I was born with the urge to travel. My German-born mother met and married my father when he was in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Germany. A few months before I was born, they moved to the U.S., where I have lived entire my life (so far). As a child, I traveled with my mother and brother to Germany every three years to visit my grandparents (“Oma” and “Opa”) and other family members and friends. This began my travel urge.
We visited for a month at a time in the summer, staying with family and doing a bit of low-cost sightseeing. As children, my younger brother and I could not wait to return to the United States and our friends. In the later years, these trips became more enjoyable and created a travel bug for me that I still have today.
My jobs have been in an industry that can require a lot of work-related travel. At one point, I was a project manager and then a sales support person, traveling nearly every week over a full decade. I soon became a frequent flyer road warrior. My work-related travels provided many opportunities to experience new places. The added benefit is that I still have travel points from those days to redeem when the personal travel urge strikes.
When in motion, I enjoy the opportunity to reflect on my travel urge
I’ve written that travel puts me into a meditative state that allows me to daydream and reflect on my life, zoning out in my thoughts. This is much easier to do when someone else is doing the flying or driving! When I’m on a long flight, looking at the large open spaces, I find it really relaxing.
Many of the places I have traveled are very different—in terms of culture, landscape and environment—from the small-town environment in which I grew up. Traveling has given me a sense of what the world has to offer, and a wealth of knowledge about different businesses and people. In fact, when I traveled a lot, it was a stark contrast from my simple daily life at home on the weekends.
Is the need to travel related to adventure or escaping?
I often wonder if my traveling was some form of escape from my everyday routine. Was I trying to leave behind problems and situations that I did not want to face? Did all my problems really go away when I traveled, or was it that I was focusing on new challenges that come from working in remote locations?
Traveling by choice is different from traveling for work. When we stop working for employers in our traditional jobs, my wife and I will take extended trips to visit new places. Enjoying a trip when we don’t need to escape from our jobs may bring a new dimension to travel. Who knows, maybe my travel urge was my way of simply escaping. Maybe I won’t need to escape once the challenges and grind of work are gone.
We have seen bloggers at Root of Good, JD Roth, Afford Anything, and Ralph Potts as examples of people who make travel a significant part of their lives. These folks have the travel urge—and they have found a way to scratch it! They seem to have adapted and modified their existing lifestyles to enjoy extended travel while continuing to work.
Our plans for satisfying the travel urge
For my wife and me, the next chapter of our lives will involve slow travel in our camper. We bought the used truck and trailer setup a little over a year ago and camped about 25 nights in it last year. This is something we feel would be enjoyable to experience with extended trips. When my wife stops working, we will be able to test this theory with a trip of several weeks while I continue to work remotely.
Our next trip will be back to beautiful Lake Pleasant in early March. We are looking forward to a five-night camping stay in this location, taking some time to hike the trails in the area. We will also drive to Scottsdale to enjoy the winter vacation scene and dining experiences for a day.
Prior to this camping trip, we will be on a seven-day cruise celebrating my milestone birthday. Cruising three or four weeks a year is something we expect to do for as long as it is fun and somewhat affordable. We have some additional cruising desires—Hawaii, Australia, Alaska, the Mediterranean, and a world cruise—on our bucket list.
We also plan to see many places in the world using a combination of flight miles and hotel points. I can see us potentially renting a place for a month or two in order to really slow the travel down and explore a new area.
Our travel will be a mixture of “roughing it” when camping (not too rough in a trailer), plus cruising, and quick and longer trips flying to distant locations. I can see our tastes changing once we have actually spent some years trying out the different ways to satisfy our travel urge.
I think that exploring the world together is going to be exciting!
How about you? Do you have the “travel bug”?