Maybe instead of asking “Are expats/serial nomads running away from their problems?” people should ask instead, “So what if they are?”
Results for tag "travel-addiction"
My ability to travel for long periods of time, sleep comfortably in a hammock and read maps would have made me an excellent candidate for the job of “pirate”.
A love letter to travel and all of the lovely, little things that make it worth while.
Straight from the “well, DUH” files comes the findings of a study from scientists at the University of Vermont: The more miles you put between your home and job, the happier you become. Or, as researchers put it: “Expressed happiness increases logarithmically with distance from an individual’s average location.”
Scientists reached this conclusion after analyzing 37 million tweets from 180,000 different Twitter users. The tweets, which were collected over the course of 2011 and included each Twitter user’s location, were ranked on a happiness scale scientists called the hedonometer.
People’s relative happiness levels were assessed based on how often they used common words like “great” or “hate”. Unsurprisingly, when people were far from their usual locations (I.e., when they were on the road or on vacation), they used words like “beach”, “love”, “rainbow”, “excellent” “restaurant”, “coffee”, and “new”, whereas when they were closer to home (i.e, commuting to work, picking up the dry cleaning), they were more likely to use words like “bored”, “no”, “damn” and “hate”.
Of course, it’s hard to tell with these findings how many of those Twitter users are actually happy to be traveling and how many are just pretending or simply showing off. Then there’s the fact that while it’s very easy to complain on Twitter about having to, say, go to the dentist or get your tires rotated, people are going to be harder-pressed to find something negative to say while tanning on the beach in Bora Bora (even if they’re not particular happy while doing so).
Anyway, regardless, you can follow me on Twitter as I (happily!) tweet about my adventures from both the road and at home.
Photo courtesy of Palomaleca.
Wanna know more about the correlation between travel and happiness?
As if you needed another reason to travel…but just in case you’re on the fence about whether or not to splurge on that vacation or long weekend getaway, here ya go:
According to this article in the Los Angeles Times, travel can:
- Lower your blood pressure
- Improve your immune system
- Make you smarter
- Help you live longer
We have some rats in Ohio to thank for this finding. Apparently travel helps you live longer because when done right, travel is FUN. And having fun is one key to longevity (the other is fish…so take a few vacas to Japan and you’ll probably live to be 100). They know this because the rats who had fun (nope, not by going on little rat vacations…but by regularly eating sugar) were less stressed and thus lived longer than those that didn’t.
Travel also helps regulate sleep patterns and lower glucose levels, according to a study conducted in the UK (the participants were human this time around). Tests were conducted before and after people went on vacation and the results found that 17% of participants saw their sleep quality improve and 6% saw a drop in their blood pressure.
Well. What do you think? Have you found that traveling has improved your overall well being?
So. I opened my own store. Well, sorta. Okay, not really. What I DID do, however, was set up a virtual store on Zazzle.com, design a handful of travel-themed art, t-shirts and luggage tags and then make them available for purchase.
I know, I KNOW…I’m probably not going to make any money doing this, especially being that I only make 10 percent off every product sold (that roughly averages out to about a dollar a sale). I’d have to sell a few a dozen luggage tags just to make up for the time I spent just figuring out how to center align an image.
But…I had fun. And who knows? Maybe one of you fantabulous readers will take pity on me and buy something?
Hopelessly addicted to travel pillow by TakenbytheWind
Do you suffer from either one of these travel compulsions? Read on to find out.
The term Dromomania comes from the Greek “dromos” (running) and “mania” (insanity) and was considered a real mental disorder in the 1880s through to the early 20th century in France. The illness, also known as “Mad Travellers Disease”, was attributed to a handful of people who were hospitalized after impulsively taking off on an extended trips abroad and then returning home weeks or months later with little recollection of what had occurred while they were away. Though today this would simply be referred to as “college Spring Break”, back then it was considered serious enough to warrant documentation in several scientific journals.
The diagnosis, however, is officially no longer recognized as a mental illness in France or elsewhere…as of right now, anyway. I’m thinking that perhaps it’s time we petitioned to bring it back?
Back in the 1850s, American slave owners sought to understand why their slaves’ seemed compelled to run away from their owners homes on the plantations. Because people had to be crazy to want to flee captivity (wanting their freedom wasn’t a good enough of a reason, I guess) doctors attributed the slaves’ behavior to a mental disorder they called “Drapetomania”.
