The Travel Bug Nightmare

If you have not travelled yet, and when I say travel I don’t mean leaving your house to the nearest Sephora. No, I mean hopping on a plane and travelling to a place that is outside your country and your comfort zone. So if you haven’t travelled yet, firstly it is never too late, and secondly I’m about to warn you about the insane nightmare you get when you do travel, I like to call the travel bug.

Hiba Hammoud

Student, Deakin University

A little background about me, I’ve hopped on a plane 15 times in the last 6 months, visited about 8 different cities and experienced 3 different cultures. What I have witnessed in terms of scenic views and all the ‘insta-worthy’ sites you can think of, is nothing you can imagine and would never be able to experience the same thing by sitting in a classroom, or in front of laptop watching Netflix (guilty!). So yes, this year I majorly caught the travel bug… and no it’s not an ebola or Zika virus (too soon?), it is simply this pestering bug you get when you have travelled way too much, more described like an addiction.

Symptoms of the Travel Bug

The symptoms are:

  1. Before your holiday is even over, you’re already thinking about “where next!?”
  2. You begin to suffer from post-travel depression when you get back home and you’ll start comparing everything at home to your holiday.
  3. Your conversations with people (until you leave again) will consist of “when I was in New York I did this” “yeah when I was in Dubai we saw this” “it’s so different in Lebanon compared to here”. Your friends won’t tell you, but trust me they will want to stop holding conversations with you because they’re sick of your travel talks… purely because they’re jealous.
  4. You’ll randomly sit in bed and just look at all your Instagram travel photos and your Facebook albums.
  5. While you’re completing an assignment you’ll procrastinate by hopping on to travel website to see how much it is to get to Paris, and then plan a whole itinerary that may never happen.
  6. You’ll constantly do throwbacks of photos you took overseas over a year ago.
  7. The major symptom is being broke every time you come back but still planning trips that aren’t feasible.

Having said that, I would much rather have the travel bug than the flu…I mean who wouldn’t!

In all seriousness, travelling is the best thing you could do, and I have learnt more while travelling than I ever learnt in school or in my regular social life at home.

“Kids on bicycle” mural by Ernest Zacharevic, George Town, Penang

Travelling gives you culture,
it creates long life memories

It creates friendships, it brings families closer together, it teaches you to be grateful everyday and more importantly it teaches you that there is more to life than the box you were built in. I’m not saying that the way you’re living is wrong, it’s just us humans do not cope with change well and we like to stick to things that we know. However, trust me when I say once you break that wall and leave your comfort zone you’re going to appreciate life a whole lot more, and value things more than you can imagine.

Love Lane, George Town, Penang

Times Square, New York

As much as the travel bug is an expensive curse, it is also a cure to a lot of issues. For example, if I never pressured my parents to let me travel alone:

  1. I would have never learnt what it means to make your own decisions and place trust in myself.
  2. I would not know what it means to be responsible over yourself and those around you.
  3. I wouldn’t have met the amazing people I call friends today.
  4. It would have taken me a long time before I could call myself independent if I never travelled.
  5. I would have never learnt how to adapt quickly to different environments, cultures and more importantly extreme climates.
  6. I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities if I never took the initiative and worked as hard as I did to afford to travel.
  7. I would have never gained the confidence and independence I have today at such a young age.
  8. More importantly, I would have never been able to come across the most beautiful views and landmarks if I remained in my tiny Melbourne box.

The travel bug is the only nightmare you want to have

Yes, travelling is expensive but it is also experience and memories you will never regret. I am not saying, go travel if you have $5 sitting in your bank account. Travelling is the complete opposite, it is hard work, whether you’d be travelling for school, for work or just a holiday, the opportunity will only come if you are constantly working hard for it.

I recommend everyone to go travel, see the world, meet new people, taste new food, experience different cultures, because trust me you will come back as a changed individual every time… for the better.

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