I didn’t plan on being a traveler forever. I simply had a little wanderlust and thought that a year-long journey would scratch that itch I couldn’t get rid of.
I would travel around the world, see some cool places, do a few cool things, and then I would return home to Canada and get a big girl job, buy a car and a house and live a happy life having had amazing experiences.
Boy, was I wrong.
I did come back to Canada. I even (haphazardly) tried to get a big girl job.
But something was missing…. I wasn’t done.
I never got to eat Japanese food in Tokyo, or see the Northern Lights, or visit the Egyptian pyramids, or hang out with wild gorillas, or volunteer in Africa….
There are so many things that I want to see and do in this world that I don’t know if I’ll ever truly be ‘done’.
I think it happens to a lot of people… they get a little taste, and then they’re addicted. It’s all you can think about when you’re not traveling — and even though you hate it sometimes, you can’t help but dream about doing it forever.
Rory and I knew it when we were traveling, moving to Vancouver was part of our grand plan to roam indefinitely, but somewhere along the way we got lost. We forgot about the end goal and lost track of what we wanted.
Sitting in our office (read: living room) this past fall, we were complaining about how we sit around in our apartment working all the time but can’t afford to do anything because this city is so damn expensive. Then, we remembered… we work for ourselves so that we can do it from anywhere in the world. We don’t have to live here if we don’t want to.
We like to roam around aimlessly… we like to live in different locations… we like to see and do new things.
We are Roamaholics.
And now that we’ve remembered it, we are working hard towards getting back out on the road. We finally feel like ourselves again and are keen to share our passions with others.
We’re looking for others who can relate. Are you a Roamaholic? If you’re nodding your head in agreement to any of the following fifteen signs that you’re addicted to travel, then you too are at least part Roamaholic. If not… hmmmph… really? I don’t know what to say… you might not enjoy this blog.
1. Sometimes you virtually plan a Round the World trip on One World or Star Alliance without any immediate plan to go there, simply because you find it fun.
If it’s not that, it’s reading guidebooks, studying maps, and researching new places. You can’t help but always be planning your next adventure.
Or, if you’re a recovering shopaholic like me, you virtually shop for new travel gear you have no intention of purchasing…
2. You buy clothing for its function rather than style (but if you can find something that combines both, you’re super stoked!).
You’re entire wardrobe is the contents of your backpack — every item serves multiple purposes. You’re prepared for any conditions at all times, no matter where you are in the world.
You likely buy Icebreaker, the North Face, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Uniqlo and other active-lifestyle targeted brands — if you can afford it (that merino wool ain’t cheap).
3. You’re a penny-pinching pro — how else would you afford to travel?
Speaking of saving… you’re meticulous about saving for your travels. You probably live somewhat minimalistic and seriously consider every purchase you make before making it. You only like to spend your hard-earned money on things that are actually necessary and not materialistic possessions, leaving you more moola for island hopping or sight-seeing.
You choose to travel cheaply rather than extravagantly so that you can travel longer and more authentically.
4. You’d rather spend your savings on a long-term trip than a mortgage.
Where’s the fun in ‘settling’ down? The thought of being confined to one location indefinitely probably gives you shivers.
You diligently save for your adventures, and it is on the top of your priority list.
5. Your news feeds, bookshelves, playlists and watch lists are filled with tripspiration.
You follow several travel-related news sites, magazines, blogs, pin boards, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, Instagrammers, YouTube channels, Vimeo accounts, or informational source of choice. Talk about information overload!
You consume books, music and movies that fuel your passion. You read the likes of Jack Kerouac, Tim Cahill, and Paul Theroux . You’ve watched movies like ‘The Beach’, and probably even been there too. You get lost in photo sets on the internet.
Pick your poison — but you have to get your inspiration somewhere, right? How else would you stay motivated to save up for your next big trip?
6. You have a massively long bucket-list that you can’t stop adding to.
If you’re going to achieve all of these life goals of yours, you need to get crackin’ — you’re proactively working towards accomplishing your deepest desires be it travel, work, relationships, etc..
Part of the mindset of be a lifestyle designer is always working towards your personal and business goals, you strive for balance in life and work, you aspire great things and work hard to make them a reality.
…and if you aren’t designing a travel lifestyle for yourself, you’re interested in or are working towards it.
7. You’re familiar with the term passive income and aspire to achieve it.
You’re interested in becoming a solopreneur or entrepreneur (or already are one). You study others who are doing business on the road such as the Tropical MBA, the Anywherists, and the Suitcase Entrepreneur. You read business books and blogs giving advice on achieving your career goals while simultaneously achieving your travel goals and joining the ranks of the digital nomad. It’s a win-win, really.
8. You count the number of stamps on your passport or countries you’ve been to.
Even the people that claim not to, do. We all know it. Just because their not toting the number around, they secretly keep track and are giddy at the thought of adding one to the list.
Sure, the higher number of countries you visit does not relate to the number of memorable experiences you have… but it still makes you happy to add another one to the books.
9. You get stir crazy when you’re in the same place for too long.
You just know that there is so much more out there to discover, and you feel like you’re missing it if you stay put. You’re passionately curious and seek adventure at all possible costs. Without it, you’re a mess.
“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert (image source)
10. You have a growing list of friends in different countries all over the world.
Those quick, bonded relationships happen so often on the road, that you end up with a network of friends all over the globe. You love making new friends and sharing stories of your adventures with other travelers.
You make so many friends along the way, it’s hard to keep track of where everyone is!
11. One of the first things you ask people is “where are you from?”.
You’re always curious to spark of conversation with someone foreign. When you hear someone with an accent, you want to find out if you’ve been where they’re from and chat about it. If you haven’t been there, you want to know what it’s like and if you should add it to your list.
12. You can’t comprehend someone’s lack of desire to travel.
“But what do you mean you never want to travel?!”
“Hmmm…. I don’t get it.”
13. You know how to order a beer (or beverage of choice) in at least three languages.
Even if you suck at learning languages, you probably have a desire to immerse yourself in new cultures and at least attempt to learn some of their foreign tongue. One of the gifts of traveling is making friends all over the world, and speaking to locals is the best way to find out more about the area, and the lesser known gems to discover.
Without trying to learn the language of the place you are visiting, you’re putting up a wall between yourself and the culture. You are simply visiting and not immersing; you are a tourist and not a traveler.
Speaking of which…
14. You identify yourself as a ‘traveler’ rather than a ‘tourist’.
Even though we all know they really are the same thing. You are a foreign person, touring another country, contributing to their tourism dollars, therefore you are a tourist.
That being said, you differentiate yourself on the premise that you visit another country and really try to get to know it and understand it. You opt for education and exploration-based travel rather than sitting on a resort for your trip, without leaving the compound.
You eat where the locals do, take the local transportation, and tour independently as much as possible.
15. You don’t always know where you will be in six months, let alone six weeks.
Many nomads have the tendency to be very spontaneous. Nothing can always go according to plan and sometimes opportunities come up, or you hear about somewhere awesome that you can’t resist changing your plans for.
The ability to bounce around is part of the fun and the appeal of being a traveler, (and of being in control of your freedom in general).
I’ll admit I’m not all of these, all the time. But I don’t think you need to be either. Traveling is not an easy hobby, things go wrong, you make mistakes, and sometimes you need a break to re-coup and remember why you love it in the first place.
Without a doubt, travel will always be a part of who we are, and admitting it was the first step to designing the life we want. A life full of travel and adventure.
Does any of this sound like you? Welcome! Please introduce yourself in the comments