The travel bug bit me early on. It left me with itchy feet.
Looking back, the symptoms were easy to recognise. Even as a little tomboy, I took every opportunity to travel. Sure, it wasn’t far to begin with. Mostly a tour on a local bus. The transportation company was owned by my aunt’s family and she made certain that the drivers knew to make me feel welcome. Still, apparently on my first independent bus trip I was so nervous, I never even took off my coat, hat and gloves in the heated bus. Just sat tightly at the front of the coach, holding my bag.
The symptoms became more frequent growing up. I was a keen promoter for family trips. I did a three-week language course in Britain in my teens. Participated in a few international camps. Took the almost compulsory high school exchange year in the US. After I studied a semester in Korea at university and didn’t return to Finland for my own graduation, my parents must have realised that the travel bug had progressed from a mild bite to a stage where it was too late to call for emergency assistance. The symptoms were severe, when I packed up my bags and moved to Denmark. In total, that became a nine year trip with multiple destinations. My mother definitely wished that she had got me vaccinated.
In the recent years, I have finally learned to live with the travel bug. It is not simple with the relentless tingle. The usual methods of treating a disease do not apply. Forget about reducing risk factors, taking medications and going for regular check-ups. It’s all about natural remedies for managing this incurable, persistent craving to travel.
Consistent, small doses seem to work well. Even at times when I end up in financial or busyness cul-de-sac’s. This summer, we’ve made the conscious effort to explore our new home town. One neighbourhood at a time. Additionally, every weekend, there’s been a trip to the seaside. With our inflatable SUPs packed into the boot of the MINI, we’ve ventured to and sampled the best coastal destinations England has to offer. I now also experience everyday adventures on my yoga mat, read books and cook exotic foods. At the same time, I accept the reality of the disease – lapses and relapses. Isn’t all this just a temporary substitute for the next big trip?