yes, thereís a lot more to India than that, and I think
    most of us have found many of those things as well and
    cherish remembering that.
    But you know Raman, I want to tell you something. I lived
    in Europe most of my life. I was surrounded by cement, by
    all those things that look nice and organized. And I never
    realized what I was looking at, because it had always been
    there, I was used to it. I never truly realized at what
    point there were places in the world where itís actually
    quite different, untill I visited Nepal and India.
    Sitting at home, looking at photographs and reading books
    and hearing tales, thatís indeed an armchair adventure. You
    only hear or see what is in the book, in the photo. But
    when you are finally physically there, in that other
    country so different than where you originated from, you
    will unavoidably see what wasnít written, and also what was
    outside the focus of the cameraman. And yes, than the shock
    can be enormous. Because than, into your very bones, you
    know, and you can not ever undo that truth youíve just
    The big shock of realization that not everybody leads the
    same sort of life that you used to take for granted. That
    not everybody is used to the things that at home one might
    not even notice anymore that they are there. That the way
    in which people around you seemed to live their life, the
    way you used to do yourself as well before your trip, isnít
    the only world.
    And that is maybe what is so unsettling, because you feel
    as if the world you were used to was a fake one. Nobody
    here seems to find it unusual that thereís health care for
    everybody, that there are schools, doctors, dentists on
    every street corner. That there are pensionmonies for the
    sick, the handicapped, the elderly. It seemed to provide
    everything, and everybody seems to think itís quite normal
    the way it is, as I did too, we never thought anything of
    it. People take it as being their right. And then in India
    you can suddenly get confronted with sites that are so
    unusual, so different, so unfair to what we saw as our
    norm. In the Western world they seem to scream: every
    man is equal. And finding out it isnít so, that every man
    doesnít have equal rights, is indeed a discovery. So maybe
    yes, maybe it could be called a ďprivilegeĒ to having been
    confronted with some very unjust sites in India. Because
    after that one will be forever awake. I now look at the
    world at home with different eyes, and I myself feel that
    as a blessing. Maybe indeed one of the biggest and most
    important ones that India gave me as a present.
    There is a lot more to India. Iíve seen some of it, I felt
    some of it. It is not that this is the ONLY thing that
    hangs in my mind. I understand that Indian people see this
    differently. But I also wanted to try and explain to you
    why it was some sort of eye opener for me, as a European
    - - -
    Next subject a little more cheery. Please tell us about
    your trip. Also, when you have a holiday, do you try to do
    things different than at home? Do you try to make your trip
    more comfortable or less comfortable than the life you lead
    the rest of the year? What accomodation do you seek for
    instance? Have you ever camped in a tent? Hope to hear from
    you soon..

  46. I have done crazy things... Added by: raman
    [Timestamp: Mon 14 Sept, 20:12 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Lou, the trips have been some of the wildest times I have
    ever had. Bivouc, tents, shacks, cabins, rest houses and
    proper hotels, done all of them. The most memorable time was
    perhaps while on the Khatling Glacier trek in Gharwal
    Himalayas when me and a friend of mine wanted to reach a
    village before pitching for the night. It rained and got
    dark at 4 in the afternoon. We still went on for another 2
    hours but could no further because of the rain and slippery
    conditions. So we pitched our tent in darkness and on a
    trail 4 feet wide with one side a rocky wall and other side
    a 70 degree slope. Only after we got into the tent did we
    realize that we had pitched the tent upside down and the
    porous floor was the roof and the roof was the floor!!
    Now don't ask me how we managed to do this great feat, but
    it did happen and we spent a miserable night becoz no one of
    us two was willing to go out in the pouring rain and uproot
    the pegs and pitch the tent again. It dripped the whole
    night and we listened to BBC and some faint FM station on
    our radio to pass time. In the morning a local shepherd came
    by and woke us up because we had held up the traffic for his
    cows and sheep!!
    I personnaly like to push myself to the limit on a trek,
    why? becoz it is the only way to know your limits. I usually
    seek some degree of uncomfortableness, infact a lot of
    people I know agree that we seek it becoz it forms a part of
    the adventure element. For the same reason I hate touristy
    places with hordes of people and every material comfort. I
    fail to understand people when they go to a new place and
    want to check-in a hotel with "cable TV", "hot water",
    "bars" and "pool", etc etc. What a waste of an opportunity
    to know so much more of what you are capable of!!!
    I have had some initial responses to the post for info on
    Roopkund lake and it seems that I have less days to complete
    the trek, so I might do the Kuari pass trek or Valley of
    Flowers afterall. Will keep you posted.
    Regarding your observations about India and the "shock" most
    people feel, I agree with you on that account. It definitely
    is not Utopia. I'll tell you of an interesting episode.
    During my MBA, I was once in a class where we had to
    present a case study involving a solution for marketing
    India as a destination for foriegners. Guess what one of the
    solutions was thought out(not presented, of course), Indian
    govt. can market themselves as a reminder to other people of
    how things can go horribly wrong, so that they start
    thinking that their own country and govt. is a much better
    I have a theory, you may agree or....I think a lot of people
    who come to India (esp from first world) deduce in their
    sub-consciousness that what they have back home is a much
    better life, so why are they unhappy there? ( if they are),
    so they go back to it much happier. There is no spiritual or
    divine insight they recieved over here to achieve
    happiness/nirvana in life, it stared right in their faces.
    India's misfortune is the same "spiritual insight" that
    people talk about when they visit it. There's nothing
    spiritual about India, not right now, it may have been. I
    personally think it is one of the most atheist countries in
    the world. We appease gods with elaborate charades. It's not
    religion, it's stage.
    Well it's not as bad as it sounds. there are pockets of
    absolute gems in this country. you need patience, they will
    automatically unfold.
    I don't regret it, in fact i am thriving in it. And you know
    what, there's no place like india, bad or good. period.

  47. be true to your spirit Added by: jayne
    [Timestamp: Fri 18 Sept, 9:49 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Ah comfort in numbers. Yes it is good to know that so many others are addicted to travelling. Without reiterating what has already been written I think that we have to follow our souls and be true to who we are meant to be. I think this may take time. After travelling for 2 years I felt I had better get a "serious" job. Before I knew it I was living with my boyfriend, bought a house etc. But I had this nawing feeling that I was not living the life I was meant to. The color of drape material did not concern me nor a new couch. So....apres divorce, I started travelling again. And, I have never been so euphoric in my life. I am now in my mid 40s and am leaving next week for India for three months. I am so excited I can hardly breath. Last year I spent 2 months in Africa, and 2 years before in Vietnam/oz. I know that nothing makes me happier or feeling more alive than challenging myself and exploring other cultures. If we can find something that makes us truly happy we must follow it if possible. Life is too short to deny who we are. And for all the people who ask the usual questions such as why and are you going alone and what are you running away from - not - there are just as many who think that I truly have the best life...and for me I do. For someone bitten with the bug I can assure you it will not go away; oh yes we can shelve it while taking care of families or mortgages but it will rear its head again. Combining occupation and travel must be the answer - spent a long time trying to figure out what i could do and travel as well. i went back to uni and will have my esl degree in the summer 99. Voila - and perhaps the money is not so great but so what - i may be emersed in a south american culture learning spanish. So anyway, start planning a trip, then look in the mirror and Ill bet you will see the excitement of life dancing in your eyes; God or Buddha or someone provided us with the most amazing world and to be lucky enough to see a part of it is truly a miracle. And to get back to the question that I originally read earlier today, I don't know either how I will get into Parangangh at 1230 in the morning on the 29 of September but maybe Ill meet one of you guys at the Delhi airport and we can cab in together. Enjoy!

  48. Jayne Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Fri 18 Sept, 10:19 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    What is an ESL degree? Does that allow you to find work
    while travelling?

  49. fantastic... Added by: Cath
    [Timestamp: Fri 18 Sept, 21:18 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ...yes fantastic to read you all. Won't come back on the
    subject as you all spoke about it sooo well. But I just
    would like to add some personnal ideas on how to live with
    the bug.
    I'm back over a year now (ok I should say a year and a half
    by now) from a 15 months trip in oz, Indonesia and New
    Zealand, and live in Dublin now. Being French originally,
    that's what I've decided to do when I came back from
    travelling: go, work and live in other european countries,
    get that same feeling back eventhough I'm working in an
    office everyday, but at least I'm still learning new ways
    to do things, meeting new people until I have enough money
    and the courage to leave again for further away. This is my
    stand-by situation because yes I reckon it does take
    courage to go again after what I've been through since back
    in Europe. It's good to read that there is a chance to feel
    "fullfilled" with it at some point and start doing all the
    usual house-family stuff with as much pleasure that I have
    when travelling. There is probably a time for everything...

    [Timestamp: Fri 18 Sept, 23:18 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I am overwhelmed by by the spirit and wisdom i have just
    perused...I picture it as a group of fellow
    travellers...sipping tea at the end of a day...swapping
    stories....philosophies....and travel tips....around a
    campfire at the youth hostel/train station/bad hotel we all
    ended up at...amazed at the shared experience of so many
    strangers crossing paths...secretly hoping the balm and
    sense of community stays with us in the morning as we go
    our separate ways in the morning.
    We travellors are an insecure group...we know were
    different...and secretly wondering if theres something
    irrevicably wrong with us that we arent "doing what the
    rest of the world is doing"..chasing we wonder if
    indulging our travel-lust....might just have a negative
    ultimate we end up homeless/destitute as
    a result of not pursueng the financial security that 99% of
    the human race is cutting throats to achieve.
    ME TOO....ive been married and divorced...spent 11 years
    in college(5 actual years...with a years travel in-between)
    have graduate degrees in Business and Literature (but NOT
    typing if youre proof reading this)...and when i look back
    the most meaningfull memeories are the night in Dieppe on
    my 1st channel crossing in a pup-tent in the rain....waking
    up behind Mary-Queen of Scots Castle in
    Linlithgow....Moscow metro
    Bern....and a hovering anxiety that i havent seen the
    Kremlin...Florence...St Petersburg or India(...yet)
    A recent trip to Sacremento scared me...i did the same
    "planning/research" i do on my "world travels"...what to
    do...what to see...saving hotels...biking a
    bit....taking the train....yet i came back sapped....not
    spiritually refreshed...spiritually worried that the rest
    of the world may someday look like the freeways and smog of
    SACre(mental)...and have the looks of desperation and
    struggle i saw on the faces of the drivers wizzing by me.
    Fortunately...i secretly feel a trip to Switzerland or a
    bike trip through Holland could cure me of my spiritual
    malaise. Why?
    All i know for sure is ive had more romance and
    adventure on a dirty train trip from Moscow to Kiev than i
    could ever have on Amtrack....the chance encounters and
    shared experiences are vital to me....and kindred spirits
    valuable to meet...and all i need to start begin the
    adventure is a backpack and a railpass...i have graduate
    degrees from two ivy league schools...yet i am a self
    employed carpenter(AND A PART-TIME ACTOR) so that i can
    have the freedom and flexibility to pursue my
    addiction...its about a $50/day habit and i know of no one
    that has overdosed on travel...But i digress...
    Maybe...just maybe...weve recaptured the romance and spirit
    of the American hobos of the early 20th one
    understood them...they rode the rails...slept "wherever"
    and are now having conventions in Iowa reliving the "good
    old days"...maybe they have the idea...being on the perifery
    of life...thats a "kick"....but the real "kick" the
    shared experience.
    Maybe we just have more resources...better
    backpacks...better railpasses....better vision of whats
    meaningfull to see...but were just getting around to
    sharing it.HEY...WATCH OUT...WERE EVOLVING!!!!And maybe
    thats why "life on the road" seems like rarified
    adventure....better than anything Stephen Spielberg could
    create....filmed in "Present moment"...and starring....YOU.

    [Timestamp: Fri 18 Sept, 23:45 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Maybe we could start a support group...WANDERLUST-ANON....
    ACOB(adult children of backpackers)...start our own say...3
    step program
    1-buy an ailine ticket
    2-do alot of research/reading
    3- GO
    There would be no all be on the
    road...only emails...feel free to email me :-)...its part
    of my recovery program from my trip to Sacremento

  52. Wanderlust Added by: culprit
    [Timestamp: Fri 18 Sept, 23:48 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Well well there are too many
    posts to read them all so I'll
    just respond to the original.
    Call it the "travel bug" if you
    like, I call it Wanderlust. I've
    had it all my life--in the
    womb I travelled across the
    US in a Ford station wagon,
    my theory is that that's
    where it started.
    In my 20s and early 30s I
    lived in Asia and travelled as
    often as I could. Then I got
    married, moved to the US, and
    now have a (gasp!) mortgage
    as I approach 40. I do still
    travel, tho mostly to Europe
    or around the East coast
    (cheaper). Sometimes with
    my husband but often solo. I
    freelance and try to earn
    enough to finance little trips.
    Any place you go that's new to
    you is a new adventure!
    Another thing that soothes
    the wanderlust is exploration.
    When I came back to the US I
    settled in New York, a good
    choice because there's so
    much to discover here. Just
    amazing all the places you
    can go on the subway! When
    the 'Lust hits hard, I take a
    "trip" on my bike or the
    subway and discover
    something new and exciting.
    I've been to A'dam, Lou, and I
    found it fascinating (tho of
    course I was travelling!) and
    I'm sure there are places
    there that'll bring back that
    spark of excitement for you.
    In the end, it's all about
    perception, isn't it?

  53. those feelings... Added by: Petra (Holland)
    [Timestamp: Fri 18 Sept, 23:49 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I thought that I got rid of the travel bug for a while, but it came back quick, hard and uncureable....
    I start travelling "late": I had a relationship, bought a house at a young age, never went with my partner on vacation because we needed to create the garden, get a new kitchen, or a new (third hand)car or thousend other reasons. Once we decided to go on vacation together, I decided that I didn't want to do anything with him anymore: we split up. I never flew before, but decided very impulsively that I wanted to go to New Zealand (better go as far as you can the first time, so it can't be any worse the next time...) and found a colleague of mine willing to go with me. We rented a car, stayed in backpackers places and after that trip (4 weeks) I realized that I could do things like that on my own as well. The year after that I was sick of all the reorganisations at work, had some other 'problems' I was tired of, so I quit my job, left my rented house and after that I decided to go to Australia for as long as I liked it or my money lasted. It was the best decision I ever made: I needed to proof myself (and nobody else) that I was able to take care of myself, that I didn't need anybody else taking decisions for me. I felt strong, because I could handle all the problems myself, doing the things I wanted to, without asking anybody to agree. It was a good experience to 'come to myself'. I met lots of people, not always the kind of people I wanted to have as close friends, but good to train your knowledge of men. But some of them stayed friends, complete with visits every now and then.
    After that I became addicted to travelling, went to several other countries and in 3 weeks I will go to Bolivia/Peru. Although an orginized tour (transport and hotels are arranged by the company), it will leave you with a maximum of freedom. The reason I booked this trip is because it's a good compromis between going on your own and spend a lot of time of finding your way through the country (which is absolute fun when you have the time) and a complete "now you look on your right, now we will stop for a meal in a certain restaurant"-tour. If I could find somebody to go with me, with the same interests and spirit, it would be something different, but all my friends are stuck in the "normal"life, with mortages, kids and expensive cars.
    But I have a poster on my door, saying: the best thing to make something out of your life, is start travelling. I totally agree with it..
    I think once you're bitten by the travel bug, the bite will last the rest of your life....

  54. Lou from Jayne Added by: Jayne
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 2:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ESL is teaching English as a second language.

  55. The Same Added by: Sam
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 2:54 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I can emphasize with everyone's posts....I am in the same
    boat. Two years I finished university in Canada and took off
    and backpacked for a year. I saw the South Pacific (Fiji,
    New Zealand, Australia), Southeast Asia (Indo, Sing.,
    Malaysia and Thailand) as well as the Mideast (Israel and
    Jordan). I returned home to live in the States and pursue my
    Masters at a very good school. Yet, the entire year, no
    matter how intriguing and challenging my school was I still
    had this overwhelming desire to get away and travel -
    EXPERIENCE. At the conclusion of the years (the beginning of
    the summer) I took off for two full months and backpacked
    all around my country of Canada an unbeleivable experience.
    I think traveling is a wonderful thing and should be
    continued for every single person. Yet there comes a time
    when you have to bear down and take some responsility.
    Myself, I have a career which I enjoy immensely and have
    worked very hard to create. I still would love to travel,
    South America, Europe and Africa are all high on my list.
    There is no such thing as life after backpacking -
    backpacking can always be a part of your life in any
    capacity - it is much of a mind state as anything else. I am
    working, doing what I love but in the back of my head
    planning my next trip, I hope to god that backpacking will
    be a part of my life no matter what my job or circumstance

  56. Life is a Journey! Added by: Sue
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 3:39 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    One who wonders is not necessarily lost...As my uncle told
    me, " To wait until retirement is to be able to afford what
    only the young can enjoy"
    Go now! I went for 18 months around the world and am off
    again already.. If travel is in your blood there's no other
    solution - Just Go!

  57. Getting to know home Added by: Jen
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 5:00 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I have found a way to (kind of) get rid of those post-backpacking blues. I try to explore my home area. I live in San Diego, CA and I am trying to explore here. I have bought travel books about this entire area, including Baja California, Mexico.
    When I read these books, I try to put myself in the place of someone who is not familiar with the area. I try to look at my home through the eyes of a traveller. Although I cannot do daily forays into the area, I can do a lot on weekends and evenings. I feel like this keeps me up on how to maximize my time and I learn more about the area in which I live.
    Many of the things I have discovered I share with my friends and family. I now know a wealth of information about the area that I can share with visitors. In the mean time, I can figure out where I want to go next when I have the money to take off on a grand scale.
    I don't think there is any way to REALLY get rid of the feeling that you would rather be somewhere else. It is easy to feel good when you are constantly exploring new places with no real responsibilities. But, this little bit of home exploration keeps me sane. It always reminds me how important it is to me to learn about the world in which I live. What better way to do that, than to start at home? When I travel, I have that much more I can share with the friends I meet on the road. :)
    Good luck. Let me know if you discover something new and interesting in your area that you didn't know about before.

