I love traveling. At the moment, nothing excites me more. Planning a new holiday makes me feel so alive, I can’t even believe it. But when did I become such a travel addict?
I was actually talking to one of my friends the other night, and I was telling him it’s crazy how priorities change. Sure, when I was young I would enjoy the summer beach holiday my parents and I would go on every year. But traveling has never been my top priority. A few years back, had I had… say $10k I would have gotten Lasik eye surgery and a breast augmentation. Whereas now, just my holidays this year will cost me more close to $10k. I guess I’m just going to stick to contact lenses and push up bras for a while longer.
Yeah, so when I was a kid I used to go on holiday every year with my parents. We are more the relaxing on the beach type of people, compared to the ‘traveler’ kind of people who want to explore everything. I guess even now, I am more of a tourist than a traveler, for my comfort is always a top priority. But as a kid, I never actually lived and breathed just waiting for the next holiday. They were always great, and relaxing (not that I was a stressed kid, by no means) and fun, but they never lit that spark inside of me. I guess the beaches in Bulgaria and Greece were not enough to start a new hobby.
In high school, I got involved in a few projects and went abroad a few times. I spent a few days in Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Slovakia, Spain and south of Turkey. I also had a bus stop over for a few hours in Vienna, Austria. They were amazing experiences, especially since I was staying at other students’ houses. But having teachers around me, a pretty set schedule and not so much freedom to explore the cities or stay out late didn’t make me fall in love with traveling either.
What else… Oh, in my teenage years my family and their friends would get together a couple times a year. They would rent a villa somewhere by the mountains and we’d spend a weekend together. I’ve always been lazy though. So I never really looked forwards to climbing a mountain or exploring nature. Don’t get me wrong, I think nature is gorgeous and I can appreciate its beauty. But all I learned in these weekend getaways is that I like to drink and dance. Nothing to do with traveling…
See, I think it’s also about the money. Until a year or so ago, I would have never dreamed of having more than a summer beach holiday a year. That’s probably because until recently I was not fortunate enough to have a decent income. I mean, how could I ever dream about traveling the world, when I didn’t even have money for a pack of cigarettes?
I am pretty sure it’s last year when something changed. Of course, I stuck with what I knew. I booked a week off work and planned a beach holiday in Tenerife. After a week of relaxing on beautiful black sand beaches, I came back and felt like I wanted another holiday. So I decided to go to Egypt in October. At first, I was going to go for another beach holiday in Hurghada, but then I realized that I cannot go to Egypt and not see the pyramids or spend a few days in Cairo.
These 2 holidays and a few weekend breaks to London were some of my 2016 highlights actually. I became aware that there’s something about traveling that I love. My travel bucket list was getting bigger and bigger, but I didn’t realize that I am getting addicted to it. I am pretty sure it actually clicked to me some time while I was in Dubai, or right after I came back from there. Yeah, that must be it.
I’ll drift away and tell you a quick story. Shortly after I came back from UAE, I happened to be around when 2 of my colleagues were having a conversation. One of them was telling the other: “You need to find a hobby.” Then he points to me and says, “she loves to travel. She lives for it.” And he was right. I do love traveling! How or when did this even happen? Or, why?
I love feeling free and independent. Since I travel alone (I’ll write about that sometime), I feel both of these things. I mean, I’m far from home and work, with nothing to worry about. If I want to lay on the beach, I lay on the beach. If I want to fly in a helicopter, I go ahead and do it. I’m tired, I have an early night. If I wanna take a taxi instead of having to deal with the overcrowded and smelly buses of Bucharest, then I sure as hell am gonna take the taxi. Doing all the things I feel like, without having to ask someone how they feel about it or what they want to do makes me happy. At it probably makes me sound anti-social A.F. but who cares.
Also, I don’t have to deal with the same routine over and over again. It’s good to get away and be in charge of my day. Plus, I don’t have to check in with everybody or deal with some no brainers I’m stuck with at work. Hell, if you read my ‘5 Odd Things I Do While Traveling‘ post, then you’d know I barely make the effort to check in with my mom, haha.
The other week, after I just came back from Tunisia, I was having one of these quiet nights at work. I had nothing to do and I wasn’t able to snap back into work mode. I’m not sure if I was having holiday blues, or what on Earth was going on with me, but I was as close to being a zombie as one can get. The worrying this is that I was in this no-drive, no-spark state of mind for 4 nights in a row. One thought led to another and then I realized I still have 2 days off work left to book. I thought, from September until February I have nothing going on. 5 months of work and no holiday… nope, I have to take a break somewhere in the middle. Okay, so Novembember it is…
I googled ‘Where is it hot in November?’ and one of the places that came up was Jamaica. I didn’t even think about it for too long, and my mood was already improving. Hell, I was starting to feel alive again. I started asking my colleagues what they thought about Jamaica, but then my friend said ‘make me jealous, go to Cuba’. Cuba? My brain went into overdrive thinking about that. My heart began beating a little faster. I suddenly felt so happy and excited trying to make a choice. Isn’t that what love does to you? Make you feel alive?
I became so eager that I started asking everybody, ‘What do you think? Cuba or Jamaica?’. In my head the choice had already been made. But if you know me, then you know that I like to ask people their opinion, even though it won’t influence my decision making. I decided to go to Cuba, even though the majority said Jamaica. I think it’s something about Cuba that excites me more. Of course, I’d love to go to Jamaica too. But when I think about these lovely cars and the colorful Havana, I just can’t not go.
I started planning my November holiday and I feel so enthusiastic. Also, I am going to Amsterdam next week and I can’t even control my excitement anymore, haha. I think I know when I realized I love to travel, but in fairness, all of my past experiences helped develop my passion. When I was a kid went on holidays with my parents I became aware that I like to chill and relax. And because I went on a few projects in different countries, that helped me open my mind a bit more. I know traveling is not everybody’s cup of tea. But I have to admit I still don’t understand how people go for years without taking a holiday!
I have to give credit where it’s due and let you all know that I started thinking about all of this when I read Reena’s story on how she got addicted to traveling.
So yeah, I love traveling. And in short, this is my story.
Do you love to travel? What is your favorite place that you’ve been to so far?
If you don’t like traveling, what is the one thing that makes you feel alive?
Until next time…