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Usually when we hear the word 'disease' we instantly think of something dangerous, a force that seeks to destroy us, but as a patient who suffers from wanderlust - life isn't bad at all. Often it's travellers who appreciate experiences above material goods, people who constantly seek new travel moments to add to their memory library. Are you one of them? Let's find out just how badly you are affected! Read through the steps below. Do you recognise yourself?
Stage 1 - the early stage: Daydreams
It's a Monday morning, a new day and a new week, but all you can think about is how much you want to see something new. You are tired of your usual walk, tired of the office and tired of being in the same country. You daydream on your commute to the office, picturing yourself in a village in Madagascar or on a beach in Fiji and suddenly you hear the tunes from a Latin American song humming in the back of your mind, but nobody else seems to hear it. One question seems to squeeze your mind: "Is it just me?"
Stage 2 - light infection: When others do online shopping - you go on fly scanner
Lunch time! People are rushing out the door to eat lunch and do shopping, while other are browsing through online shops to figure out what they want to buy next. Instead of following the crowds, you find yourself going on fly scanner and travel websites, reminding yourself about your budget and counting the days to your next trip. Sometimes you might even feel the urge to get up and leave the office for good.
Stage 3 - moderate case: You know facts about most countries in the world
Whenever you find yourself in a conversation about travelling people always turn to you for tips and advice. You might not have seen many places yet, but you know all the facts about travelling and bits of country-specific information to satisfy your curious friends. There are evenings when you consider writing a travel blog or even publish a book about your experience - because you know so much that it's killing you!
Stage 4 - risk: The word 'career' reminds you of a cage
The reason you are working is purely to save up enough money to explore the world and the word 'career' seems strange to you. Your dream job is a position that allows you to see as much of the world as possible and whenever you weight the gains of future opportunity, you always think about the amount of new places and things you get to see and experience. Career-driven individuals who value materialistic goods are in your black book - it goes against your principles.
Stage 5 - danger zone: Your ultimate goal is to see everything
Before you die you wish to have lived as much as possible, having seen everything there is to see in the world and might have a bucket list or a world map full of pins marking the places you have visited. In fact, you sometimes wish to do so many things that you feel overpowered by the thought of not being able to do so. A clock is ticking, life is short and you are only human.
Stage 6 - high alert: You struggle to settle down
Your friends go house hunting with their partners. They get promoted, invest money and build up secure careers, worrying about your future, urging you to settle down in a job, have children and build up a decent life. The problem is that your idea of a decent life defers from the vast majority and sometimes this thought overwhelms you with a sense of loneliness and the only cure is to travel. Your friends and family don't always understand this restlessness that is pulling you towards airports and train stations, making you fill out visa applications on a regular basis. You can't imagine having children and settle down. It scares you more than the idea of diving with sharks.
Stage 7 - severe case: You are unable to stop
After years of trying to come to terms with your restless nature and love of travel, you have decided that you don't care. You will travel the world forever and go from job to job without bothering about the day tomorrow. Your ultimate goal is to see everything, it's your calling and you won't turn away.
Did you recognise yourself in all seven of them? That's a clear sign. You are hereby a confirmed wanderluster, doomed to travel the world and seek new experiences for the rest of your life whilst immersing yourself in different cultures; a pulse constantly beating urging you to get out there and explore.
- By Caroline EdwardsSuggest a correction