  58. That's quite an idea!! Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 8:24 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I had never ever thought of exploring my own country/
    neighbourhood in that way. Yes, I did like cycling, and in
    the past picked up the bags and the tent and the stove and
    sleeping bags and went away for the weekend. Train out,
    and then cycle back home. Unfortunately, it's now winter
    here, camping's not really so nice anymore. Although
    people are known to camp in the snow? Campings aren't open
    anymore. Wild camping's not my thing. I worry about eery
    little sound I hear, even once I thought we were going to
    be attacked by a gang, while it was just a group of joung
    kids arriving late to put up their tent!
    But besides that, yeah, that's a valid option, isn't it??
    Put a backpack on, take the train, travel to a 40 km far
    away town or so, and think and behave like you're a
    tourist. I'm sure that'll be different and still somehow
    familiar?!!! Good idea: I shall give that a go!!!!
    Also, somebody said she sometimes just packed her stuff and
    went to stay at a backpackers place (I think even in her
    own town?) just to taste the atmosphere again. That too,
    was a great idea!! Thanks!! Anybody else impressed with
    these suggestions????

  59. Lou: a suggestion? Added by: The Wanderer
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 10:13 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I have the same feelings. After backpacking for 13 months in
    Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the US in 1996-97 I tried to
    start a normal life again. But for me it's an illusion. I am
    infected with the travelbug. It's the freedom, the
    discoveries, the people, the scenery, the struggle, the
    challenge, etc.. Last month I quit my job again and in
    November I go to South America. YES!
    By the way: after my earlier journey I bought a VW
    campervan. At Friday-evenings I packed the car, drove to the
    supermarket and continued my journey in and around the
    Netherlands. It isn't the same but may be it gives you also
    a better feeling.

  60. A travel bug is only for few. Added by: Leticia
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 10:44 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It's 6 months since I got back from my personal adventure.
    OK, I did the classical thing, backpacked trough europe,
    and for most of you the 9 weeks I stayed on the road might
    sound not a big deal, but it was the time I could afford,
    my summer vacations. And it was huge for me. Really.
    Leaving home all alone just with a backpack, and I had
    never been that kind on independent person... in fact, the
    money to my adventure came from a cancelled three weeks
    organized tour I was going to take with a friend a couple
    of years ago. So I took off alone in a whole different
    style... It payed off so well!
    Somehow it hit me around the third week I had the mid
    travel crisis "what the hell am I doing here, how did I get
    here I am not this kind of person!" Maybe If I had had
    those thoughts before leaving, I'd surely had gave up.
    Thanks god I didn't and I made it. Life after backpacking?
    Yes there is, but it gets miserable only if you don't have
    a clear idea of where are you leading your path. I can see
    my portrait in that post travel depression article. I just
    don't know what to do now. I'm young, maybe too young to
    feel like I won't get to go around the world, but it seems
    so incompatible to building a career... I just turned 21
    and still finishing scholl. Any job I can find related to
    school would be a trainee and won't pay enough even to live
    on, saving is out of question, It would take a while to
    happen as so my next trip. Maybe, as someone said on a
    post, I should face that my life is travelling and put my
    efforts on that. What a dilema.
    Guess my whole point is that I don't think that travelling
    means life without obligations and duties.Travelling is not
    like eternal holiday. Not backpacking, not the kind of
    travel that many of us want to do. Holidays might be
    different that travel in a sense of geoing to a whole
    strange place, whith the less as possible so that you will
    have to start over a life. Few clothes, few money, you have
    to dive into the culture and build a whole new life which
    has, yes, problems and difficulties. Some of us even run
    out of money (planned sometimes) and have to work. I't is
    not that easy. And it is a bug, the travel bug, but It's
    not everybody that can live whith that bug. I know people
    who wold never do that. Because it is not like simple
    travel. I don't want that bug to leave me. I learned so
    much about me and about dealing whith life (what a
    clichť!!) But my starting over really worked out. It felt
    so good that each day I try to bring that to my mind.
    Untill I take off again. I hope I'll be able to.

  61. Right you are! Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 12:09 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Wanderer & Letitia: thanks for your posts. I'm just now
    starting to get it!!.. A bit of a way out, hey? Haven't
    even had time to let those good suggestions work in on me.
    Haven't been to sleep yet, just logged on again, and it's
    nearly 4 in the morning. So excited about it. Yes, that's
    definately a good idea.
    What I get from reading through this post, and the ones I
    recommended earlier, and all the other ones on this tree..
    I realize I've really let myself be lived. That travel bug
    is there for sure. But what is more important, I focussed
    so much on the travelling thing. I came home, sort of
    resumed a life, and that was it. I never really lived my
    life like when I was travelling. I was so enthousiastic
    then. Wanting things, making plans, actually doing things,
    going places. after that I was sitting at home, feeling
    miserable, and this has lasted so many years. Got caught
    up in "material" things, having the house to pay for,
    keeping a job, earning maoney, paying taxes. In all it
    isn't THAT bad, even though it is in a way, to my gut
    feelng. I recently found out so much in my life, in me was
    full of contradictions. That was the REAL problem. Cause
    I don't want to life the way I did. I don't like it, I'm
    not happy. And all that time, I just sat there. Didn't do
    anything to change it, didn't even have the strength. Now
    I do see it all, and want to take action. My body's tired,
    so tired of all the strain of the last years. But suddenly
    my mind's seeing the end of that tunnel, the solutions, to
    change things so I will be a whole person again. Now I'm
    slowly starting to heal again. i'm finding back the real
    me, whom i'd actually lost years ago, and much more than
    that too. What I had completely forgotten was that our
    whole life in itself is an adventure, a discovery.
    I find it shocking to realize that on a trip i feel welcome
    to go talk to people, dare to show them who I am. But that
    at home I feel I can't do that. Why not? Isn't it silly,
    when we are in a shop in India or whatever, we chat with
    everybody, sometimes exchanging formalities, but often
    having meaningful conversations. I had stopped doing that
    at home. But the posts on this tree slowly teach me it can
    be different. Don't think about it, just DO it. maybe
    life doens't HAVE to stop after backpacking after all.
    Maybe it only will, if you WANT it to be so. Maybe we
    should just shake ourselves, look at what we really want in
    life, what we like, what we enjoy, and go after that? Then
    we'd always live the adventure of travels??

  62. Adding my Story Added by: Jill
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 15:22 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know so well the aftermath of travel bug.
    I broke up with my partner (who I travelled a lot with) a
    few months before my 40th birthday. I was miserable and
    life was pretty meaningless. I asked my company for a month
    unpaid to add on to Christmas - they said 'No' so I quit and
    bought a RTW - one of the best things I'd ever done. I
    extended the trip many times, including adding New Zealnad
    to do the Skippers Canyon bungy jump.
    I adored New Zealand and despite travelling for another six
    months in all sorts of wonderful places, I knew I had to go
    back. Got back to England, got my permanent residency in
    NZ, had a three month leaving party, packed everything I
    owned and bought a one way ticket.
    In New Zealand every weekend is backpacking - there are so
    many places to go, the people are so friendly and there's
    so much to do and see. When ever we have a weeek off, it's
    off all round the country. More than a week, it's don that
    backpack and shoot off to a Pacific Island.
    While on the road on my own, I recovered from my broken
    relationship and learned to be happy on my own. It also
    gave me the courage to do high risk things. When I arrived
    back in New Zealand, I arrived one day with my bike, my
    waterski and, of course, my pack. Didn't have anywhere to
    stay that night, didn't know anyone and had no work. Headed
    for the backpackers initially and started up my own company
    - with no money! Started as a freelance consultant and
    built mey business from there.
    I've been here for five years now, I'm a citizen of the
    country, met and married a Kiwi, have a mortgage on a house
    I adore and couldn't afford anywhere else in the world.
    We'll have paid the mortgage off in five years, then plan to
    do South America and African trips.
    Life's a ball - all you have to do is find it.
    Just a postscript, when I was travelling, I met some people
    who had been travelling for a long time. Most of them
    seemed to have lost the plot of life. I think you can stay
    on the road too long in one go.
    So happy travels - and rememebr if you are not happy at
    'home' - move! Home is where you're heart is and mine's

  63. A latecomer appears Added by: Adam
    [Timestamp: Sat 19 Sept, 21:17 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    G'day, i'm a latecomer to this 'tree' but have read the
    many thoughtful, inspiring and interesting posts contained
    here and enjoyed them immensly. My interest stems from the
    fact that i returned from a long trip more than eighteen
    months ago and found myself bound up with various
    committments i won't go into but which basically meant that
    there was no to be no large-scale travel on the horizon in
    the forseeable future. that's still the case, but i'm kinda
    dealing with it after a long and quite serious bout of real
    depression. funny how you seem to able to cope with so many
    things while travelling and yet when you come back to what
    i call "the featherbed of home" all these difficulties
    arise. Anyway, i have no real solutions to offer to the
    problem of having the "travel bug", other than to say that
    i guess it never really leaves and you've gotta just "do
    your time" and perhaps earn yourself another trip. By
    "earn" i mean "earn" in your own mind, you must find some
    base in your life i believe but once you feel like you've
    done that, off you go. Anyway, i'm a writer and have had
    two books of poetry published (though you may not think so
    judging by this rambling message!!) However i wrote a poem
    which might shed some light on how i felt. Keep in mind i'm
    an Aussie, maybe that's relevent to the poem.
    Anyway, here it is. Hope you all don't think it's crap
    When you come back from overseas.
    By Adam Gibson ©
    Noone tells you when you come back from overseas of how
    Deep the pits will be to equal the highs you received.
    You think all will continue with such passion
    But the days shorten and wind blows in a fashion
    Which gives headaches and you donít recall it being this
    cold here.
    You donít recall it being this quiet nor waking like this
    And wondering why sleep is unclear.
    No-one tells you when winter comes with the smell of
    mountain dust
    Itíll be the wrong way round and it isnít hard to taste
    another winter a few months passed.
    Not long ago, the smell of snow and the sense you were
    following thousands.
    But that didnít make it easier.
    What reveals itself on return is ex girlfriends in the arms
    of others, Wounded and grazed,
    Making bitter eyes and you almost retract all in the hollow
    Which follows each long-heralded return and fall back into
    their arms,
    Just for the sake of it and the desire of a world with
    fewer qualms.
    But it doesnít work and you suddenly understand a reason why
    You went so far away, why you fled to sparser seasons,
    And ate hot chips and drank lager in Fulham pubs.
    Why you drank wine in Portugal and bad vodka that night in
    But how wanky does it sound to those who stayed behind in
    Sydney clubs?
    Those who stayed in jobs and still had good times and maybe
    fell in love?
    You soon start to lessen your stories and stop mentioning
    To tone down your changes and pull back to the fence
    And the feather bed of home which isnít as soft as imagined
    in the sharpness of ďOSĒ.
    No-one tells you when you come back from overseas youíll
    have aged three years
    No-one tells you each will show in your crow feet eyes
    No-one tells you how tired youíll get and
    No-one tells you they wonít really want to know.
    At least, of course, until they go and then come home in

  64. Another addict Added by: Lisa
    [Timestamp: Sun 20 Sept, 2:44 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    First, I'd like to say what an excellent topic of
    conversation. Second,I don't know where to begin and where
    to finish. The beginning, I think it's my father's fault
    that I got well and truly bitten by the travel bug. H e
    always talked about his 2 years in Australia as if they
    were the best years of his life. (I'm originally from NZ)
    In those days he took a boat. Since then he always wanted
    to travel and never did (apart from taking my sister and I
    to Australia for a month's adventure in a campervan)until
    last year when he and his second wife took off for Europe
    for a year of travelling in a Bedford van. I have to say
    this was a long time for him to wait, but they had a
    fantastic time and have since fallen prey to the infectious
    travel bug. He also bombarded me with National Geographic
    magazines at an early age. All I wanted to be was a
    National Geographic photographer and to travel with the
    Space 1999 crew. I'm 30 by the way, not sure that all will
    remember Space 1999 the T.V programme that explored the
    intergalatic realms.
    I grew up knowing I would travel even though my family was
    by no means well off. So, I went to Univerity, studied
    pharmacy got hooked into job responsibilities and one day
    walked into a travel agent, planned my solo 5 month
    excursion to London and left home. By the time I reached
    London my only concern was to make more cash for the next
    journey. Admitedly it was nice to catch up with friends. I
    found that travelling on your own, you're never alone and
    from my experience you're even more open to make travelling
    During the next 4 years I tavelled Asia, Africa, Eastern
    Europe and the middle east. I also met my Brazilian
    husband, on a beach in Turkey actually. Now we live in Sao
    Paulo, Brazil but not sure for how long, he's never been to
    About exploring your own country. Well I returned to NZ
    after4 year & 2 months. I was nervous about the lack of
    people, the fact the NZ had never been very cosmopolitan
    and would everyone still want to talk to me. Have to say It
    was fantastic to see my country almost with foreign eyes.
    We grow up in our own countries surrounded by what we
    preceive as normal. Nothing was normal, as I had expected
    it to be. I got out of the Auckland International airport
    to see cows munching peacefully on a sea of greenery. I had
    just come from Bangkok. I took a minivan into the city. In
    20 mins everyone in the van knew each others name where
    they were from and how long they were staying, thanks to
    the talkative driver. The streets were spotless, the roads
    holeless and the houses looked as if they had all just been
    painted (all different colours)yesterday. Where was I asked
    myself. I walked down Aucklands main street with arms
    outstretched not bumping into to anyone. I saw a black kid
    skateboarding down the main street (I had never seen a
    black person before I left home, except on television), at
    the Asian festival in Wellington Indian women in Saris
    talked to me with kiwi accents, people in banks and at
    Social welfare chatted with me keen to here about the
    faraway places I had been. All I can say is, what a welcome
    home. People were incredibly friendly.
    My sister, who had been living in Miami for 3 years, and I
    suprised my Mum for her 50th birthday in Napier. One of the
    most rewarding things I've ever done. My sister and I
    hitched around visiting relo's and friends, meeting great
    people while we hitched, and seeing our beautiful country.
    When I went back to Auckland to fly off to exotic Brazil,
    it had changed back to a big city full of hustle & bustle.
    Everyhing is about reference points.
    The 14 months I've been living in Sao Paulo is the longest
    time I've spent in one place in almost 6 years. It's not
    easy. We plan to travel to Boliva, Peru & Equador at teh
    end of the year but unfortunately it's been difficult to
    save money. Andre dosen't quite share the same explore your
    own country thoughts as I do and so we haven't seen much of
    Brazil - that's a bit harsh, it's also big and reasonably
    expensive to travel around. The thing is he is in his home
    where everything is normal to him and I'm in a foreign
    country. One day Brazil.
    The kids stories brought wee tears to my eyes. It's a life
    experience I don't want to miss but I just don't know how
    and when it will fit into my life. Family travelling sounds
    beautiful, not only having your own experiences but
    watching the little parts of you, have their experiences
    too. Awesome.
    We have no mortgage, no house, no kids and unfortunately
    not enough cash to continually travel. I think it is
    addictive but not at all dangerous to your health. It opens
    your mind and your world. Well I think that's enough. Not
    sure if anyone will get this far down the numerous postings
    that Lou created but it was nice reading.
    Tchau, Lisa

  65. I wish I could leave tomorrow! Added by: karin
    [Timestamp: Sun 20 Sept, 6:32 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I have been to Bolivia, Ecuador and Namibia during the last threee summers and have been affected by the "travel bug", which seems to be a terrible virus, worse than all tropic diseases, because there seems to be no remedy against it, and one gets it no matter how well he thinks he is protected against it. I was careful about nutrition, I live in a beautiful place that should make me feel happy to be at home, but still...when I get home, i would like to take my backpack and start again.
    There is something more intense while we are travelling. maybe experiences are more intense because everything is new. We could meditate at home, too, try to find our center...but there are so many things we just do automatically that they become plain, and very limited.
    When I am travelling, I like to talk to people, and I get the wonderful feeling that my horizons widen up, and the space that "builds" ME becomes so much larger...when I get back home, I feel locked into a very limited space-time...whereas time does not exist while travelling.
    I'm aware that this is just one of thousands of ways to try to explain this feeling after returning...but it doesn't change the fact that every time I came back I felt down, feeling like doing nothing, loss of enthusiasm, for weeks and even for months after
    Oh, man, I wish I could leave tomorrow!!!

  66. Travelbug Striks!!! Added by: provis
    [Timestamp: Sun 20 Sept, 7:07 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I come to this TT by LP's comet. After reading Lou,
    Ian,travel bug and others posts, I come to realised that I
    was struck by the travelling bug for feeling something
    amissed and the uncomfortable feeling being stuck at home
    I have been travelling every year for about 2 weeks or 3
    weeks the most. However, I was not able to do that for the
    past 2 years because I got married, wife pregnant and
    the baby is due next week. I may be trapped for another 2
    years before I can travel again.
    Most of my travels are short holodays of 2 week to 3 weeks
    as most of us will have 14 days paid annual leaves. If we
    time them properly, we may get 3 weeks max. That means we
    will not be able to take paid leave for the rest of the
    year. un paid leaves are not welcome by management.
    Travelling on backpack in a foreign land is an acheivement
    by itself. There is no one to rule you, move or stay as you
    wish and accomplish each any every fantasy that you have
    dream of back home.... Yes travel bug is a disease that is
    hard to cure other than pick up the racksack and backpacking
    In order to kill the bugs in me, I will do a weekend trip
    with my wife to the travellers area and get a feel of mood
    until the next bug strike again!!(that won't be long though)
    I have not been to India & Nepal but I will say .. I'm
    coming...I'm coming....

