People talk about the infamous “Travel Bug” like it’s a bad thing… and in some ways it really is.  The so called bug crawls its way into your cerebral cortex and spreads itself deep, poking and stimulating your hippocampus and amygdala with the emotions and memories from your previous life’s adventures.  Sometimes the bug strikes at awkward moments and distracts you completely when you need to be focused on something else.  Sometimes the bug comes out at night when you’re dreaming and reminds you of all the ridiculous things you attempted while exploring the world and finding your own identity.  Needless to say, there is only one solution and remedy to cure someone from the bug, and it’s travel.

The 3 reasons why you’ll love to hate the Travel Bug, and hopefully understand its purpose in your life.

3 amigos sailing in Greece

1. To remind you of the growth

Nothing stimulates personal development and growth, as much as travelling and experiencing the world around you.  When you push yourself to try things you normally wouldn’t, and force yourself to take charge of the journey, creating your own adventure, you experience a ton of growth.  Probably the most important, is the fact that you’re constantly adding to your own knowledge and understanding of the world around you.  Second to that, is the fact that that YOU are at the steering wheel of the adventure.  You get to follow and explore the things that attract your attention, while being guided by the curious inner child inside you.

Star gazing in Thailand

2. To remind you of the love

The travel bug doesn’t merely remind you that love exists; rather, it reminds you that love is universal, colourful, and can be felt in so many different ways.  Feeling loved from locals who invite you into their home, to feed you with no strings attached, just for the sheer ability to give and help a traveller out.  Feeling love from creating relationships with complete strangers that, after a long adventure and a couple of beers, become lifelong friends.  Feeling love from the connection between the earth, the ocean, the stars, Mother Nature, and everything in between, and letting yourself continuously fall in love with your surroundings like seeing something new for the first time.  The travel bug never lets these memories drift away because love is powerful, and the influx of love from travel is overwhelming.

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3. To put things into perspective

While at home working any kind of monotonous job that exchanges time for money, you can’t help but feel a bit awry.  It’s hard to ignore the itch of the travel bug when you feel cognitive dissonance with something at home in your “real life”, like a job you hate, for instance.  While travelling, if you don’t like something such as the food, the people you’re around, the place you’re staying at, the activity you’re doing, anything… you have the ability to listen to what you DO want, make some changes, and then have it.  The bug tickles your senses and keeps you mindful of your surroundings and your state of being.  By constantly comparing the experiences from abroad and the experiences at home, you’re left with a different understanding of what makes you happy and what does not… all thanks to the damn travel bug.

Being a goof at a wedding in India

So what can you do?

If you’ve got the thing, just try to stay positive, because life with the bug could be worse.  Imagine if it caused constant anxiety or instant stress upon arriving back home – that’d be the worst!  Fortunately, the travel bug is merely a metaphor, a made-up personified object that isn’t a real thing at all.  The bug, simply put, is your inherent desires to follow freedom and bliss after allowing yourself to taste only a small bite of the pie, to listen to only the chorus of the song, and to read only a page of the book.  The beautiful, mysterious world is right outside your window, and once you’ve tried exploring it once, you cannot deny yourself the constant itch the travel bug will bring you once you end up back home again.

If you can you should