Travel Lit

How do you know if you are a “Traveler”?

girl, suitcase and map
photo credit: katerha via photopin cc

I started reading Mary Morris’s book Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone while in Argentina last week and thought I’d share an excerpt that I felt spoke to the idea of travel addiction.

On page 22 – 23, Morris describes the fascination travelers have with maps.

“How do you know if you are a traveler? What are the telltale signs? As with most compulsions, such as being a gambler, a kleptomaniac, or a writer, the obvious proof is that you can’t stop. If you are hooked, you are hooked.

One sure sign of travelers is their relationship to maps. I cannot say how much of my life I have spent looking at maps, but there is no map I won’t stare at and study. I love to measure each detail with my thumb, to see how far I have come, how far I’ve yet to go. I love maps the way stamp collectors love stamps. not for their usefulness, but rather for the sheer beauty of the object itself. I love to look at a map, even if it is a map of Mars, and figure out where I am going and how I am going to get there, what route I will take. I imagine what adventure might await me even though I know that the journey is never what we plan for; it’s what happens between the lines…

…I have always instinctively found my way and in this I feel blessed, as if somehow I am intended to be a journeywoman, a wanderer of the planet…”

How do you know if you are a traveler? What are the telltale signs? I challenge you to answer that question.


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1 thought on “How do you know if you are a “Traveler”?

  1. I’ve always found enjoyment in discovering new places and meeting new people. It is a crave that cannot be satisfied. I plan for new trips while in a trip sometimes (because I over heard someone talk about an experience they had somewhere where I have not been to or because I read it on a travel magazine while on the plane). Tell tale signs of a traveler? You need to get a new passport because you do not have any more room for stamps (and then you discover that they make a larger passport for traveling addicts/or for business travelers).

    Another sign of a traveler is that you plan the budget with traveling as an “essential” expenditure for the year. I sacrifice knowing that the joy I’ll have while exploring a new place is a lot more than I would get by driving a nicer car (or eating better food!). You know you are a traveler when you continually day dream of new destinations to explore; when you envy friends that get to go to new places you have not been to yet (and you think man that ought to be me!). You are a traveler when during your spare time, you check out traveling websites such as this (and post comments on these blogs about travel!). Is there a support group for this? ūüôā don’t tell me about it…

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