  67. More thoughts Added by: Lisa
    [Timestamp: Sun 20 Sept, 8:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Have to say a few more things less autobiographical. On
    Friday I gave an english class to a 26yr old Brazilian
    woman who told me I was lucky to have been able to travel
    because she never could. "What do you mean", I asked her?
    "Well", she repied, "I could never leave my job". As jnr
    product manager of a pharmaceutical company she's stuck.
    She's definetly from a wealthy family and and is by no
    means skint herself.
    This misconception about not being able to leave a job
    kinda annoys me. I think we make our lives what we want, in
    fact it is only ourselves that can choose the path we take.
    Sometimes, it feels that our lives are decided by others or
    other things (job, family, financial obligations) and when
    this happens and we are faced with dissatisfactions in our
    lives and perhaps we become blue. Travelling offers us the
    chance of independence and free choice. We make decisions
    for ourselves, decide what we want to do, where we want to
    go and who we want to be with. Perhaps it's all about being
    your own boss deciding what you want from life and doing it.
    Have to admit I'm not very good at it, I'm very indecisive
    but for some reason on the road decision making is easier.
    I guess because usually it's not those big heavy life
    decisions that we're thinking about. It's what to see next,
    should I stay a bit longer, and how to get to the next
    place, and most importantly what shall I eat next. Sorry
    but food is one of my favourite things about travelling,
    it's always changing. Maybe that's the other thing. Change.
    Tavelling we're faced with new things everyday. New sights,
    smells, tastes, people. So wherever we are we should keep
    our life full of suprises and changes. Be spontaneous,
    travel in your own country if you can't get away.
    Well Lou these are my thoughts.

  68. Wondering Added by: Cristina
    [Timestamp: Sun 20 Sept, 9:55 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I am so happy to see that there are so many people like me,
    with the travelbug. You know what I do as a hobby: I go to
    the local library (which happens to be in Brussels; so they
    have a lot of books I can choose from) every saturday and
    look up all the books about travelling. There are of course
    quite a lot, so I invariably end up with too much books
    (max. 5 for a 3 week period + I lend out books on my
    boyfriend's card, i.e. 10 bks/3wks on a full time job). But
    it helps me a lot to feel better. This tree helps me alot
    too. The only thing that interests me is travelling, but I
    am not so good at expressing myself. But, I do understand
    you all. And like you all: I keep telling myself: one
    Hey, you LP people, I think it's time to start a tree branch
    about this topic "Is there life after backpacking".
    What I don't get is: why did you get a mortgage after you
    came home from backpacking??? Did you feel like you had had
    enough backpacking for a lifetime? Or did you feel like you
    just had enough (in the meaning of even more than a
    liftetime) of travelling, that you were just disgusted with
    it for a while (and that you thought the while would last
    for a long time). Why else would you buy a house??? And
    afterwards say: "What the hell did I do that for?"
    Lou, I am NOT at all questioning your sincerity, if that's
    what you think now. Just tell me why you did it.
    I am myself thinking of doing an overland trip (it may even
    be to S-Am, OVERLAND via Russia) on bike. But I'm already
    worried about my life after the trip, because now alrea

  69. Cristina.. Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sun 20 Sept, 13:19 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Why did I do that? Well, because I didnít realize. Gosh,
    this whole thread is getting really long. My story is a
    long one too. Iíve never been good at abbreviating, eh?
    But actually, Iíd very much like to share it with you...
    Maybe it helps somebody else figure out their stuff further
    too (if they want to read it all..) ...Okay, here goes...
    - -
    I left Holland when I was 17, going au-pair to France and I
    ended up staying there for 9 years, moving around and
    working in hotels (reception). After a bust relationship I
    returned to Holland, pondering over what to do next. Found
    another hotel and saved my pennies. Been dreaming of
    trekking in Nepal for years but never got around to it. Now
    the time looked just right. And it was, best thing I ever
    did for myself (besides for posting on this TT ofcourse).
    After 7 wks in Nepal I ďoverflowedĒ to India, where in
    Delhi I met English John. We had the same itinerary and
    decided to travel together. I had planned to return to
    Europe when the money ran out (after about 6 mths). Thatís
    how it goes with planning, you always take it you return
    home after that...
    - -
    John suggested I go on to Australia. But: that wasnít the
    intial plan and I didnít have enough money. After only 5
    days, John said he had plenty of that: heíd lend me enough
    for the airfare and some survival money, which I could pay
    back whenever I wanted. He drew other tourists into the
    conversation, and instead of making him listen to reason,
    they supported his idea. They all said, well itís true,
    youíre already halfway now, you might as well go!! But I
    was still in shock: why would a guy do that if he doesnít
    want something very particular in return??
    John didnít want anything in return, he said it just gave
    him such a kick to know that it was HE who allowed another
    person to do something so different, maybe give a different
    turn to my life (which he did indeed..).
    I Wanted more time to think it over but in the meantime I
    put in my request for a working holiday visa at the
    embassy. John was to meet up with a friend in Sri Lanka,
    and I followed suit. I wired Bombay to please send the
    authorizations for my visa to Colombo, where I received a
    nice sticker in my passport and gratefully accepted Johnís
    offer for the money. And still, we had no love affair, not
    even exchanged a romantic kiss or anything: just travel
    - -
    In Australia I did grapepicking, work in a fruit factory,
    and nannied for 3 weeks, before heading to the skiresorts.
    Found work as a kitchenhand and loved the place. All
    international staff and we had soo much fun there. When,
    after a few wks, there were management dissagreements and
    the chefcook had to leave, I said no chef-no kitchenhand!
    We motorbiked to Cairns, broke down, got stuck in Sydney
    and stayed with Daveís family. I got an office job with a
    Dutch consortium, and learned how to work a PC.. When my
    visa expired, Dave decided he wanted to see Europe and meet
    my family. Spent 3 years in Holland and got married. I
    applied for migration to Australia. Quit jobs, sold our
    stuff, and returned to Oz, this time with 1 cubic meter
    personal stuff. Spent time with rellies on the Gold Coast,
    but found no work. Rented a house in Brisbane, but after 8
    months, still no real jobs. If we hadnít had any luggage,
    like the first time, it would have been easier. We planned
    on living in Oz, so to rent a house seemed logical?
    Completely broke we returned to Holland on borrowed money,
    where we both started work within 1 week! Rented an appt,
    acquired fridge, clothes washer etc, and one year later we
    bought a house, while having no money at all.
    If you have an income and can fix the paperwork with the
    bank, buying turns out cheaper than renting. Also, the
    general attitude from our surroundings was that it was the
    right thing to do. Every family member and acquaintance
    seem to have things to show for their years of work and
    earning money, especially their own home. And I never had
    anything really besides photographs, stories and lots of
    lonely souvenirs that nobody really cares about but me.
    I was 32 and Dave 37. Maybe it was time to behave normal
    than and become somebody respectable? That was 5 years
    So, I have led a travel sort of life since I was 17,
    although having lots of little pauses. And now suddenly I
    seemed to be stuck forever in one place. Stuck with a job,
    stuck in a country, stuck with the weather, with the house,
    stuck in a sort of life that wasnít truly mine.
    Yes, those post travel blues have pounded on me hard,
    turning into complete depression, repeated sick-leave,
    hyperventilation and panick-attacks.. I had never heard of
    PTB and while this was all going on I didnít have a clue as
    to what was happening to me.
    Ofcourse it wasnít ONLY PTB for it to be so heavy and last
    so long, there was clearly something else on the basis of
    that too. And just that one fact that was so particularly
    stinging in my home-country: not ever having the feeling to
    be respectable, the feeling that people always seem to
    think Iím not good enough. That feeling was there after
    travelling, but also earlier. Only last year I found out
    that childhood bullying was the cause of that, making me
    read criticism everywhere and in everything around me,
    causing me to behave in a different way than how I want it
    all to be. Hiding the real me from everybody for fear of
    rejection, not daring to show emotion or tears, or like or
    dislike. So, Iíve finally started coping with the
    consequences of the bullying, noticing all the aspects of
    my life where that has affected me. But now I know and the
    puzzle comes together. And after all those years, I now
    finally start to wake up, and see what happened to me.
    - -
    The second reason for my depression I found when I first
    entered this TT. I have learned so much from all your
    posts, and I gather Iím not the only one. The point is for
    me to learn to stand the criticism and still do it, not get
    diverted from what I keep innerly wanting to do. And not
    getting stuck in one place is one of those things. I donít
    have to do real adventurous things, but Iím obviously not
    made to stay in one place. Iíve never seen travel as a run
    from the past, and I still donít. Iím facing the past, and
    Iím dealing with it. It tells me who I am, what I like and
    what I donít. It explains to me how I react on people, on
    criticism. The point is that I donít do what others like to
    see me doing. It gives me a knot in the stomach if I donít
    really want it too, and my life had become full of
    contradictions. What finding all this out has taught me
    now, is that I had forgotten to follow my instincts, and
    lost touch with myself. So, thatís the 2 reasons for my
    depression out on the table.
    - -
    And for the first time in ages I can look in the mirror and
    say, no girl, youíre not doing too bad at all!! I start to
    see who I am now, yes, thatís me there. So now? Iím
    working on myself. And weíre talking of selling the house,
    and renting 2 separate appartments. I have to figure out
    exactly who I am, and what I want next. Sad story in a
    way... But I can keep denying it, it wonít ever go
    away. Denying that is denying who I am. And itís just
    that contradiction that causes depression...

  70. YES! Added by: Cecilia
    [Timestamp: Mon 21 Sept, 0:22 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I īve just read some of the "letters" and I'm so happy! I've been back from my travels for 4 months and I just want to get out on the road again. But I actually didn't realise that there's more people than me and my friend who has got the Travel Bug disease! Good to know that your out there! Safe travels!

  71. Stranger in a familiar land Added by: Mike/Idaho
    [Timestamp: Mon 21 Sept, 3:44 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Thanks so much, Lou, for your deeply thoughtful and well
    written pieces which started this discussion. The challenge
    for me, after travel, is to "remain a tourist" once I return
    home. To continue to see this place too with fresh eyes and
    an open curious attitude. Another reminder is to try to
    watch for the travelers coming through my land and to
    occasionally be for them what I want others to be for me
    when I am in their foreign lands. I don't mean taking in
    every "stray dog", but being open to being a host and
    helpful because I know how much it has meant to me when
    strangers have been so open to me in their home countries.

  72. When home is not so yours anymore Added by: Leticia
    [Timestamp: Mon 21 Sept, 11:27 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Lisa, your post has a lot to do with my dilema. Yes, the
    point is really letting yourself be your boss and deciding
    what you want to do for a livind. As to me, and that's
    strictly personal, I haven't even finished college, haven't
    had almost any professional experience and so I used to
    fell like I should have some before I get too adventurous.
    My travel experience was during vacations, but since I came
    back I've been out of balance. Anyway, how can I tell my
    life is backpacking if I haven't got into profession yet?
    On the other hand, if I wasn't studying what I really love
    would have already left, And that leads me to another
    problem. It will take a while untill I save enough at least
    to buy a ticket and some money so start.
    What you said, Lisa, about being so responsible about every
    single thing when on the road is what I think is the best
    about travelling, you're starting over, which you can do in
    your own country. BUt it leaves you with the taste of home,
    the more awesome are the different cultures you're
    experiencing, the more you can feel how that maybe ugly
    town you leave is so yours. It gets as beautiful as the
    colisseum. My city, Sao Paulo, is not a travellers wonder,
    but it is so mine, can you get me? BUt that feeling in me
    is fading...

    It's not because I am brazilian that i can get that woman
    you told. AS I mentioned in my other post, the travel bug
    is not for everyone and maybe she wouldn't leave with it.
    As you said she's probably wealthy and makes enough money
    in her job. So if she was really crazy about travelling she
    coud just start.
    THere's one thing that would make me decide for travelling
    right now, and it is a job abroad. I would even leave
    college for that. Even if I had to be stuck somewhere for
    some time. It would be abroad. I am 21 and I have always
    been so dependant on my parents, but it changed when I
    travelled. I got so confident that I would just go.
    FOr us south americans it's harder to find jobs abroad.
    Most places that provide temporary jobs look up for people
    with european passport even if it's second citzenship. So
    travel options are narrowed. BUt i'll research more about
    that opportunities when I'm ready for my next one.

  73. A sense of home Added by: Adam
    [Timestamp: Mon 21 Sept, 12:49 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I've travelled on several "big" trips during the past eight
    years, the first a few months' stint in the US and then all
    around western Europe in 1991. The thing which struck me
    then, and which struck me on my most recent trip through
    Asia, is that there are many people out there living the
    "traveller's life", acting with spontenaity, surviving
    often by their wits, constantly meeting new friends and
    renewing old acquaintances etc, generally having a good
    time even when things turn bad, is that i really felt as
    though many people were quite "lost" in a way. I felt that
    they had got so caught up in the high of being on the road
    that they had lost any sense of base, that they were like
    some sort of itinerent Tarzans swinging from vine to vine
    and never really being able to stop or have something to
    fall back on, somewhere to rest awhile. Does anyone
    understand what i mean? Don't get me wrong, i totally agree
    with all the comments about how alive and "connected" one
    feels when on the road, but i think there needs to be
    another side to that, one which is based in real
    connection, one perhaps where you hold a sense of home and
    place, a sense of belonging and contact. I firmly believe
    in life-long travelling but it has always been important to
    me to find a reason for what i'm doing and to obtain the
    feeling that i was doing it for some reason and not just
    for the sake of it and that i would eventually, even for a
    short time, return to that place of "home". Fortunately i
    personally feel as though i've been able to do that, but I
    remember meeting a guy in 91 who was a Kiwi and had been
    travelling non-stop for ten years. He was an interesting
    bloke in some ways (though not as interesting as you might
    imagine after such travel!), yet when i asked him about a
    feeling of "home" his eyes glazed over and he said he felt
    as though he didn't actually have a home. he said he'd lost
    that feeling, that all the people he knew had moved on in
    life and that didn't have a place to go back to. of course,
    some people want this, this is the reason they travel,
    perhaps, but i can't help feeling that there's an inherent
    sadness to that, constantly veering to the next hot spot,
    going with the flow, telling stories to new friends about
    this place or that. Actually that doesn't sound too bad!!
    But, yeah, i hope people understand what i mean. To see
    summer, we have to see winter, to see day, night. A
    balanced life i reckon is what all those afflicted with the
    bug of travel in our systems. one where we can balance
    those "responsibilities" inflicted on us by others with
    this insistent tug of the road which nibbles our minds
    constantly. Anyway, cheers everyone, see you on the road!

  74. A passing tune Added by: Sean
    [Timestamp: Mon 21 Sept, 15:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I heard this song a week before I left on my own round the
    world trip. Just seems appropriate after all the posts I've
    read here. Do I even need to say "Me too!"? :-) Check out if you want my stories and
    view... I made it eight months this time, off to South
    America for the winter/summer next.
    Catherine flew out to Senegal
    In her Malian motley robes
    In her voice were more colours than the rainbow she wore
    And her cheeks were sweet Irish rose
    She talked of dancing in bars in Dakar
    To that African high-life jive
    Her ma said, "Girl you're gonna get yourself killed"
    She says, "I'm going just to be alive"
    Oh when you get there, is there a there there?
    Do people care there, are people aware there?
    Do the boys and girls do more than
    Break their toys and perm their hair there?
    Send an update Kate to your old roommate
    From your big round world to my small flat state
    Tell me what do you find when you open your eyes and your
    To The Great Out There
    She sent me a card from Zanzibar
    From Khartoum and Marrakesh
    And then later that year some letters appeared
    From Nepal and Bangladesh
    At first the words were laughter
    The strange ways we live in peace
    The next, the words were blurred with tears
    The war, the famine, the disease
    Oh when you get there, is there a there there?
    Do people care there, are people aware there?
    Do the boys and girls do more than
    Break their toys and perm their hair there?
    Send an update Kate to your old roommate
    From your big round world to my small flat state
    Tell me what do you find when you open your eyes and your
    To The Great Out There
    I was born in Iowa
    And that's where they'll bury me too
    And the sacred things I hold near and dear
    Are probably the same for you
    So I'm glad I got my friend Catherine
    'Cos she needs to know the new
    Oh I spend my time wrapped up in my tribe
    Well she brings the world into view
    Catherine came back from India
    With malaria in her veins
    But the fire returned to her clear blue eyes
    Just as soon as it broiled from her brain
    I said, "Catherine who will you be
    When you're finally who you are?"
    She just smiled and said, "We'll see won't we
    But there'll be more to me by far"
    Oh when you get there, is there a there there?
    Do people care there, are people aware there?
    Do the boys and girls do more than
    Break their toys and perm their hair there?
    Send an update Kate to your old roommate
    From your big round world to my small flat state
    Tell me what do you find when you open your eyes and your
    To The Great Out There
    * Written by Greg Simon

  75. The first sniffles of the Travel Bug Added by: Libut
    [Timestamp: Mon 21 Sept, 19:49 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Mmm..I'm new and always feeling new to this. I stumbled in
    here, part of the step to the brink.
    I'm 31 and frantically saving to leave in the new year for
    a long while. My first time.
    And sometimes I can't wait
    And sometimes it seems like a lot of money and a lot of
    time and you know it's just not sensible.
    I found you guys at one of these times, and some answers
    and it made sense again why I have to do this.
    It's harder now cause I'm older, I can't pretend that
    travel's the answer.
    I went back to varsity, that wasn't the answer but likewise
    I had to do it and it was right. Not the answer but part of
    a solution...
    I don't so much wanna see the world as be in the world.
    I know you can do that at home.
    But still I gotta go.
    Gotta be me in a different context
    It was uplifting to read your posts, see perspectives from
    the other end of the road. Thanks

  76. off again Added by: psycho
    [Timestamp: Mon 21 Sept, 22:38 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    i am off again.....
    going where i find some meaning to my life...
    you gotta do it before you realize what you were missing..
    au revoir...

