Backpacking can quickly consume your life – first you’re exploring further form home, the next thing you know everything you own is in your rucksack and you haven’t set foot on home soil for over a year. It creeps up and takes over everything you think about…
Not sure if you’re a travel nomad yet?! Here’s 10 signs you’ve got the travel bug bad…!
1) Being in One Place Doesn’t Work For You
It might seem obvious, but whether it is for better or worse, restlessness is definitely becoming a trend in your life. It’s the first thing that tips people off to your nomadic ways, and it is a handy excuse for your constant moving. Even day to day you want to get out into the world and see what there is on offer. Sitting around and passing time without purpose? No thanks! If you arrive somewhere, you can guarantee you won’t stay long before that gypsy blood of yours is pushing you back out to adventure.
2) People Have Stopped Trying To Keep Track Of You
Once, when you we’re just a newbie nomad, your friends and family back home faithfully kept track of where you were and where you were heading next. Now they’re most likely to say you’re “On the road” or “Travelling around”. They’ve reached peak levels of either comical confusion or annoyance at your constant bouncing, and your habit of being gone by the time they figure out where you’ve just been.
3) It’s Completely Normal For You To Relocate Every Few Days/Weeks/Months
If people were to see your relocation history they might think you’re running from something, and their assumption is hardly without ground. You’ve hardly stayed in one place for long enough to know it or be known for longer than you care to remember. It’s not so much that you can’t decide where to go, but that every time you do make a decision, another option parades itself seductively around your travelling mind.
4) You Can’t Remember The Last Time You Held A Job Longer Than 3 Months
Your work history includes everything from sales and promo work to cleaning toilets in questionable hostels. You will, and in the past have, work any job that is going to help you get from Point A to Point B. And to be honest, you’re usually counting down the dollars until you have just enough to get moving again. It’s hardly a good look for your resume, but hey, at least it makes for an entertaining read!
5) Your Friend Group Has Representatives From Just About Everywhere
When you walk into a hostel, you can guarantee that on walking out your ranks of travelling friends will have grown. You aren’t always going to the same destinations, and you’re rarely travelling together, but its nice to see people suffering from all the same nomadic curses/blessings that you are. Keeping track of your global network on social media, they’re a little bit of inspiration, and a little bit of a challenge to stay exciting throughout your travels.
6) Seeing Old Friends On Facebook Getting Houses and Families Worries You
People you went to high school (and god forbid elementary school) with are buying houses, furthering careers, getting married and having babies. Updates from their lives via Facebook, in amidst the flood of traveling goodness from your nomadic friends, is bringing out some new emotions. It seems every time you’re internet AWOL while getting lost in the Amazon or running wild in South East Asia they’re making money and spawn like theres no tomorrow. And to be completely honest, it’s freaking you out.
7) You’re A Verifiable Expert On Flight and Hostel Comparison Websites
For some people having to book flights and accommodation is an annoyance, but to you it’s a challenge. Always you’re asking yourself: ‘what’s the lowest price I can get for this flight’ or ‘I wonder just how cheap I can get this room’. You’ve got a memorised list of hundreds of websites and databases guaranteed to save you money, and you can jump between them without a thought.
8) You Can Fit All Of Your Worldly Possessions Into One Bag
Ownership is hardly on the top of your list of priorities. You can acquire and dump possessions as you need to, usually based on how much you can be bothered to carry around at any one time. Those who’ve ever woken up hungover 10 minutes from checkout know the feeling of people totally unattached to anything that’s just too difficult to get into your bag. Impermanence is the name of the game, and you’ve taken it from its Buddhist roots right into the middle of backpacker heaven.
9) Anything in the Future Beyond Three or Four Months is a Mystery
Any notion of future plans gets you very quickly bouncing between two moods. The first is excitement: So many places to go and things to see, and you might have just enough money to do this and that, or to check out this random place. The second is complete and utter confusion: Let’s be honest here, you have no idea where you’re going to be three months from now, even next week is an open book, a plan written in pencil. But you know what? That’s just how you like it!
10) The Most Valuable Things You Own Are Memories From Your Adventures
The best thing about memories is they’re nice and light for a streamlined packing experience. Whether they’re photographs stored on handfuls of hard drives and USB sticks, or good old-fashioned memories blending in with dreams in the nomadic sponge of your brain, they’re the only thing you really care about now and in the future. You could stand to lose anything else, and you just might, but nobody can take back the memories you’ve had.