Life Travel The 10 best feelings only travellers understand

The 10 best feelings only travellers understand

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Struggling to bound out of bed each morning to embrace the working day? Tired of those same old faces, the mind-numbing commute, and the nightly TV line-up of renovations, karaoke and cooking?

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Here are 10 reasons why a travel addiction is the best vice you can have.

1. The countdown

There are very few things more exciting in this world than booking a ticket somewhere exotic – especially if the weather at home sucks. Any such booking should be followed promptly by a tour of your colleague’s desks and an oh-so subtle mention on Facebook.

“OMG, I’m going to ZANZIBAR/COLOMBIA/COSTA RICA!!!’ might be a good start, especially if you helpfully attach a picture of a palm-fringed, tropical beach far, far from here.

Your colleagues, family members and friends will surely appreciate a daily countdown, perhaps shifting to hourly as D-Day nears. The anticipation can sometimes be even better than the trip itself.

2. Putting your ‘out of office’ on

We all know and dream of that moment when, after wading through a last-minute mountain of work, we compose that magic message. The tone of your email will be somewhat reflective of your sheer relief at escaping. Once it’s on, there’ll be a noticeable spring in your step, as you swipe out of your air-conditioned office building, and into freedom.

3. The big arrival

Let’s skip the flying/customs/queue part and go straight to the good stuff. Walk out of that airport, smell the air and slip into a pair of shorts and thongs. You’re here, you’re in paradise – and now you’ve just got to figure out how to get to your hotel/hostel/treehouse. You don’t recognise ANYTHING at your destination.

Ooh, look at the different building, the cars, the signs, the people! Hopefully your taxi driver will only speak the local language and you’ll giggle excitedly as you proceed to mangle it (tip: the driver is not enjoying this as much as you, unless he’s managed a little meter swindle).

4. Forgetting what day it is

If you’re lucky and have crossed an international dateline, this might kick in immediately. If not, it will just be a matter of days until holiday vagueness slows that brain right down. Turn to your travelling friend/partner each day, and with a quizzical look on your face, ask: “Do you know what day is it?” Hopefully they won’t know either and this exercise can take up a pleasurable few minutes of your time.

5. No real world talk …

As the holiday vibe arrives, thoughts of any adult-related, real-life issues will dissipate over cocktails. Forget discussing mortgages, work, deadlines and nappy changes. No one cares. They’ll only want to know where you’re from, where you’ve been and where you’re going.

6. … and no boring chores either

Is there anything better than the smell of a freshly washed and folded load of washing, delivered to you at minimal cost, when you’re travelling and down to your last pair of undies? If you play it right, someone might also make your bed, cook your meals and drive you around, which is like a glorious return to teenage life.

7. Wearing whatever you want

One doesn’t like to brag, but I’ve been in Costa Rica for the past month, and my wardrobe has pretty much consisted of this: Monday – denim shorts, top, thongs. Tuesday – denim shorts, top, thongs. Repeat, switching to bathers at regular intervals. The more casual you look, the more you’ll fit right in. If you’re a lady traveller, pop in a side hair plait for extra effect.

8. Making tough choices

Don’t get too complacent though; there are hard decisions to be made, ALL THE TIME. For example, at which seaside café should you have lunch? Should you go surfing at high tide or low tide? Your friend wants to hire a bike, but you’d rather climb a volcano. Which is the correct choice?

9. Bored? Then leave

Commitment-phobics: take note. You’re travelling now, and you really don’t need to commit to anything. Arrive somewhere and don’t really like the people? Leave. Had your fill of beach/city/art galleries? Press on: there are more destinations waiting. If only real life was this easy-going.

10. The post-trip high

Forget the post-holiday blues, and swing back into your home city like you own the joint. For the next few days – or longer if you’re lucky – everything is new again. Revel in sleeping in your own bed and rediscovering your old clothes. Hug your family and friends and laugh modestly when people admire your tan.

That excitement and glow are bound to fade, but don’t worry, you can always head off again. So get planning!

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