  77. can`t help but share Added by: marla
    [Timestamp: Tue 22 Sept, 14:11 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Lou, I left high school in Australia at age 15 and caught a trawler from Darwin harbour to
    Indonesia. My life began. Every traveller knows how many stories I could tell you, but I`ll keep it
    short by saying that I am marrying a Danish man next month (I am now 23, and our wedding will
    be my first return to Australia). I have been living and working in Denmark for eleven months,
    and am pretty over the travelling thing, at least for the time being. We will not be buying a
    house, or having children. Basically, because of my short formal education, I will never be in a
    position to pay off a house, or raise children in the luxury that I would want to provide for them.
    My education has been formed solely from the sights, sounds and people of Asia, the Middle
    East, Europa and Northern Africa. And the most important things I have learnt are to follow a
    whim, live in the moment, and take no sensation for granted. Anyone can be happy in any
    situation with the right frame of mind. My mother has always told me to come home, finish
    school, get a job etc... but this simply is not my way. And it may not be yours. If it is, remember,
    when you are at your office, or at home on a Monday night filling in tax returns that you are
    fortunate to have travelled, and that fortune will be inspiration to everyone you enconter. God

  78. Please don't feel forgotten!!! Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Wed 23 Sept, 2:53 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    When you begin posting on a new thread, there's just a few
    people talking to each other, and there's a chance to more
    go into things, and reply, make it clear that you
    acknowledge what the others have just said. But the thread
    becoming as big as it is now, it seems to loose a bit of
    that. There are soo many comments now.. and everyone so
    very valuable... But I can imagine some people feeling
    somewhat forgotten in the thread, after posting their
    stories.. Since they donít get a direct response on their
    post, they might be wondering if everybody reads through
    all the posts, reads theirs? If people agree, if they take
    some of it they said and use it in their lives?.. They
    post wonderfull comments, beautifull poems, songs, and do
    us the honour to share a bit of their life with us all.
    Well, I know I do, I read every one of these stories with
    undivided attention.. And I'd love to respond personally
    to everybody who has added his or her story, acknowledge
    their post, acknowledge them.. But that's just physically
    impossible. However,for those of you who feel unanswered
    to.. I think everybody picks up from this topic what suits
    them most. Just the fact knowing there are soo many people
    out there just like us/them, means a lot in itself... I
    for one, start to feel alive again, and every single
    response has helped achieve that. There are so many things
    said on this topic, that I needed to hear, and that I never
    had the chance to hear anybody say that to me yet.. And Iím
    just as excited reading every new story posted here..
    I just wish to say a big thank you to everyone who has
    contributed their story here so far!!!!!
    So, please don't feel forgotten.. you've added to me a
    great deal, and I'm certain to plenty of others too!!!
    Keep up the good works my friends!!

  79. bummin' not bumming around Added by: brooke
    [Timestamp: Wed 23 Sept, 9:45 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Two years ago I went to Europe for nine weeks. Not quite
    the adventure of some, but the only adventure I'd had. I
    travelled with my two best friends from college. It was a
    glorious, sunny, enlightening time. It was also terribly
    expensive. I ache to travel again, but I've just begun a
    career (teaching elementary school), and don't know when
    I'll be able to again. It's hard to push that ache down,
    especially when it feels like a knot in my throat.
    Since Europe, I've travelled throughout the United States
    and the Yucatan Peninsula for a week or two at a time by
    myself. However, every time it feels like I've just gotten
    started when my trip ends.
    Any suggestions on coping with the everpresent travel blues?
    Also, does anyone know anything about teaching elementary
    age children abroad? Any information would be appreciated!

  80. I get Added by: Leticia
    [Timestamp: Wed 23 Sept, 10:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Adam - I agree with you so much. For me it feels important
    having something feeling home to get back to. There's no
    point in something that cannot be opposed or contrasted. It
    looses its meening. Somehow my post travel blues doesn't
    bother me as much as when I realize I am not able to apply
    in my daily life what I learned on the road.
    Everybody, out of time to post anything more meaningful
    Brooke, I can't cope whith my blues, but what helps me is
    try to figure out the future, try to see where and how I
    want to be in a while. Really face that I'll have to choose
    among some options if travelling is my life. Not that I am
    able to do that, but trying to see it gives back to me the
    feeling that, yes, I'll be able to move on.

  81. Hobby....or job? Added by: Mister R
    [Timestamp: Thu 24 Sept, 19:21 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Oh folks, we are in a sad state! We have been bitten, and
    there is no way to scratch that itch!
    I was bitten at 19, by chance. Born and raised a yank,
    went to Munich for 3 mos in my 3rd semester and stayed with
    a wonderful family. Once I got back "home", I was
    miserable, hard to deal with myself, let alone deal with
    the things around me. At 21, I gave up and moved back
    here, and have been here for the last 6 yrs, and never ever
    plan to return to the States.
    But even after making this big move, with all the wonderful
    changes, I still couldn't help fealing that there is
    something else out there to see. All the wonderful places,
    the beauty, the ugliness, it is all part of this world, and
    I want to see it all. The long list...
    Finally, 2 yrs ago I had saved enough money so that I could
    take my first "big" holiday, 3 wks in NZ. There, a big bug
    bit me, and that itch will never go away. I was fortunate
    to work for an airline, so that I could save some money on
    air fare, but I was working in check-in, and watching
    people board planes was getting too much for me. I've
    changed that. Now I board planes about 20 days a month, go
    to wonderful places. It's like getting paid to back-pack.
    It is a similar feeling. Each crew is completely
    different. For 3 to 5 days, you have new people around
    you. Get to know them a bit, have fun running around the
    cities where we have layovers. Never in one place for very
    long, but many different places in a short time. Now, I am
    flying short-haul flights around Europe, not getting far
    away, but that doesn't matter, there is so much to see here
    as well.
    I had suffered for a long time, now really knowing what the
    problem was. I had a good job, it was more or less
    satisfying, good colleagues, I have great friends here, but
    something was always missing. I hated being at home,
    always felt that I should be doing something.
    It is difficult, but there are ways out. Everyone has to
    find the right way. I have found mine. Slowing, in the
    last 3 mos things are improving. It is hard work, folks,
    no way getting around that. Happiness does not just come
    to you, you have to create the environment, in which it can
    bloom and grow.
    If it is your desire to constantly hop on a plane and go
    someplace, maybe being a flight attendant could be a good
    way. Not only do you get to go to nice places (and some
    not so nice, who really wants to go to Perm, Russia, if you
    can find that on a map!!), but you also get the satifaction
    of accompaninying other people, who are fulfilling a
    dream: The unending search for the cure to the travel-bug.
    There is a German word for this: Fernweh-- away-sickness,
    just the opposite of Heimweh, homesickness.
    If anyone out there thinks that my cure may be their cure,
    let me know. After 4 yrs in the business, I will try to
    help you get a start, as I know some of the goods and
    bads. Feel free to contact me.
    Otherwise, all I can say is: Hang in there. As my mother
    says: "Way will open", it just may take a while. Just
    don't forget to help yourself find that way.

  82. There went my 'normal' life !! Added by: Mark H
    [Timestamp: Sat 26 Sept, 19:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    At age 25 I was inspired to take 12 months
    leave-without-pay-from the South Australian Gov and go and
    see the world. One hell of a trip (Thailand/India/Nepal 4
    months, worked in London 4 months, Egypt to Morroco around
    the Med, Canada for 4 months) and then it was back to my
    mortgage and 'for life' job. 3 months I lasted before
    quitting my job and selling my flat. It was the hardest 3
    months of my life, I hated being home (like all of you).
    I've now left again, and couldn't be happier with my
    decision. I now am making 4x the salary in London, and have
    plans of travelling the rest of the world on my journey back
    to Oz for 1 year. Moral of my story is: maybe I'm avoiding
    my mother's reality, but I can only see a bright future in
    front of me. None of my friends had the guts to pack it all
    in and go again, and I can only say that my life will be all
    the richer for it. When I will settle down is anyones
    guess, but I think whatever will happen will happen.
    Here's to experiencing what the world has to offer !! Sorry
    I have nothing positive to say about going home to try and
    cosole all of you fellow travellers, but it just wasn't the
    life I wanted.

  83. Amazing Added by: Jen
    [Timestamp: Sun 27 Sept, 5:53 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Reading all of the new posts since I replied earlier makes my heart sing. I knew that many people felt like I did about returning home, and about the difficulties of re-integration, but it is fantastic to read all of this.
    What strikes me most about this is (although I already knew this) people all over the world in all of those "exotic" countries that I want to visit feel the same about their homes. -just one more thing that shows us we are all alike, no matter where we come from.
    Travelling is somehting that makes me who I am. I agree with the poem posted by Adam Gibson. The people at home don't really want to know. But, I think they don't want to hear it for two reasons: they wish they had done something as exciting for the time you were away, and they feel like you are rubbing it in.
    Sharing your experiences is important and we have a place to do that courtesy of LP. THANKS LP!!! You are all inspirational to me. when I look at my little world I hope I will continue to keep your thoughts in mind - it helps me get through the interval between coming home and buying that next ticket!!

  84. Wondering.... Added by: Mister R
    [Timestamp: Sun 27 Sept, 6:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    if anyone was still looking here. Do check often, as this
    is a problem that takes up much of my time. Sometimes it
    is reasuring, that I am not alone.
    Lou, you haven't written in a while. So many have
    responded, and it seems from some of your messages, that
    this has helped you. Reading has helped me as well, and I
    hope that it has also helped others. At some point,
    someone mentioned start a support group. Maybe we just
    so...I raise my glass to the never-ending scratching of
    that itch that just won't go away. Maybe it shouldn't

  85. my 50th birthday Added by: Linda
    [Timestamp: Sun 27 Sept, 10:41 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Discovered this thread a while ago, bookmarked and returned
    a few times. It has been and continues to be so reassuring
    to "connect" with all of you as I plan my next long trip.
    For three years, I have known that I needed to spend my
    50th birthday "on the road." My friends are mystified and
    despite their cries of " I wish I could do that.", I must
    go alone as travel is not high in any of their priorities
    and I can't let that stop me. All of you make my "abnormal"
    need to travel and reduce my material goods to backpack
    size and immerse myself in India and Nepal for 6 months
    feel so understood. The best moments of my life have been
    spent in transit, usally in Asia and often solitary. I
    have missed that contact with myself and that world for too
    long. I love my middle class, professional life here but
    not without the balance of traveling to recenter my soul.
    I will continue to check back here as I engage in the long
    and fun preparatory thinking process which I am undertaking
    prior to leaving in Jan.

  86. Thank you !! Added by: cowgirl
    [Timestamp: Sun 27 Sept, 14:59 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I just wanted to say thank you everyone and especially to Lou for your stories and comments. I've been following this post since it has started and it is been very comforting AND inspiring to know that there are so many other people who feel the way I have been feeling the last few months since I returned home. All the different comments and stories have really made me think about what really makes me happy, and I guess that is what it is for everybody. I living your life travelling is it - great! If living your life having a stable career or family is important - great! If living your life is both - great! One comment in particular what Lou said about losing the ability to listen to your instinct. Don't you find it is true that when you are travelling your instincts are somehow sharper or more enhanced? At least I found so. At home I tried to maintain this, but it is easy to ignore your instincts or not give them your full attention at home when other factors of your life either suppress or overwhelm them. I suppose if it is possible to continually listen to our instincts both at home and while travelling - perhaps we will never lose the ultimate feeling we have while we are travelling. Because although easier said than done, at home we are travelling in a way also if we listen to our instincts, are living life to the fullest, are open minded and sensitive to everything around us and we don't take our time for granted. Or perhaps we just need to go travelling again!!! Lou you sound like an extremely thoughful and sensitive person who has been on many different kinds of journeys in her lifetime and your insight and comments have been very comforting and have helped me to clarify my own travel dilemma. Thanks a million and happy travels to everyone . I know this post is long and near the end but if any one out there is still following - thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. The essence of the problem Added by: 60 year traveller
    [Timestamp: Mon 28 Sept, 0:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Developing a loving relationship, wanting to be active in
    your community, establishing a satisfying career, owning a
    nice home, nice cars, and making longlasting friends -- it
    can be done only be establishing roots. Nomadic living does
    not work -- there are few successful cultures of this type
    in 1990s. You just need to meet someone nice and begin to
    take an interest in contributing to the improvement of your
    own local society. The urge to be nomadic and without
    commitment is the same urge that attracts people to drugs,
    extreme sports, and risky activity. Fine for a brief while,
    but not something productive for society. Society is in bad
    shape, to a great extent because people do not
    take an interest and contribute productively to their local
    societal condition. Drug problems, murder, rape, single
    parents, kids with no mother or father, STDs, poverty,
    crime -- all these problems need to be solved and it takes
    collective effort of the local society to solve them. The
    increasingly nomadic nature of our society and
    the i-don't-give-a-damn about others attitude are big
    contributers to these problems. When you spend the majority
    of your time running around the world, you are not solving
    local problems. Remember, only locals can solve local

  88. 60 year traveller Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Mon 28 Sept, 0:36 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Thanks for sharing your vision with us here. Maybe you
    gotta point.. Might be why we want to get away from it
    all.. cause it's too big a thing to solve.. And that scares
    the hell out of everybody.. It's scary..

  89. Why travel? Added by: Mister R
    [Timestamp: Mon 28 Sept, 4:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Though I agree that one needs to work at home to start
    making a change in the world, it is also necessary to know
    the world to know how you could change you local
    situation. Cultures are diverse, and looking at several of
    them closely, one could learn wonderful new things that
    help improve things at home.
    I don't think that anyone here is really talking about
    giving up "life" in order to be a nomad. And even if this
    may be true, there are nomadic cultures that survive and
    thrive, and have a sense of "home", even though the place
    changes constantly. Just take a look at a situation I know
    of: the Israeli govt wanted to make the Beduins selten
    down, but it didn't work. They chose to keep their culture
    as it is. What a wonderful thing to do!!! If they had
    given into the pressure, they would no longer exist, and it
    would be a loss for the world. Who knows what one could
    learn from them, to help improve everything.
    Home is your choice. If you can make your home on the
    road, it can be good. For the individual and for all.
    People learn from people who have experienced other
    things. An exchange must take place, and this can only be
    done if we go and see these other people. Some of them
    take it to an extreme, but I do not see that they are
    ruining anything, except what others expect of them.
    My motto is: Live as you like, as long as you perhibit
    others to live as they like. This is the only way that all
    can find their own way to be happy. If it is travel, so be
    it, don't distrust it.

  90. sinked Added by: Leticia
    [Timestamp: Tue 29 Sept, 4:20 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    hello to all. I just remember something I should share with
    you. It has to do with some of our stories. And the man who
    wrotte that is a brazilian sea adventurer. He built a boat
    to get to Antartica, get stuck while its frozen and come
    back after a year, on his own. He got back bringuing just a
    few stones, from the Artic and from the Antartic. This is a
    piece of the book he wrote telling the story just after he
    left , after he overcame all the trouble arranging, getting
    sponsorship and so on. I poorly translated it for you.
    "As the only witness of my horizon I sat and celebrated,
    quiet, whith my mouth full, my greatest conquest: leaving.
    Even if my journey would last for a single day. I had left
    to my longest crossing and even if it lasted for this only
    day I had escaped the worst danger of a trip, the most
    terrible kind of sink: not leaving.
    I had a precise place to reach and a certain time to spend
    there, but I knew that only when I return , exactly to the
    same piece of sand I had just left, I would have finished
    the journey. FUnny, I was less than a day from my objective
    and still an year and a half to go sailing to get there. So
    I hapily fell asleep thinking of a place twice as long as
    the Antartic - Jurumim. Because deep inside I had left to
    go back".
    That made so much sense the moment I got to my first city.
    So after I checked in the hostel I went for a walk, bought
    a postcard, sat down at the Plaza CAtalunya and wrote that
    on the card and sent it over. SOme people afterwards
    couldn't understand why I had sent a postcard just after a
    few hours on the road. I had managed to leave, this was
    huge and I want to feel that again.

  91. the most rewarding addiction Added by: Shirlita
    [Timestamp: Wed 30 Sept, 10:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I'm going thru a major culture shock now. Got back 3 weeks
    ago from 2 and a half months in Guatemala, Honduras, and
    Mexico. I met people who changed my outlook on so many
    things, people I never imagined existed but now will be a
    part of me forever. I got used to waking up every few days
    in a different place, going out to explore and get lost and
    meet new people. I soaked in every mountain vista, every
    small insight I gained about the world, every child's
    smile, every moment walking around strange and beautiful
    places. I got back to New York and within a day I was
    ready to leave--go far away from subways and English and
    the ever-widening gap between you and your friends, who
    just can't understand what traveling means to you. It's
    always been this way for me. When I got back from South
    America last year, the culture shock lasted well into
    November. But I have to stay--for now; I'm in my last year
    of college, and all those around me are going on interviews
    and they seem ready to settle down at this wonderful age
    that we only have once--I cannot fathom it. I was born to
    travel. How could I stay here and work 9-5, 5 days a week,
    feeling suffocated because I'm not letting myself follow my
    dreams. So after I graduate I'm either going to do the
    Peace Corps volunteer service for 2 years, or travel on my
    own for about a year (by the way, which one do you guys
    think I should do and why?), working when I run out of
    cash, living this life the way it was meant to be lived.
    Because the saddest thing about a trip is to see it reduced
    to mere photos in an album, memories that slip from your
    grasp...we can't ever RELIVE anything. Each trip is
    different, each country is different, you always go with a
    different mindset. So what can we do, those of us whose
    heart pleads us to go out there and travel? We can keep
    doing it, keep collecting experiences, keep seeing more
    corners of the world. When and if we need to settle down,
    we'll now. We'll feel it. And whatever happens, it'll
    have been worth it.

