The Deadly Anticipation to Travel Syndrome

Well, not exactly deadly. Everyone who has prepared for a long trip has had this syndrome. Luckily treatable once you’ve left but the anticipation to travel can really get into our heads. This is the process of how this syndrome starts after you’ve made the decision to travel for a long period of time.

The first symptom is laziness. If you’re quitting your job to travel, you’ll find yourself doing less and less work each day that passes. Projects that are due after the day you leave are never started. It becomes worse as your boss asks you to make a yearly plan of what you’ll accomplish in the office. You hate having to lie but giving notice too early is not a good idea. Nobody can know and you feel like you have this hidden dark secret inside of you.

Every thought revolves around that day. You have multiple countdown clocks. Your desktop has a huge countdown timer and there’s a huge circle around that day in your house and at work. You start crossing off each day on the calendar, ripping pages off of anything existing after that day. If you’re leaving in May, nothing past that month exist in your calendar.

357 of 365: Crossing Off The Days by lism., on Flickr
357 of 365: Crossing Off The Days by lism., on Flickr

The only thing you can talk about is the preparation. Your friends are excited for you but think you’re crazy for leaving for so long. You think they’re crazy for not leaving. You find out it’s not contagious.

Family is half supportive and half not. One half thinks you’re getting it out of your system and the other half thinks you’re screwing with your future. You never how to answer “What are you going to do when you come back.” They’re not happy with “I don’t know.” This gives you more motivation to travel. You understand their concern but you’re convinced to travel.

You’ve researched countless hours. You know all the popular travel blogs. You close your eyes and imagine yourself in these destinations. Even in your sleep, you dream about it. Nothing else is on your mind but this trip you’re about to make. Wikitravel becomes your homepage.

Sacrifices are made to make this trip possible. There’s no backing out because you’ve already annoyed your entire group of friends and family that you were leaving. That’s when you realize you need more money. So you start to sell things and save money as if it were to save your own life. You bring your own lunch to work and skip going out often. Perhaps you’ve made bigger sacrifices such as selling your car or furniture. In that case, you’re full on thought of as a crazy person by everyone else. You’re okay with it.

10 Year Old Backpacking
My brother stealing my backpack to go travel the world

With only a few weeks to go, you did it. Suddenly, everyone is supportive. Although everyone still thinks you’re crazy, they add that extra line that makes you smile – “You’re so lucky, I wish I could do that.”

Now that your job knows, laziness is at full force and the partying begins. For the weeks that follow till you leave, you’re meeting with family and friends for that last drink before you leave.

One or two weeks left and you’re nervous. At least one thing goes wrong that rushes you from place to place. In fact, everything is making you nervous. You want to leave. After months or years of preparation, it’s really starting to annoy you.

Then you’re at the airport waving good bye to your family. Emotions rush and you’re hoping you’ve made the right choice.

You arrive at your destination with a sigh of relief. You’re now treated – at least for now.

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso travels around the world writing, photographing, and filming his adventures. He is the Editor-in-chief of Art of Adventuring.
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