  92. Finding the High of Life Added by: Recent Returnee
    [Timestamp: Wed 30 Sept, 17:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Just returned in the spring from almost 2 years overseas,
    working and travelling, solo. It took all summer to "find
    the high of life" again but I seem to be out of those post
    travel blues/reverse culture shock now.
    Sitting around doing nothing didn't help but also having
    people tell you to get up and do something doesn't help
    either. Trying to explain to people that have never
    travelled extensively and experienced those blues is
    virtually impossible too (even to other travellers that
    have never experienced it). I think its different for
    everyone (which I guess won't help much).
    But here's what I've concluded about it. You have to be
    CONTENT with whereever you are. Happiness lies in
    contentment. And I now believe its all HOW you look at
    My personal example. I was in oversea working and loving
    it. Of course, there were down times but I was happy with
    the way things were over there, learning and earning good
    money. But I missed my boyfriend who was in Canada. AS
    much as I missed him though (we'd gotten together for a
    couple of vacations on my side of the ocean), I wasn't
    ready to come home and settle down yet. And I knew it.
    However, the pressure was being applied, and I had to
    choose. Thus, I felt trapped, resentful, unhappy, etc. I
    became emotionally unstable, crying at the drop of a hat,
    flying off the handle in anger at everything. But I
    finally came to terms with my decision and I now have it
    set in my mind that I CHOOSE to come home and be with him.
    I want to build a life here with him. I guess I've finally
    realized that I WANTED to be HERE rather than somewhere
    else (and I've just suddenly realized it as I've been
    reading all this stuff you've all written).
    Looking at it from one of my friends point of view. She's
    a traveller too but hated working and living overseas.
    She was unfortunately stuck in a contract so she had to see
    it through. She's home now and very happy to be there.
    She doesn't have and never seemed to get those blues we've
    all been talking about. I believe this was because she was
    looking forward to and was excited about going home. It's
    all in the attitude, "is the glass half empty or half full".
    But even so, self-diagnosis is one thing, self-healing is
    another. Hang in there. And remember, there are always 2
    ways to look things.
    If worse comes to worse, try this:
    (1)pack a bag and explore some of your own country, who
    says you have to go far to see something new, anyplace you
    haven't been to is fair game
    (2)whenever you get a few days free, go somewhere, a short
    trip is better than none
    (3)keep dreaming about travelling again so that you're all
    prepared when the opportunity arises again, no excuses not
    to go

  93. Not there yet Added by: TankGirl
    [Timestamp: Wed 30 Sept, 20:25 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I've been away from home (Aust) for just over 2 years, and
    am just starting to plan my trip home now. I'm fully
    prepared for these post travel feelings that I know are just
    going to hit me. I've spoken to lots of people at home who
    have been through it, and after reading this, I know that it
    isn't going to be easy.
    I think you need to be prepared for these things. Knowing
    that you're going to feel disorientated for a while is
    probably the first step to combatting it. I'm also buying
    myself a return ticket back to the UK, so I know, deep down,
    that I've got an 'out' if I need it, and fully intend to
    travel around Oz before making any momentous decisions
    regarding the rest of my life.
    I've heard so many mixed responses from returnees, and I've
    found that those people that did all that they planned to do
    when they originally left home are those that cope best.
    Maybe it's a feeling of completeness. Then again, maybe
    I'll ask them in a couple of years when they've picked their
    next outlandish destination :)
    So even though I haven't hit the wall yet, it's nice to know
    that when I do I'm not going to be the only person that's
    going through it.

  94. Travel bug remedy Added by: Marion Faerber
    [Timestamp: Thu 1 Oct, 2:54 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know exactly how you feel, but I think I have found a
    temporary remedy. I went backpacking through Europe,
    trecking in Nepal, backpacking to Australia and lots of
    other countries and spent a lot of time in the Middle
    East but the travel bug just seems to get worse. However, I
    have decided that a good way to live with the travel bug is
    to pick an interesting region in the world such as Asia and
    find a job there.
    That way I can get to know the culture in one country really
    well, travel to all the fascinating countries here in Asia
    (I live in Hong Kong) and because it is an expat kind of
    place it is very easy to make friends and meet people. The
    people who have chosen to do the same thing as me are
    usually similarly open-minded to travellers and very happy
    to get to know other people in the same situation.
    I can recommend it! Of course, I'm still planning
    backpacking holidays and am still thinking of taking months
    off to travel but at least some of my travel desire is
    satisfied this way.

  95. My story and thoughts Added by: Traveller
    [Timestamp: Thu 1 Oct, 3:57 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I returned from a year living abroad (with lots of jaunts
    around Europe) more than three years ago. I graduated from
    college and moved home with my parents and had no idea how
    to go about getting a "real" job. My head and heart were
    still spinning with all the wonderful, exciting, educational
    adventures I had experienced and all I could think was to
    try to find a way to go back. I spent months and
    months writing to international companies, ESL schools and
    English-language newspapers abroad begging them to hire me.
    I poured through travel narratives and tourbooks, planning
    adventures and begging friends, family and significant
    others to drop everything and come along. I had no money and
    didn't know how to market my degree or skills so I worked
    part-time as a freelance writer and temporary secretary. But
    my heart wasn't in it and I wasn't able to make or save much
    The months dragged on... my depression and frustration
    grew... the few job offers I received abroad offered
    salaries that would barely cover food and housing... friends
    got jobs and grew tired of my telling them that they had
    "sold out"... student loans kicked in... and I grew
    increasingly desperate to do something, anything, to give my
    life meaning.
    I eventually refocused my job search and landed a job in
    international education. Now every semester I watch
    envoiusly as my students head off for study or work abroad.
    And I listen sympathetically to their troubles when they
    return home and are lost and depressed. It's difficult.
    There are some days when I want to tell my students "no!
    don't go abroad!" because I know how much it hurts to come
    back. But there are other days when their stories and
    insights give me hope that they may discover what I am still
    searching for -- a balance between travel and everyday life.
    But slowly, very slowly, things are getting better. Some
    days I find that I am almost happy with my job and life. But
    other days I can't eat, can't sleep, can't concentrate
    because of what I call my "gotta go" feeling. I drive my
    boyfriend (who has never been bitten by the travel bug)
    crazy with my reminisces about places he's never heard of.
    And I've given up my travel books (for now) because they
    just make me depressed and longing for places that I may
    never see.
    But I know in my head that I don't want to quit my job and
    default on my student loans and take a 10-cents-an-hour job
    in Timbuctu. I've worked too hard for a good education and
    the beginnings of a career. And I don't think I want to be
    "on the road" forever. I'd like to have a husband and house
    and kids someday. And I am far too frightened of ending up
    unemployed and destitute in some cold, uncaring welfare
    shelter because I never got a real job or got sick abroad
    with no health insurance. I am now struggling to find a job
    that will provide a salve for my travel bite AND enough
    money and stability to give me some of the material things I
    still enjoy.
    I wish the world was different. I wish I could just go and
    not worry about money, health, family, friends, the ominous
    future. I know that's one of the things that is so wonderful
    about travel -- your biggest responsibility is to find food
    to eat and a place to sleep. And, as Lou said, what you do
    is completely your descision -- you don't have to be
    influenced by your parents, your significant other, your
    A thought about Adam's writings about a "sense of home"...
    One of the things I love about travel is to be able to place
    myself, for a day or week, in a culture where people are
    grounded. To experience a culture where people love their
    home and their family and don't feel the need to travel. It
    is paradoxial that I distance myself from the very things
    that would provide me a home, in order to experience a
    "home." This is something that I, and perhaps some of you,
    am trying to resolve in my own head and heart.
    60-year-old traveller and Mister R -- I think you hit the
    nail on the head... travel is wonderful -- it gives us new
    ideas and fresh perspectives. But we need to use these not
    as a (rather expensive) personal thrill but as a way to
    enrich the lives of those in the community around us.
    Even as I have read these 100+ notes and write my own
    thoughts and impressions, I have grown and changed. I am
    going to try to follow some of your suggestions (travel at
    home, use my experience to educate others, etc.) Thank you
    all for your insights and for letting me know that I am not
    alone and there may still be a light at the end of the

  96. Viking Ships Added by: cowgirl
    [Timestamp: Thu 1 Oct, 13:36 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Someone I met travelling once told me about how Vikings used to burn their ships when they landed at a place so there was no going back home, or anywhere else - sort of incentive to make the most out of where they were. I found this very interesting. Does anyone else know anything about this ?

  97. Life after backpacking? Added by: Truffledog
    [Timestamp: Sat 3 Oct, 9:55 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I never went 'home' after backpacking the first time.
    Don't know why not. I mean, I've been back for holidays
    and stuff, but never to live. Home in any case is where
    you make it. Even now, in the 'looking for a real job'
    all I did was move somewhere else. This slow pace of
    travelling (including rather lenghty stops in places) is
    suitable because you can explore the surrounding area
    quite thoroughly, and travel whilst not totally missing
    out (the pace is, however, slower) on the
    school-college-work-etc progression. The idea of a fixed
    home is now thoroughly repulsive to me.

  98. friends Added by: Leticia
    [Timestamp: Sun 4 Oct, 1:20 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Guys, I've just loved the latest posts. Ok, everyone says
    "these storyis are really helping me"and everything, but
    thanks to Shirlita I found someone at the exactly situation
    as mine. I am also concerned about what I am going to do
    after finishing school, if I travel I would have probably
    to give up a career. And, as Traveller said above, I worked
    hard for my education and I also love so much what I've
    chosen to study and work.
    Since I started reading these posts I thought "no, my
    friends are different, they can get me". But what can I do
    when I can't help my mouth and tell my friends I've been
    researching about au pair programs and they go "what's
    this" and after I explain they say "why can't you just take
    care of babies right here?!".
    THis happened whith more than one person this week and
    really made me feel said. BUt I know it hurts my friends
    knowing that I love them, but I would love it even more If
    I were away of them on the road.
    By the way, I posted a piece on my post number 90 and
    forgot to say the name of the guy who wrote that book is
    Amyr Klink

  99. the life after backpacking Added by: Heike
    [Timestamp: Mon 5 Oct, 22:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    While studying, I had enough time to go backpacking to Asia
    for about two or three months a year. Now, I came back from
    India, and I know this was my last trip. Somehow I think , I
    could not go backpacking for a year, because after three
    months I feel, I want to go back home... However, I don't
    know what I am going to do without these trips? I would
    go mad on a mainstream package tour to Southern Spain!
    Looking back at my studies, I felt that travelling was the
    most important experience for me. I met so many interesting
    people, encountered different lifestyles. In Asia I learned
    to question the culture I was brought up in. In India I got
    so much used to th daily hassles of travelling, the crowds,
    the chaos, the food that I had a culture shock when arriving
    in Malaysia. The cities seemed to be deserted... I got so
    much absorbed by the lifestyle of a country especially by
    living and travelling with the locals that I had to get used
    to life in westernized Malaysia. This was probably the most
    fascinating experience of all my travels.
    Back at home, I find life pretty boring. Like some of you
    mentionned, I also felt much more energetic and optimistic
    while backpacking. I dared to do things, I would never do at
    home... In many ways, my mind is still in Asia, and I mis my
    friends. I try to communicate with them via e-mail and I
    hope one of them will come to visit me soon... post travel
    I am also thinking about how to find some more time to
    travel. I feel that this is more important to me than a
    great carreer... People around me usually do not understand
    why these experiences are so important to me. If younger
    students asked me, what was the best way to learn about my
    field of studies, I give them some advice about books, but I
    think: "You'd better go travelling to Myanmar..."

  100. Wow.. Added by: AJ
    [Timestamp: Tue 6 Oct, 20:32 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I've read through this thread a few times and am always amazed that so many people seem to be plagiarizing the thoughts swirling around in my ole' noodle. My poor old gypsy feet haven't been scratched in over a year, and I spend a substantial chunk of time either researching for another job overseas or daydreaming about it. However, the coolest thing just an attempt to forget my insomnia, I figured I could frolic for a while in the lives of others by cruising though the TT. Hours passed, too many vivid images were soaked in, and my gypsy feet were beyond the point of itching--the damned things were howling in despair. Frustrated, I grabbed my jacket and headed out to the back deck for a smoke. A motion decector snagged the movement of my trudging bones and the porch light flicked on. I leaned on the deck rail and wondered why I was still in Michigan when I could've bolted overseas months ago. Then, because I'd been standing still, the porch light went out, and a whole different stage emerged...I hadn't even noticed when the porch light was on, but the moon was almost completely full, hanging behind the skeletal branches of a tree that clung to it's last leaves. The moonlight shimmied on the ripples of the lake, and I was suddenly aware of the crickets. They chirped their serene melody as I breathed in the spicy scent that always seems to loll around in the cool October air.
    Instead of staring at the ground and making myself miserable, all I had to do was lift my chin and look around...sigh, smile, peace and satisfaction does exist at home.

  101. Oh, how I wish... Added by: Mister R
    [Timestamp: Wed 7 Oct, 1:13 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I could get rid of this feeling, that I need to travel,
    that my life is so boring at home. Listening to melancholy
    music, just sitting in front of this thing all day long,
    either looking through internet to get rid of my boredom
    (which doesn't work) or playing games, what a waist of
    time. I wish I had friends who had travelled as I have, so
    that maybe I could talk to them about this. Maybe I will
    next year, as a friend of mine is going to Namibia, so
    maybe he will understand what it is like to come "home",
    and not feel at home anymore. But I hope it doesn't happen
    to him, because it is a very horrible feeling.
    When I was 19, I made my 1st trip away from home to
    Germany. I had a wonderful time, and felt at home
    immediately. AFter 3 mos, I had to go back. I remember
    that I cried most of the trip home, or was unconscious, not
    taking in anything. My 1st words to my mother were "I want
    to go back", and I think then, that she knew she had sort
    of lost me.
    I spent 1 1/2 miserable years getting through the rest of
    college, never happy, always in a bad mood, the few friends
    I had been able to keep were getting frustrated with me. I
    gave up and moved back to Germany, where I have now been
    for almost 6 years. The best thing I ever did, but that
    did not cure the travel bug.
    Fortunately, I am off to NZ in about 10 days for a 2 wk
    trip, and I hope that will settle me down for a while.
    It's hard, folks, but we will somehow make it work. We
    just have to keep our chins up!

  102. Perhaps somewhat different... Added by: Susanne
    [Timestamp: Wed 7 Oct, 2:18 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Some years ago I went travelling to Australia and Indonesia
    for a couple of months. I had the time of my life there! It
    was great to be on the road and to experience myself and the
    world in another context. When I came home I felt terribly
    out of place, all I wanted to do is to travel again. Post
    travel blues, like most of us experience it... I was
    dreaming about trecking in Nepal, elephant riding in Africa,
    wild water rafting in South America aso.
    The story took a sort of a turn as friends from overseas
    came to visit me. They asked me which places they must see
    in my area, told me about things they've already done +
    experienced in my part of the world. I was amazed. You can
    make these advantures HERE??? It was the first time that I
    realized how little I knew about my own environment. I could
    tell them the best place for fishing in Tasmania, but I
    didn't even know that there was great fishing just 20km from
    my place. There were many more examples. By the way, I am
    German living close to the border of Switzerland. So I
    thought: 'How can I think about trecking in Nepal when
    some of the most beautiful mountains of the Alps are just a
    90 minutes drive away? How ignorant can I be?' There are so
    many tourists coming to my part of the world, there must be
    a reason why! I started making trips on the weekends instead
    of staying at home wanting to be somewhere else.
    I can't say that this 'method' cured my post travel blues
    completely, but it considerably lifted my spirits. I did hit
    the road again later (yep, went elephant riding in Africa!),
    and I am a little sad every time a trip is over, but the
    post travel blues doesn't hit me that hard any more. Once I
    come home, I immediately start to make plans for the next
    few weekends. That helps.

  103. Live your own life Added by: mel
    [Timestamp: Wed 7 Oct, 15:38 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Why is everyone thinking that they should settle down and do
    the marriage mortgage kid thing anyway? Is that our only
    option? our only aim in life? Our aim is to ENJOY life and
    if that means travelling then travel, if that means having a
    marriage and kids if that means being a kite maker then do
    that but it is just a choice in life. If you dont want to do
    it dont, if you do then do it but either way live with your
    All everyone one seems to be doing it looking at the grass
    on the other side of the fence and comparing their lives to
    what is over the fence?

    By the sounds of it most of you think that those who settle
    down have settled for second best. Just because what you
    want to do is different to those who want to settle down
    doesn't mean anyone is right or wrong, it is just a
    different choice of life.
    A lot of backpackers I have come across just think they are
    special because they are backpackers and that they are not
    only better than those people who want to settle down but
    they also think they are better than other travellers who
    can spend a bit more and do a guided tour or stay in nice
    hotels etc. The funniest thing I have come across is
    backpackers looking down on someone because they are on a
    guided tour!!???
    But then on the other side I have someone who keeps telling
    me I wont understand how wonderful it is to have a kid until
    I do but what this person doesn't understand is how
    wonderful it is to travel and in the end we will both never
    understand each others experiences.
    So just live your life, be happy with your decisions and get
    over it. If it is really what you want to do, work for the
    money and get going again.
    Not that hard really.

  104. Live your own life Added by: mel
    [Timestamp: Wed 7 Oct, 15:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Why the question about life after backpacking.
    Why is everyone thinking that they should settle down and do
    the marriage mortgage kid thing anyway? Is that our only
    option? our only aim in life? Our aim is to ENJOY life and
    if that means travelling then travel, if that means having a
    marriage and kids if that means being a kite maker then do
    that but it is just a choice in life. If you dont want to do
    it dont, if you do then do it but either way live with your
    All everyone one seems to be doing it looking at the grass
    on the other side of the fence and comparing their lives to
    what is over the fence?

    By the sounds of it most of you think that those who settle
    down have settled for second best, stuck doing something you
    dont want to do. But is is a choice to work, a choice
    to travel, and only you can make your own choices. Just
    because what you want to do is different to those who want
    to settle down doesn't mean anyone is right or wrong, it is
    just a different choice of life.
    If it is so important to you to backpack then do what people
    I met do, live in Goa, or Bangkok or Nairobi (or where ever)
    and potter around selling enough to travel. But why
    complain about something you have chosen to do. Dont chose
    A lot of backpackers I have come across just think they are
    special because they are backpackers and that they are not
    only better than those people who want to settle down but
    they also think they are better than other travellers who
    can spend a bit more and do a guided tour or stay in nice
    hotels etc. The funniest thing I have come across is
    backpackers looking down on someone because they are on a
    guided tour!!???
    But then on the other side I have someone who keeps telling
    me I wont understand how wonderful it is to have a kid until
    I do but what this person doesn't understand is how
    wonderful it is to travel and in the end we will both never
    understand each others experiences.
    So just live your life, be happy with your decisions and get
    over it. If it is really what you want to do, work for the
    money and get going again.
    Not that hard really.

  105. Deep thinking... Added by: Mira (.....)
    [Timestamp: Wed 7 Oct, 20:21 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I feel overwhelmed and excited, this thread reads like a
    page in my diary, the thoughts and feelings that I have
    spinning in my head are so succinctly written by so many
    unknown people around the world. I feel like I empathise
    with you all more than my close friends... I have come back
    to this thread so many times Lou. I just want to say -
    Sharing how I feel is a relief, and to know I'm not going
    slowly mad with these feelings I have tried to suppress -
    and I think that's a lot of where depression sets in. Boy
    has it been so hard and this thread really is a lifeline.
    Why do I have to pretend, yeah I'm OK to my friends when
    sometimes I just want to grab my passport and jump on the
    first plane out!
    I wanted to ask what you think - is travel an escape from
    reality and why aren't we satisfied with what we've got? I
    see people around me who seem to be just fine, but are they
    really happy? Is my definition of happiness so different
    from theirs? Those with strong family ties seem more
    content than others. Why do I feel such a strong pull away
    from what I know? Is it my need to explore and experience?
    Is it running to, or is it running away from? There is a big
    I would love to ditch everything and its great in theory to
    traipse off around the world for eternity, but what happens
    when I run out of money? What happens when I am old, sick or
    tire of travelling? I return to my home country where time
    has created distance between close friends and family,
    perhaps I am alone and have to rely on the government to
    provide me with some pensioner flat where I can have my
    morning sherry and remember all the good times in my life.
    This is realistic and this is what I'm afraid of, and after
    travelling having to come back to nothing and starting over
    again. This is pretty negative thinking but I guess its just
    the way society has conditioned me! Does anyone else find
    Western society negative? I find it very numbing, almost
    like a black and white film, and when I go to Asia then
    everything is in technicolour with Dolby sound... I
    can FEEL and sense so much more... Western anaesthesia?
    Good grief I've raved on for long enough but I think we need
    a book and support group for our addiction!
    This thread is truly a life line and Lou I read it almost
    every day too.
    Thank you Thank you Thank you, it helps just sharing. Sorry
    its so long I just had to get it out of my system!

  106. others Added by: Leticia
    [Timestamp: Thu 8 Oct, 2:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    You did make sense to me , Lou, i agree with you that we
    fit those pictures you mentioned, but wanting to be over
    them is something so natural of us, the need of change in
    us comes when we're not satisfied with ourselves.We might
    know that the other recongizes us in some sort of
    stereotype, but wen we can clearly see it about ourselves,
    when we feel that our behaviour is a pattern some of the
    motivation is lost because we want to make a diference,
    most of us just doesn't want to be normal. I want to
    recognize this patterns, this maybe social roles, on you
    because this way I can reassure myself. The individuality
    comes from the difference, the idea of the other. But when
    I see amyself as predictable, i want to change and that
    seems so good to me, not a drawback.
    And doesn't it have to do with what we want on the road?
    Not only recognizing this other on the other cultures and
    other travellers we get to know, but in making something
    knew to yourself, so that you're changed. After you achieve
    it all in yourself on the road, you're probably fitting
    again in some stereotype, but this whole thing keeps us
    Now I don't know If I made sense, writting this stuff on a
    foreign land is hard.
    TO Mira, I believe there's a tiny line between believing
    you travel to scape the reality or to be true to your
    reality. Why we're not satisfied, i would like to know it
    either, but I always say tha travelling is a life and not
    everybody get mad about it, with travelbugs and everything.
    I had a friend who had this five years relationship, she
    loved the guy but could really see he was making her
    horizons smaller. So they broke up and she travelled on her
    own. When she came back they got together again and are
    deeply thinking of settling down together. THat sounded
    unbelievable to me. My point with that story is that we do
    scape from home reality when travelling, but there's a
    difference when we're travelling because we faced this is
    the lifestyle we want or just to scape the fact that we
    cannot get our lifestyle going at home.
    ANyway I wrote this huge post and haven't said what I came
    firs here to say. I really love you all. One thing I kept
    in my mind was the advises of some of you about taking
    small trips when not able to take a huge one. SO I'll have
    this five days off and on fryday I'm leaving to a
    youthhostel on a beachtown. I am happy and I want to share
    with you.(my family was saying ai should not spend my
    savings as I am unemployed and they're actually right, but
    I decided for the pleasant but not wise actitude!) Brazil
    is so huge, i can go round it before being able to take my
    other trip again.

  107. just some thoughts Added by: KarmaPolice
    [Timestamp: Fri 9 Oct, 6:59 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    yeah, western life is rubbish & travellings so much more fun than mortgaging. the people we meet on the road, be they locals or fellow travellers, are way more interesting than the folks back home, wherever that is.......but why do so many old-hands end up as junkies in the big cities of the sucontinent, or walk in and out of re-habs back here. seems like everyone whos been travelling constantly for say 10 yrs get serious drug-problems. is it just the cheap drugs or.......well, nevermind, thanks for an interesting thread, took me nearly 2 hours to read it all

  108. Amazing Added by: Chey
    [Timestamp: Fri 9 Oct, 10:33 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I just read all these posts. Absolutely amzing. It's a good
    feeling to know that you're not alone in your thoughts. I
    have the post travel blues but in a slightly differnt way
    to the ones mentioned. I'm from the Carribean and having
    been doing my postgrad in New Zealand for the past 18
    months. while in Nz, I've learnt how to backpack and loved
    it. I didn't even know the work backpacking existed till I
    came to NZ. I've been all around NZ and over to sydney,
    By blues comes from a feeling of deprivation. I return home
    next year. who am I going to talk to? Noone really
    understands in Jamaica my travel experiences. they are now
    interested in me settling down, finding a husband, buying
    the car, getting the morgage and having kids!!!!! On my way
    between NZ and Jamaica next year I'm going to travel through
    Spain. I hope to spend around 4 weeks in Spain. Not much in
    terms of every one else travels but that's all I can afford.
    the response of my friends as home is to be careful or why
    save the money for that purpose since I will need it to
    survive when I return if I don't find a job soon.
    Personally I know I will regret it if I cnacel this trip to
    Spain. So I will deal with the consequences of that. I fear
    going back and going through the full extent of travel bug.
    I know I will go through it. It's already started to an
    extent. I just have to think about packing up from NZ and
    then it starts.
    What I find interesting in these posts is the countries
    people chose to travel to. From what I gather most people
    here are from developed countries and chose to see the
    differences in the developing world. I'm from the developing
    world. I know what it's like. I've always wanted to see
    Europe and work there. I don't think its Fantasyland where
    everything is beautiful and wonderful but it's a lifestyle
    so different from mine, as well as supposedly more
    comfortable. And something I've probably glimpsed while
    living in NZ. When I get back to Jamaica, I'll have to find
    my way to live with the travel bug but I also believe that
    it is with you for life.
    Thanks for starting the post Lou. And thanks for wishing me
    happy birthday in my post in the "Your choice" section.
    Happy travels everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

  109. Is it in our genes? Added by: Prentiss Riddle
    [Timestamp: Sat 10 Oct, 3:07 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    British writer Bruce Chatwin ("The Songlines", "What Am I
    Doing Here?", etc.) argued that our love of travel is
    genetic. After all, we spent a few hundred thousand years
    wandering before we ever settled down as agriculturalists
    (and our pre-human ancestors may have spent a few million
    years doing the same before that). I don't know what
    serious anthropologists think of his theories, but they're
    worth chewing on.

  110. thank you all Added by: Shirlita
    [Timestamp: Mon 12 Oct, 7:35 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I keep coming back to this post because all of you express
    so eloquently what I feel...none of my closest friends at
    home can even begin to understand these longings we have,
    except the ones I've met traveling. I just know that there
    are so many places and people waiting for me and that
    thought creates such an unbearable anxiety in me. I have
    decided that after I graduate I will travel in Africa for a
    year. I don't have enough money, but I will try to look
    for work. I know that after this year of traveling, coming
    home will be a nightmare. That's when I'll be expected to
    really settle down and get a fixed job. Why is it that so
    few people understand that living life is more than just
    making money. I know that our love for traveling is
    something that will always be with us. If and when I do
    settle down, get a career and start a family, there will be
    something missing. Why is it that I never feel truly happy
    or free unless I'm in another country? Am I running away
    from myself or am I finding myself when I travel? All I
    know is that it fills me in a way nothing ever has.
    Thank you Lou for starting this, and to everyone for all
    their stories and thoughts...I know I'm not the only one
    out there rotting away at "home"...

  111. Thanks for the censorship Added by: Gullible
    [Timestamp: Tue 13 Oct, 2:33 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I'm late in the day for joining in here, but I've just
    bought into the whole mortgage, wife, career thingy. Many
    of the concerns described so eloquently above have been
    real to me too. My approach ? Move to another country,
    marry a local (not that that was my original intention),
    and then plan a life elsewhere. My wife and I feel that it
    might not be fair to settle in either of each others'
    countries, and therefore this pretty much guarantees me the
    opportunity to keep moving on every couple of years. How to
    overcome the mortgage problem? Rent your place out, you
    might be lucky and get a rent that will cover your
    payments. Career answer on that yet, but I
    guess working for a dreaded MNC might help.
    Overall I have one sure not to regret
    anything in 20 years time.
    So long.

  112. c'mon guys.. Added by: daniella
    [Timestamp: Tue 13 Oct, 21:27 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I think we need
    a profesionel to analyse why people want to leave what
    they got? Life onthe road is also hard, people try and
    ripyou off and make expensive prices... why do you likeso
    much? I think someone out there thinks what yougot is great.
    You sound too indulgent, or is that why you want to get
    away from it all? You have choice.

  113. This thread has grown... Added by: raman
    [Timestamp: Wed 14 Oct, 21:34 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    ....fantastically since I posted last.
    Reconfirms that backpackers are not a dying force.
    Danielle, ever heard of the word "Greed". one of the
    original sins. this emotion will probably be responsible for
    the majority of decisions to leave something behind and head
    out. the ultimate goal of this greed could be different for
    different people. not long ago humans were nomadic, maybe
    the wanderlust genes are stronger in some than others.
    anyway, who's complaining, as long as the travels last.
    i think a trip to new lands and new cultures enriches you
    far more than what tv, movies, internet, books etc can
    teach. seeing is believing.
    travel is the greatest stimulant!!!period.

  114. Off I go.... Added by: Mister R
    [Timestamp: Thu 15 Oct, 8:43 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    to try to cure this nasty bug that we all have. I hope it
    settles me down for a while, and I hope that none are
    jelious. By as you may have noticed from an earlier post,
    I work for an airline, which makes travel to be somewhat
    less expensive for me than for others, but still, my pay is
    not all that good, so I can't always afford what I want.
    I just thought I would say something before I leave. I
    find the message Susanne wrote to be very true. I can tell
    people what to do in NZ, 12000km away, but can I tell them
    where to go out in Frankfurt, only 1 hr from me? Can I
    tell them what to see in the Rhein Valley, in the Taunus
    Mtns, which I see every day, but I have never been there!
    What is it that makes us think that there is nothing to
    offer at home, so we go far far far away to find something,
    but what it is we don't know, and do we know if we have
    found it? From the sound of all these posts, I don't think
    we have found it, and even worse, I don't think that we
    ever will. Bad side: we all seem to ourselve to be
    miserable, when actually we could be doing quite well!
    Good side: we will always be going someplace and seeing
    new things, meeting new people. That can only help improve
    things, if even by some small amount.
    In this months National Geographic, there is an article
    about migration. People are still on the move, and it will
    never stop. Nomads are still among us, they just get lost
    in modern society, since the majority stays put.
    I think it is in our genes. My parents gave it to me, I
    recall a story about how my great-grandfather wanted to go
    to San Fran after the earthquake, but his mother didn't
    allow him. I wonder if he suffered because of it.
    I don't know what I would have done with myself if I had
    had to stay in the US. It wouldn't have been good, though.
    I wish for all, that they can fulfil their dreams. For
    some it is settling down, that is right for them. But not
    for all, and no one should feel guilty about doing one or
    the other. Do what is right for you! And it will make it
    right for all around you, because you will be happier, and
    those around you will be happier for it.
    I reckon that I will meet several "eternal" travels in my 2
    wks in NZ. I did the last time. I envy them, but wonder
    to myself if I could have done the same. Sometimes I think
    yes. But then again, everyone needs a little stability
    somehow. Finding it is just the hard part of it. Maybe
    that is why we are always searching wherever we can.

  115. transitory Added by: leticia
    [Timestamp: Fri 16 Oct, 0:42 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I've just read something very nice in a story written by a
    guy who travelled always by bus or train so that he could
    see things passing through the window. He says that maybe
    we have this passion for travelling because what we call
    transitory in life becomes real when travelling and leaves
    the state of a metaphor.
    It sounds so precise, doesn't it?

  116. travel bug Added by: Linda
    [Timestamp: Sun 18 Oct, 4:43 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I know! going cold turkey now from 4 months in Spain and Portugal.
    It seems everyone has so much stuff and chasing their tails to get more and WHY WHY WHY.
    .But hey all paths are valid and travelling is for me.
    Im trying to get work in another country cos Ive realised its not enough to keep coming back I want to go work in all those places.
    I just know Id rather hang out with the worlds peasants.
    Dreams are made to be lived.

  117. temporary solution Added by: mira
    [Timestamp: Sun 18 Oct, 19:35 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Me again! Why not consider a job in travel as a tempory
    solution? Obviously everyone has the necessary travel
    experience and there are many areas of the industry: working
    for an airline, a sales rep for a related company, working
    for a wholesaler or even an adventure travel-related
    operator and specialise in one area of the world. Perks -
    travel travel travel! Not for extended periods of time, but
    you wouldn't believe the perks if you get into the right
    company. I'm in retail i.e. a consultant, which I applied
    for (not a job I ever dreamed of doing!) after a planned
    trip to Sth America fell through and in the meantime its
    helping ease the ache of being back, In one year I have
    been to Vanuatu, Fiji, Australia x3 and am off to Noumea for
    holidays soon. Tomorrow I'm off to my beloved Asia for a
    week!!! You need to get in to a supportive office though.
    These trips keep me sane and as the job is so incentivised
    if you sell heaps of a product/airline you can get freebies.
    Its great as I get to stay in fancy hotels for a change,
    which I could never afford normally. Prefer guesthouses but
    its so nice for now.
    Beware the job can be hellishly stressful. You can actually
    make good money if you are commission-based and on a
    retainer. There is a variety of clientele from a family
    holiday, old couple going overseas for the first time,
    and best of all, backpackers off on their first big trip, a
    little naive but full of the excitement that brings back
    great memories. There are some lovely people out there and
    when they bring in flowers/chocs to say thanks or refer
    people on to you its a real kick. I used to think I knew a
    lot about the world, but hey my knowledge of it now is HUGE
    and I know when I plan my next big trip I can get the best
    deal!! Anyway I'm off to pack my bags, I'm hanging out for
    fun and sunshine

  118. some post-travel thoughts Added by: jessung
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 Oct, 7:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I came home to NYC after the trip of my life in August: a
    two-week backpacking trip to Singapore and Malaysia with
    some college friends. It was my first backpacking
    experience, and it certainly will not be my last!!
    Post-travel blues can be a good thing, actually. Yeah, I
    was feeling sad for a bit after my trip, finding it odd that
    I was pining for the collective charms of a country
    (Malaysia, in particular). But the good thing about them
    "blues" is that it can actually make you want to experience
    life at home, and then ultimately anywhere else, the same
    way you experience life travelling. It's harder done than
    said, but worth the effort.

  119. just begining.... Added by: Cat
    [Timestamp: Thu 22 Oct, 15:28 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I haven't read all of the posts but alot of what I read is
    brilliant. I have just started my big trip. I have arrived
    in Sydney and love it although I am working in a office and
    just can't wait to get out on the road and start really
    travelling. Going home seems like a long way away, so I'm
    not going to get depressed just yet. I feel I have alot to
    learn and see, there is so much that sometimes my head gets
    in a spin!! I'm trying to make a vague plan but things seem
    to change so much. Live life for the moment, thats what I

  120. the problem of the 'I' Added by: timothy parker
    [Timestamp: Sat 31 Oct, 2:05 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    at last I have found your site again after much searching,
    lou. here goes with my 'metaphysical' answer.
    A possible explanation for post-travel blues is this:
    imagine your life as that of a character in a story.
    Sometimes that character is in an 'unfortunate' role, not
    so bad except when it is ourselves. Much of the time we are
    that character/person. the problem is that travelling
    circumvents or gets round most of the roles which we do not
    want to play - its simple, we can act in a self-determined
    manner ie the choice of action is usually ours and ours
    alone if we travel alone. It is in the nature of
    INDEPENDENT travel to be able to so suit ourselves. But is
    it so strange to us - in making this suggestion ie
    commonsense observation on lie - that our lives are not so
    SELF- determined at all for we are each part of something
    much bigger (and better?) than ourselves as individuals.
    Here endeth the 'philosophy' cheers for now.PS. Dear hellp
    me too if I had been travelling for as much as some of you!

  121. Looking for happiness in ourselves.... Added by: Manyee
    [Timestamp: Sat 31 Oct, 10:37 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    All I can say that I am very grateful to all of you, for
    your vivid and inspiring stories, thoughts, and advice that
    has helped me cope with my increased longing to travel and
    explore the world. I got back from a back-packing trip in
    Central America almost two months ago and I feel myself
    slowly deteriorating again. I live life reliving my
    memories of past trips and dreaming of future ones in my
    mind. I traveled every chance Id had while I was in
    college and now that I recently graduated, I postponed job
    searching for a few months because I knew that would mean
    starting a career and committing to responsibilities, and
    in other words, getting sucked into this monotonous life.
    But instead I started working as a teacher at a language
    school teaching both English and Spanish. Besides my love
    for teaching, I have the hopes of combining my life's
    passions of teaching and travel one day. If anyone of you
    has done this I would love to hear from you. I know that
    the pay is low in regards to teaching in less developed
    countries but I am willing to give a shot. Travelling for
    me fills me in a way that nothing else does. Don't get me
    wrong, I love my home and family but when I am on the road
    I feel a sense of completeness. I learn so many new things
    each day, I am surrounded by so many beautiful and new
    sounds, sights, and colors, and I feel an overwhelming
    connection with different places, people, and cultures. I
    think that we suffer from this incurable disease because
    for some of us, our destiny is to travel.
    Why is it that we often feel more freer and alive when we
    are travelling? Why aren't we satisfied with what we have
    at home? And is travelling some sort of escape from
    reality or a bad situation?? These are some questions that
    were posed from others above that have come to haunt me. I
    definitely feel that there is something that we lack in
    ourselves that keeps us searching for it. This is why we
    are momentously happy on our trips and once we return we
    are totally bummed out and fall into the post travel
    blues. I think that we should continue our search at home
    in between trips. We need to fill that empty void in us
    and change our attitudes toward life by improving our
    current situation by making the best of everyday. I know
    that it may be hard for some of us. I'm sure that each one
    of us cherish every travelling sensation, moment, and even
    the bad situations in retrospect because everything was new
    and different. However we can also place a certain value
    on our lives here, the relationships that we build here
    with family and friends, be it new or old, the sunsets, the
    smiles and hope in the people around us, the flowers, and
    in all of God's creations. Once we are happy with
    ourselves we will see travelling in a whole different way,
    no longer an escape but yet another enrichening part of
    life. While it is completely healthy to enjoy travelling
    the way we do, we must not take it to the extreme by taking
    life and ourselves for granted.
    That was just my suggestion and a spontaneous answer that
    came from sharing my thoughts with you. I am still far from
    reaching my goal of being completely happy with myself and
    life in order to prevent myself from suffering these post
    travel blues in the future. I know that I will always look
    back on my trips with nostalgia and a longing to return
    someday but I hope that I will be able to look positively
    toward my return home as well. I thank you for your
    sincerity and open-mindedness and hope that all of you find
    true happiness in life. Thanks again Lou for starting this
    great chain of uplifting thoughts. Happy Travels!!:) Linda

  122. Here'a a question.. Added by: kermit
    [Timestamp: Wed 4 Nov, 21:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    how many people are in a deeply rewarding relationship with
    a partner? I feel if I had someone special here it may help
    me feel more grounded and stable in this environment. Is
    anyone in this situation? Would you give up travelling for
    I don't mean someone you love, I mean someone you
    LOVE: deeply madly in love with, a permantent relationship.
    I am worried I may meet someone special and how could I
    choose between this person and my urge to travel? Expecially
    if they are unable for various reasons to travel with me...
    Is this selfish? Special people do not come around very
    often in my neck of the woods...

  123. Here's an Answer Added by: RA
    [Timestamp: Tue 10 Nov, 10:40 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Interesting question...I am a different kind of road
    warrior...I was on the road for about 4 years as a singer in
    a rock band - although in a more "secure" life now, I still
    have the unrelenting urge to roam, but I'm chasing other
    dreams right now. I have a very deep and rewarding
    relationship with a backpacker - he is my soul mate. I
    think if it is truly LOVE - you won't have to choose....I
    would never ask him to choose me over travel...that would be
    clipping his wings, and his freedom of spirit is one of the
    things I love most. It does take considerable imagination
    to mesh our very different lives together, but If it's truly
    love, there is always a way without compromising the freedom
    or dreams of either partner. He is on another adventure as
    I write this, we keep in touch every day we are able thru
    the net...and I am to meet him for a month around's difficult but worth it to us. I hope you
    find your soul mate and enjoy freedom in are
    correct, it is a rare and precious gift.

  124. A second hand victims of the bug Added by: pg
    [Timestamp: Sat 14 Nov, 17:49 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    What about the spouse of a travel addict who has to singly
    fend for the family? The addict whohas no mortgage, no
    savings towards kids education, no famly vacation, no
    contribution to the sense of family or responsibilities.
    All that wanderlust should have been taken care of before
    making committments or maybe never married.
    Be honest to oneself and do a service to the lives of
    others who are planning for stability and family.maybe
    watch the folks in the places of travel and see love of
    family even in abject poverty.
    How crass can one be to look at the kids and say my life is
    for my enjoying and allthhat i make goes to my next trip
    and i have no need for the warmth of home. The kids are the
    unlucky ones and for sure this one willnot go for a joint
    Also hope this helps folks who are about to make the family
    committment.Most of the posts talk about the wanderbug, and
    yet the need for a stable home or incorporating the
    family.Way to go.....teach yor young ones from your
    This site is my window to my dreams of seeing places oh
    well maybe when the kids are grown up.

  125. To find that special someone.. Added by: Manyee
    [Timestamp: Sun 15 Nov, 10:47 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I just want to reply to Kermit and say that I have also
    found that special someone however he is not a backpacker
    in the least. I met him on one of my travels and we even
    travelled together a bit. However ever since we started to
    become seriously involved, I feel guilty and also very
    selfish when I leave him while I am traveling on extended
    periods of time. I would love for him to accompany me but
    he usually can't because of his job. Even though I am very
    much in love with him as I have been for two years, I feel
    an overwhelming feeling of guilt when I leave him to
    travel. I have travelled many times without him now and
    each time I leave he tries to be understanding however I
    can feel his sadness and resentment toward me when I
    return. I feel that in a way I am compromising my freedom
    and dreams for him sometimes but in the same way, am I
    being fair to his needs? He hasn't always been there for
    me and I in turn choose travel over him. Is this fair? I
    sometimes wonder that since he can't understand my thirst
    to travel and explore the world maybe we aren't meant to be
    together and I can find someone who will understand me.
    And other times I think I am being totally unfair to him
    and I suppress my love for travel which ends up destroying
    me. RA, I really liked what you said about your
    relationship with your parter the backpacker however not
    everyone is as understanding as you are. I agree with the
    fact that if you love someone you should not compromise the
    other person's freedom and desire to do what he/she wants.
    I would like for you to give me some advice or anyone
    else's would be greatly appreciated as well.

  126. Impressed Added by: DisGoaKid
    [Timestamp: Fri 20 Nov, 4:50 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Thoroughly impressed with the length, and depth of this
    thread. I'm only 20 and probably haven't travelled as much
    as most of you ( since 17 years old - 4 Weeks Turkey, 8
    weeks Germany, France and Italy, 1 month Thailand, 1 month
    Malaysia, numerous visits to family in Goa) but the travel
    blues still infiltrate my University life at very regular
    and heart-rending intervals and they hit hard.
    It IS a emotional longing isn't it - it pulls at the
    heartstrings. I had kind of hoped I'd grow out of it or
    something. Everyone at Uni says they want to 'travel' but
    you know that most of them only say it for a little
    street-cred. I wonder how many will actually go. I don't
    think I'll ever lose it though - I'm glad none of you lot
    have. It lends a little hope at least. Does anyone have any
    more ideas about how to cope in the 'in-betweenie' bits?
    Let me know. TT's quite thereputic really isn't it?
    Ps I did NOT take a Gap year and all my travel has been
    financed by hard graft in the UK plus bits abroad

  127. Sig. Others Added by: Traveller
    [Timestamp: Fri 20 Nov, 6:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Again you guys (Kermit, RA) have touched a chord close to my
    I became deeply involved with a wonderful man more than 2
    years ago. He is older, and never really travelled as much
    or in the ways that I have. Any wanderlust he had as a
    20-something, he has long since outgrown. The end to my
    travelling (brought about by temporary illness) coincided
    with our meeting. Several times since then I have made the
    decision to stay and try to build a life with him, rather
    than go abroad. Sometimes I have second thoughts, and when
    we have disagreements (as most couples do) my evilest
    thoughts are of just packing my backpack and going, going,
    going. It is a struggle, sometimes, to remind myself that
    this is a decision I have made... and not to hold it against
    him. We have vague discussions of someday living abroad for
    a while, but his job isn't very portable and I could
    probably never support us both.
    It's tough. But I know that travelling will always be there.
    It is something I love and that is a part of me no matter
    what. People can't be taken for granted like that. I know
    that if I want to have a life and future with this man, then
    I need to work on it now... and not just assume that he will
    always be there.
    And I do what I can -- I am saving up and hope to show him
    the wonders of travel someday...

  128. THANKS Added by: kermit
    [Timestamp: Fri 20 Nov, 18:01 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    to everyone who responded - Traveller, I can feel the pain
    of your decisions. Do you think that all of us who
    empathise with each other are similar types of people ie
    highly emotional, romantics, escapists?? I would love to
    meet some of you.
    I hope one day soon I meet someone special but i get nervous
    too, I am so used to selfishly just having to think about me
    and what I want, my plans etc. This is such a powerful pull
    to discover foreign lands, I would love to hear the
    psychology behind it - was it something that happened to me
    as a child that makes me this way?? Is anyone able to offer
    an expert (as in qualified) opinion?

  129. To Mr. R and others... Added by: Susanne
    [Timestamp: Fri 20 Nov, 20:12 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Mister R., are you still out there?? I wanted to ask you
    this question for quite a while now. You're American having
    settled permanently (at least this is what it seems) in
    Germany. My question: what exactly is it you found here what
    you couldn't find at home? What was your motive for moving?
    What kind of thirst was (or is) it you wanted to quench? I'm
    not referring to Germany in particular,I just would love to
    find out why some people feel the need to move away from
    their homeland permanently (esp. if it's not for a
    political, economical, marriage or other 'absolute'
    Anybody out there who could give me a hint?
    This question differs a bit to the pure wanderlust thing, I
    think. As much as I love to travel, I still need the feeling
    of having a real home where I can go back to. I spended
    about two years abroad, but still there was never a doubt
    for me that I will (and want!) to go back to Europe one day.
    This is just my personal feeling; I want to learn something
    about people who think different about this matter. Looking
    forward to your answers!

  130. hi suzanne Added by: shirlita
    [Timestamp: Sun 6 Dec, 16:06 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I haven't been to the tree for a while, but I'm glad people
    are still writing and the thoughts are still flying.
    I was born and raised in the U.S and I know that in a few
    years (hopefully) I'm going to move to Latin America. I
    don't exactly know where, I've traveled in Mexico,
    Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, bolivia, and
    Colombia. (I'd love to live in Chiapas, Mexico.) Over the
    course of 4 years I have felt more at home in these places
    than here in New York. I love the cultures, the people,
    the sincerity and simplicity of life in many of these
    countries...but it's much more just's the feeling
    that comes over me when I'm walking thru a plaza of
    Guatemala, or when I remember all the accumulated moments
    and memories, all the friends I made and things that I
    discovered, the new eyes I was given to see the world in a
    hundred different ways. It's a longing in me. I don't
    enjoy living in the US, and much less NY. I've traveled in
    Western Europe, but it didn't touch my heart the way Latin
    America did (i guess I'm getting sentimental now!).
    I miss it every second. I do want to see other parts of
    the world, and I'm planning a trip to Africa soon, but I
    know that I must settle down in a place that I love. Did
    you ever get that feeling while traveling "I could LIVE
    here forever"? Then you realize that it is only the short
    term euphoria of being in a previously unknown place, you
    realize that you couldn't REALLY live there, you'd miss
    something from home, live flushing toilets or nightlife or
    the streets of your own home town. But only in Latin
    America have I been struck with the knowledge that I really
    could be capable of living there, and furthermore, that
    that is something that would make me much happier than I am
    I have to think about a million things: leaving my family
    and friends, finding work, money, etc. But it's a dream
    and a goal for me. I would still want to travel and see
    other parts of the world, more of Europe, Asia, and Africa,
    but I want my home base to be in Latin America.
    Why did you do it, Mr R and other expats? I know living
    there is completely different from travelling, no matter
    how long you travelled in the country. Any words of wisdom
    to prepare me?

  131. Travel Bug Added by: Lorinda
    [Timestamp: Wed 6 Jan, 14:58 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Almost two years ago at the age of 19 I left home to go
    backpacking through S.Africa and Europe for a year. I had
    the best time meeting some really great people and seeing
    places I will never forget.
    It wasn't till the last two months of my travels that I
    became very homesick for home and my friends. So I booked my
    ticket home with the idea that I was coming home to complete
    my studies and then make money in career.That was ten months
    I have now booked myself a ticket back o/s. My best advise
    to anyone is if you get homesick while travelling and want
    to go home do so but make sure you have a return ticket to
    go back o/s.
    One thing that an older friend of mine told me before I left
    on my first trip was don't hurry back home, all your friends
    will be doing the same old thing playing the same game of
    pool the only thing that will change is that they will
    either have a new girlfriend/boyfriend or another child. I
    would have to say what he said is so very true.
    I have found this tt very uplifting to see that I haven't
    gone insane because I am not happy to be back home. I've
    lost contact with a lot of people who I met while
    backpacking. There is nothing better than being able to talk
    with others who have travelled,it is really unfortunate when
    you come home from travelling excited wanting to share it
    with your friends just realise they have no idea

  132. Lorinda Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Thu 7 Jan, 20:38 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I just came back here for a peek and am pleasantly
    surprised this post is still up and going. Am glad you
    liked it too.. I wish you a beautifull trip Lorinda. Enjoy
    it, and come back once in a while to tell us about those
    far away sunrises to lift our spirits, girl!

  133. Home is adventure too Added by: Tone
    [Timestamp: Mon 15 Feb, 14:02 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    This is the greatest thread I've read on tt.
    But why all the worries over getting away from home? Try to
    remember the feeling you had when you were travelling -
    open, honest, free, excited - seeing new things, places,
    people each day.
    I have travelled around Europe, Africa, Asia and I'm now
    living in Sydney. I too feel the longing to get out on the
    road again and I often do (Nepal in April here I come). But
    sometimes, for whatever reason (usually money) I can't go.
    Do I get depressed? No. I travel - at home. I live in one of
    the great cities of the world - yet so many people here want
    to go away for a holiday and never see their own
    city/country. So now I grab the lonely planet guide to
    Sydney and go do some backpacker stuff in my own home. I've
    met people from all over the world who know nothing of their
    own home towns. Okay so it not as exotic as India maybe but
    people come from all over the world to catch a Sydney
    harbour ferry and many Sydneysiders never do it. This goes
    the same for any city.
    Remember those feelings - be open to people like you were
    when you travelled (I always say hi to the person next to me
    on the bus - gets some intrested responses!), I meet heaps
    of travellers doing stuff around Sydney (sailing etc).
    After all, even when your travelling you have to pay for
    accomm. - isn't that all a mortgage is? Get over the
    terminology and enjoy exploring your own world as much as
    you enjoy exploring other people's.

  134. Off you go! Added by: Sigurd Thorleiffson
    [Timestamp: Sun 28 Feb, 9:54 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Hi there, and interesting posting!
    Before I used to travel to explore and be challenged. Nowadays Iam still on the road but now the main reason is the incredible feeling of total freedom it gives me. No worries, just floating and taking it a day by day. Perhaps this was a bit offtrack, but anyway I gave up my job at a age of 25 and have travelled ever since (been 8 years now), you dont need a lot of money, what you need is plenty of connections (friends abroad), plenty of time, and what I would call (selling and buying skills, you will learn this along the way, nothing to it just experience and contacs which you will get plenty off)) these factors together will make you bee able to travel for a very long time (I guarantee it). Get som starting cash and off you go, enjoy and learn (but remember you cant be fuzzy about your living standards, but I guess you know that from your own experiences).

  135. nina Added by: still in time?
    [Timestamp: Tue 9 March, 1:01 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    What happens when nobody writes again? This thread will
    disappear? I still have 60 parts to reed .
    I'm crawling up now from a post-travelling-depression and my
    next trip is in my mind, but this time I will do it
    different. Probably this summer I can start as a guide in
    India/Nepal. Work and make some money while travelling.
    Maybe an idea for all those who want to travel but need the
    Lou, I'm from Holland as well and it's good to know I'm not
    the only dutchy coping with these-travelling dilemma's.

  136. ... Added by: Kat
    [Timestamp: Tue 9 March, 14:28 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Where did Lou go???

  137. .. is now back in town.. Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Thu 18 March, 4:04 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    hi everybody..
    I've been away for 6 weeks, and have just returned home..
    Couldn't resist taking a peek here.. Making lots of typo's
    too, haven't seen a PC all that time.. it was wonderfull!!
    No time today, shall return here in a couple of days..

  138. welcome back Added by: nina
    [Timestamp: Fri 19 March, 21:27 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Lou, do you feel more at home already in Holland, since you
    wrote in august. I've just read all the letters a few weeks
    ago, wondering how you do at the moment.

  139. hi everybody.. Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Sun 21 March, 6:30 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Where was I?
    Well, it's a long story.. Let's see if I still have so many

    I had been on sick-leave for nearly a year.. going from
    being a thoroughly unhappy couch potato with a reverse
    wake/sleep pattern to some little movements without any
    real joy.. .. things were slowly improving, but still not
    good enough to resume work and actively take up living
    again.. let alone 'like' what I did or feel happy..
    Something had to happen for me to 'wake up".. and it did!

    I found a 'school of life' in the south of Holland, which
    offers a health programme aimed not only at achieving a
    change in people's life (which is temporary) but at
    achieving transformation (permanent).
    That's what I needed and that's what I wanted.. but I
    couldn't do it alone. I really got all the help I needed
    too. My employer even payed half the expense so I could go
    there.. (I'm still amazed they did that)
    So I signed up for a 40-day stay in their Phoenix project,
    Phoenix being a bird who wants to reproduce but can't
    because there's only one of them.. In order to reproduce
    new life, he needs to die.. He builds himself a nest,
    flaps his wings so hard it causes sparks and he burns.. and
    out of the ashes arises a new young fresh Phoenix bird..

    The school is originally based on Sufi tradition, but is
    there to welcome people from all kinds of life.. They are
    housed in the country-side in a wing of an old convent (but
    they are no monks) surrounded by beautifull (veggie)gardens
    and garden of silence. Everybody follows a strict
    dayprogramme, meaning getting up at 5.30 AM and finishing
    at 10 PM.. The day was filled with (Kundalini) yoga, body-
    work, walks, cycling, garden-work, study, group
    conversations, help in kitchen, maintenance of the house
    (sounds nice, but it's lots of cleaning and polishing,
    really) singing, dance, music etc.

    In short, I have been living the past 40 days with 15 other
    people (age 24-60 and different backgrounds and life-
    A few of the things that touched me:
    You HAVE a body, you ARE more than that..
    You HAVE feelings, you ARE more than that..

    Don't start by hiding away when you're in pain.. come along
    and THEN ask for what it is YOU need.. Don't run away from
    your pain, your fears, your hurt.. Look at it, and don't
    judge yourself.. That's who YOU are.. Listen to your pain,
    it wants to tell you something.. Don't hide from it, don't

    Don't get stuck in that small world your personality (your
    ego) likes for you to have.. You HAVE a body, you ARE more
    than that.. Don't get yourself drowned in life-pain, in
    pain caused by a tiny moment in time, in your life.. Let
    them go.. There are other moments, welcome every one of
    them.. Take along your mood in every moment, it doesn't
    matter.. Live each moment to the fullest, take them onto
    you.. Let them go each day, welcome the new ones each
    morning.. Let go, embrace the new.. let go, embrace.. Even
    dull or sad, scary or nasty events allow you to learn, tell
    you who you are.. if only you dare to listen to yourself in
    THIS moment, NOW.. Live and show us WHO you are.. Don't
    hide.. Don't swallow your tears, your pain, your
    sensitivity.. it tells YOU who YOU are and also has
    something to tell US..
    ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~
    My life had often consisted of words, many words, about my
    past, my trips.. But I never allowed myself to live the
    present moment as intense as I continued living the past..
    out of pain, out of fear, so many fears.. Fear of others,
    fear of myself.. I had lots of small and big
    confrontations while I was there, with others sometimes,
    but most of all with myself..

    Away from it all, away from everything.. and what I found
    was.. myself.. and many, many times more than that.. I'm
    still overwhelmed by what has been given to me there.. the
    gift of my life... LIFE itself..

    I only need to allow myself to FEEL what I feel.. to stop
    sticking an immediate negative judgment to whatever I
    feel.. and to dare show myself to others as in who it is
    that I am.. Then I can stop turning myself in a twist..

    I have been looking for myself in small and big journeys
    all over the world, and I found myself HERE.. the only
    place where I never wanted to be.. here, in THIS moment..

    My life has now taken a completely different turn as to
    where it WAS going.. suddenly it's filled with so many
    things, that I will have to empty other things out that
    don't have any use anymore.. I feel so quiet now even
    though my heart's fuller than it has ever been.. I don't
    need so many words anymore.. although this note to my
    lonely planet friends makes me wonder.. But I had to share
    with you the MAIN message which rocked ME during my 40-day
    Life is not a stay.. life is a journey in itself..
    hugs to all of you

  140. where is it Added by: nina
    [Timestamp: Mon 22 March, 23:51 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Lou, I'm impressed by your journey. Never heard of it
    before, although I know there are so many spiritual-trips
    (don't know how to descripe them), even in Holland.
    I realy feel I have to get out for a while. (Not overseas)
    How did you find this school of live? Can you give me an

  141. Nina Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Wed 24 March, 1:07 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I knew I needed a change and that I needed to leave my
    surroundings to achieve that.. I made a list for myself,
    WHAT it was I that I wanted to change, WHAT could help me
    do that and WHAT sort of a place I wanted to find. I
    mentioned this to a few people around me..
    The brochure was handed to me the same week, along with a
    few other brochures and ended up.. on a pile. Every time I
    saw this brochure, I put it aside, thinking no, this seems
    too "stiff" type a thing.. but every time it kept re-
    appearing at the top untill I finally sat down to read

    This place isn't magical: it doesn't have solutions for
    people's problems, it can not fight what are YOUR battles
    to fight.. but I found it does hand you tools to help YOU
    find the answers to your questions, if you really want to
    know them.. If you're open to answers, you will hear them..
    because deep inside you already know them, YOU have all the

    Nina, I'll be in touch..
    All the best

  142. lou Added by: raman
    [Timestamp: Thu 25 March, 0:54 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    when are you coming to india again??

  143. heeeey? Raman? Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Thu 25 March, 5:44 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Raman, how ARE you? Long time no hear!!

    When I'll visit India again? Funny question.. It had to be
    asked, I know.. Well, I have no idea. Whenever it is time
    for me to go again, I think.. (Which it is not today.. )
    Today I don't feel so much need to know WHEN that's going
    to happen anymore, I'm quite fulfilled being where I am
    right now..

    One of the things that I experienced over the past weeks,
    is that if one has a true desire, it will come towards you,
    out of an unexpected corner and at a moment you least
    expect it, and it will steer you towards what was your path
    to begin with.. No matter how many things your body wants
    to do, as long as you physically chase it, you will feel a
    sense of loss, unhappiness, incompleteness..

    So I'm now more on the look-out for what it is that's
    coming my way, TOWARDS me, instead of me chasing after my
    desire.. Who knows what life has in store for me, once I'm
    attentive to its gifts?

  144. It just occurs to me.. Added by: Lou
    [Timestamp: Thu 25 March, 5:56 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    .. that maybe I've already been answering my own original
    What I was seeking all over the place was.. myself: the
    only thing that prohibited me from living a full life no
    matter where, no matter how.. And now I've found myself..
    AND without realizing it: the answers to my many questions
    since August!
    Golly gosh.. another one.. I've been told many times that
    all the answers (and the questions) already are inside
    myself, waiting to be touched and awakend.. but every time
    I'm stunned when it proves again to be so..

  145. lou Added by: raman
    [Timestamp: Fri 26 March, 18:29 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    hmm...doesn't it feel good to know that you have answers.
    for whatever questions.
    i think there's an adage : problem identified is problem
    i guess all along you knew the problem, hence you always
    had the solution, we merely helped you sift it from the
    i am glad you are at peace with yourself. have a happy life!

  146. IT'S OVER Added by: CUBAN
    [Timestamp: Tue 18 May, 4:16 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    It's over for you. Good to hear about your job and house
    but, the bug has bitten. I too am settled and can't get
    away. But I wake up everyday and wan't to catch the next
    plane out to anywhere. Anywhere but to work. There's so
    much out there and here I am sitting and typing away at my
    computer. I think of India, Italy, Cuba, Greece, Africa.
    I'm keeping my eyes open for a job in another country.
    All I really want to do is travel. Meet diff people, eat
    diff foods, read, learn. Know what I mean?
    God it is so true
    "My education was interrupted by my schooling."
    I think Bernard Shaw said that. Or was it Mark Twain?
    Who ever it was they were right. I'm giving myself about
    three years and then taking the plunge. I'll see what will
    Be strong and forget these nimrods who think that amassing
    materialism is the answer to all our desires.
    We know better so hold on fast to that back pack and travel
    whenever you get the chance.

  147. Stop Whining Added by: Voice of Reason
    [Timestamp: Sun 6 June, 0:23 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    You've been places and done things that 99% of the earth's
    population can only dream of, but you still find it
    neccessary to whine. No, Lou, there is no life after
    backbacking. End it all now. Shuffle off this mortal coil,
    and put us out of your misery.

  148. The Voice of Flawed Reason Added by: Cuban
    [Timestamp: Thu 17 June, 11:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    That's what makes us alive/aware of our planet. Let me
    tell you that there are people out there who choose not to
    discover what's around them.
    He is not whining, he is merely constrained by a system
    that so many have voluntarily acquiesced to.
    He knows what is out there and chooses to explore it. He
    is not complaining about life only, at his loss of freedom
    to explore, a very basic human instinct.
    "Reason" with yourself and you will find the same.

  149. Whining Added by: VOR
    [Timestamp: Thu 17 June, 22:46 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Balderdash. She's whining. Either stay on the road (or as
    the Cuban might say, fight the class struggle for the good
    of personal freedom), or stay at home and appreciate what
    you have done, and can still do. Once again, 99% of the
    people on this earth will never have the opportunities and
    experiences that she had. It's whining, and your comments
    are merely highly toned rationalization for whining.

  150. Ulysses Added by: Big Ross
    [Timestamp: Sat 26 June, 14:15 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    I don't think I'm eloquent enough to add anything
    meaningful to this inspiring and entertaining thread, but I
    know someone who was:
    "I am a part of all that I have met:
    Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
    Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
    For ever and for ever when I move.
    How dull it is to pause, to make an end
    To rust unburnished, not to shine in use,
    As tho' to breathe were life......"
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  151. what for a responce Added by: philip
    [Timestamp: Sun 11 July, 2:44 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Well Lou I must say you did a good job starting of this
    I just came back from australia and singapore three month
    ago and it was the first time I did some backpacking.Even
    so I`f been to canada and the US it was the best time I
    had.And I met my love in singapore on my last day there.I
    went back to switzerland and she went on to australia and
    NZ.I got back home and I just hatted it it was cold and
    miserable, so I desidet that I go back to australia to met
    up with the girl I fell in love with in singapore.I stayed
    for 5 week`s and had a other fantastic time but I had to
    come home again (because of a job) and she stayed for a
    other two month.
    Well now I am moving over to england were she comes from
    and getting a place together and I`m going to be a dad.
    And now it seamed that I^ll fall into a routine like
    everybody else buy a house have a dog and work for the rest
    of my life.
    But we decidet against all this and still want to go
    traveling all over the globe and with a baby. I know it
    will be very dificult but I couldnt imagine a live in the
    stereotipe world. Like most of you I miss traveling a lot
    and it isnt easy living the live we do but atleast we have
    the chance to travel into foreign country`s like one
    responce wrote most people never get the chance to do though
    I`m not giving up nore shoud you,and keep on dreaming it
    work`s with me and to be honest keeps me alive in this
    world.Though maybe we will see eachother on our travel.
    It would be very usefull if any of you had experiance
    traveling with children,and could share them with me.
    Especialy in Nepal and Tibet as thous are the two country`s
    we would like to go first.
    thanks for any help. and happy dream`s

  152. Finding the balance Added by: Traveller
    [Timestamp: Mon 19 July, 1:26 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Nice topic, and I've enjoyed reading the responses. Glad
    you've found the answer, Lou: it's within yourself. I've
    lived, at different times, on three different continents -
    North America, Asia and Europe. In each place, there've
    always been moments when I've felt hugely depressed, and
    wanted to chuck it all up and go to Peru, or Polynesia, or
    Spain; to be on the road again. I'd imagine myself getting
    to grips with a new country, starting all over again, and
    I'd be excited.
    This is what I've realised since:
    I need to travel to keep my horizons open. The world is
    huge, and it's sad and unsatisfying for me to limit my whole
    life to one corner of it.
    But. Time zones, clothes, climates and cultures differ.
    Human nature, once you strip away all the differences caused
    by these factors, doesn't. You will learn an enormous amount
    - and change, hopefully for the better - when you exchange
    your daily life in one country for another, assuming you
    live there with an open mind.
    Sometimes, though, the longing to get away from it all has
    less to do with the routine/materialism/bad weather or
    whatever in the place you live, and more to do with what's
    inside your head. So whether you're in Holland or Peru, if
    you carry your same self along, you could go around the
    world and still never find what you're looking for, to
    paraphrase the song.
    I know I'm enormously lucky to be able to travel at all -
    whether it's for two weeks to two days, to a city a
    four-hour drive away or to the other side of the world.
    Some people have said they make friends travelling and their
    friends at home aren't on the same wavelength. The friends
    you make travelling could be your next door neighbours, whom
    you've just never seen in the light of friends.
    I don't mean to simplify things or to deny that wanderlust
    exists. One of the reasons I'm on this site is because I am
    a traveller, and will always be. I've travelled for short
    times in diverse countries, and have experimented with
    living in places I've enjoyed travelling to. In the end, my
    experience has led me to this:
    Carpe diem; enjoy what you can where you're at; keep on
    dreaming, and do what you can to make your dreams come true;
    keep the memories and create new ones. If you can afford to
    chuck things up where you are and go where you've been
    dreaming of going, do it, when you're sure of the reasons
    why. When you've been honest with yourself, chances are the
    magic of

  153. Post travel blues Added by: Louis
    [Timestamp: Sun 26 Sept, 8:22 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    So i found that I have the bug since two year now. Let me
    explain why I have the bug and why I didít have it before.
    I begin backpacking at the age of 16 and it was in the
    70ís. At that time I didít have the blues when i come back
    home because everything was changing and worth to be change
    so we can live in a better world. I get active in the
    community like 60 year traveller (post# 103) tell us to do
    and I was very active in that way. At that time racialism,
    violence, and all this kind of bullshit was goind down the
    drain and narrow mind people were gasping for a little
    breath. It was the time the post war baby boomer, the
    generation before me, go down the street to fight for a
    better world for everyone. Time past and the baby boomers
    settle for a life with a good job with very big money,
    married, and have childrens. These baby boomers are the
    major group of age in north america. The time past mid 80
    and 90ís, and look what kind of life we live here in north
    america, a better life, I donít think so. Now the only real
    god they pray these day (I mean the real one) is MONEY,
    MONEY,MONEY and I see no end to that because these baby
    boomers are stille the majority here (Quebec, Canada) and
    they have the political weight so they still have a big
    influence on the community.
    These dayís you have to behave ę politicaly correct Ľ by
    their standard and behave like the majority, have a good
    job etcÖÖÖ. Any step a side and they want you to be in line.
    They donít want a house for battered women in their
    neigbourhood because they donít want the value of their
    house to lower because of it. They donít want to know if
    the product they buy at low price are coming from a country
    where people are struggling to put something to eat for the
    kids on the table so they can pay a lower price. These days
    we live in a more violent, racist and narrow mind society
    here in north america. I find a good job to but didít stop
    fighting so everyone can have is little place in the sun.
    In february 98 I decided to make a trip to asia, Thailand,
    because I have not travel in asia, only in north and south
    america. I fall in love with asia and I very enjoy this
    trip and it open my eyes, thereís something else than the
    way of north america. When I get back here, I have fall in
    a big post travel blues and have try to understand the
    meaning of that and I didít beleve what was happening to
    me. Let face it I have a good paying stable job, I am not
    married but in love with a very great women, was in love
    with a other one before we two children to raise and enjoy
    every minute of it, what can I ask more. I start looking
    around to find what kind of life people were living and
    didít like what I found. They all worship the god MONEY
    even the money they donít have, buy now pay next year. The
    guys I work with are all married so they make pressure on
    me to do so even if they are not happy in there life, they
    ask me to cut my 5 inchs pony tail so I can be like them so
    I come back to the rank. So for a year I try to found what
    was great here and what they are searching in life. They
    all want to save money for retirement to travel, to go
    fishing etc Ö.. Last february, I have go a other time in
    Thailand with the women I love just to find when we come
    back here, that the two of us have the post travel blues
    again even if we enjoy the great trip in Thailand. Since
    february, I have try to find a answer to that, soon the
    life have giving me a part of the answer and Thailand to.
    In 7 months that I have come back, 4 friends of me past
    away, two by illness and two by accident, that shake me a
    lot, these friends were in their early 40ís, I am 40 to,
    and they work hard to make a good life and they all want to
    make great thing when they retire and want to retire as
    soon as possible. That strike me right between the eyes,
    they all wish this and that and make this and that in the
    future and they didít make it to their future. So I
    understand something in that, in Thailand they are very
    religious people and in Buddhist you donít found your
    nirvana by wishing to do or make that in the future you
    have to have sanuck in every moment of your life. That to
    strike me, and it change my life and the life of my
    girlfriend. We donít know when our life will end, next
    morning, next year, no-one know, so we live by that now and
    we gone to travel a lot and enjoy every moment of it. I now
    have a goal in my life and I donít undergo post travel
    blues, I will still travel a lot and longer, in fact I am
    back from the travel agency to negociate my next plane
    tickets for Thailand and Vietnam and it feel great.
    I have enjoy very much the previous posts in this thread
    and I hope you all find your the goal in your life.
    P.S. to the Lockley family
    I am a little jalous that I have not do that with with my
    parents when I was young, I think I would love every minute
    of it.
    I have really enjoy your web pages and I wish you luck and
    lot of travel with the family.
    This site and this thread make me beleve internet is a good
    thing for the world because some time because of the
    flaming and all the bullshit you can found on it, I have

  154. travel thoughts Added by: sam
    [Timestamp: Sat 9 Oct, 18:43 Tasmanian Standard Time]

    Thank you for these interesting postings.
    I am astounded by the number of people who have similar
    obsessions with travel.
    1. All year I think about travel and plan my next trip
    2. I always get this feeling of wanting to be "somewhere
    3 I enjoy trains/buses just for the feeling of movement and
    I like to watch thing pass by the window on buses
    4. The Indian subcontinent holds a particular attraction to
    5. I genuinely like cheap hotels
    6. My idea of fun is being on a crowded bus with chickens
    somewhere in the Himalayas
    7. I am always theorising about the perfect trip/what to
    8. I can't sit still
    Although I do kind of enjoy my real life though!
    Lightheartedly I believe this may fit into some kind of
    syndrome. Can anyone suggest a name. What about Compulsive
    Movement Disorder, Thali-Chapati-Manali Syndrome
    Has anyone seen this rather bizzare german documentry on
    the hippie trail to afghanistan in the 60's. It had
    archival footage combined with a modern repeat journey and
    had footage of dead and dying hippie junkies in
    afghanistan. It is the most disturbing film I have ever
    seen. The final line was about not trying to change any
    society but your own. I was so scared I wanted to stay
    Cheers Sam

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