These days Drapetomania is considered an example of racist pseudoscience (and rightly so!) but wouldn’t it be nice if next time you’re packing your bags for a move to China or a backpacking trip to Chile and your friends ask you for the upteenth time “What is WRONG with you?!” you’d be able to explain their frustrations away with a simple “I can’t help it. I have Drapetomania”?
In between trips and in desperate need of a travel fix? Read this list.
1. Go for a hike
2. Wander around your city’s Chinatown
3. Visit a grocery store that caters towards foreigners (a hispanic or asian grocery store) and buy some strange-looking chips or candy you’ve never tried before
4. Get on a bus without knowing where it’s headed
5. Cook Indian food
6. Throw a travel-themed party and have everyone bring a dish or game from their favorite country
7. Join a foreign language Meetup Group and practice your French / Spanish / Chinese with other language lovers
8. Read The Geography of Bliss
9. Read I’m a Stranger Here Myself
10. Take a language course
11. Watch Slumdog Millionaire
12. Spritz your wrists with a travel-themed perfume
13. Do a mock vacation photo photo shoot with your friends like the characters in the movie Green Card. Grab your skis and pretend you’re on the Swiss Alps or throw on your bikini and a surfboard and make believe you’re in Hawaii.
14. Hang out at the airport and play a people-watching game
15. Go Geocacheing
16. Make a postcard collage
17. Try a new food (like Ethiopian, Mongolian or Indonesian)
18. Host a couch surfer
19. See your city in a new light by traveling through it in a new – slower – way. Cruise through your town on a bicycle or roller blades.
20. Travel to a neighborhood you’ve never visited before and take artistic photos (even if it’s only pictures of the sidewalk or people’s front lawns).
21. Go on a long walk with a kid or a dog. Their curiosity and excitement for the world can be contagious.
22. Participate in a flash mob.
23. Go scuba diving (in the ocean or a lake) and see the world from a new perspective.
24. Go camping
25. Start a travel blog
26. Take a staycation and book a night or weekend at a hotel in your own town or city.
27. Go on a meditation retreat
28. Create a travel bucketlist on Pinterest
29. Read Into Thin Air
30. Create a playlist of your favorite travel songs and go for a long walk in a park or the woods.
What do you do to quench your thirst for travel when you’re in between trips?Main photo by: Mitya Kuznetsov
Whether you’re young or old, shy or outgoing, an optimist or a pessimist, if you’re a traveler, then chances are that you share this one quality with other travelers: open-mindedness.
The personality trait “openness to new experience” is one of the traits described in the Five Factor Model. People who score high in this personality trait are natural-born travelers and adventure seekers. They seek out new experiences and are drawn to creative pursuits and anything that’s novel or unique.
Open personality types are also more likely to:
* Have an active imagination
* Be in touch with their feelings
* Crave variety
* Posses a love for learning
* Have a willingness to engage in self-examination.
* Be able to make connections between two remote ideas
* Remember their dreams
Though not EVERYONE who travels scores high in the openness trait, I would assume that most who embrace travel as a lifestyle (I.e, the permanent nomads of the world) come pretty darn close.
What do you think? Would you say this true of you?
I’ve been looking through my photos of my time spent living in Central America lately and have been missing my expat life something fierce.
And since my last collection of expat quotes was so popular (Google search results love it, apparently), I’ve decided to put together another list of some of my fave quotes about the joys and hardships of life abroad.
1. “The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.”
- Italo Calvino
2. “Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt
3. “You know what else is nice about being a foreigner? Whatever you do takes place in a capsule that need not be discovered and opened by someone back home. Nothing really counts–it was the life that falls in the forest. That’s how I looked at it. I felt free to…oh, I don’t know.”
— Patricia Marx
4. “Splendid to arrive alone in a foreign country and feel the assault of difference. Here they are all along, busy with living; they don’t talk or look like me. The rhythm of their day is entirely different; I am foreign. ”
— Frances Mayes
5. “Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.”
— Bill Bryson
6. ”I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” – Bill Bryson
7. ”Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”
— Judith Thurman
8. ”Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.”
— Jodi Picoult (Handle With Care)
9. ”I’m homesick all the time,” she said, still not looking at him “I just don’t know where home is. There’s this promise of happiness out there. I know it. I even feel it sometimes. But it’s like chasing the moon – just when I think I have it, it disappears into the horizon. I grieve and try to move on, but then the damn thing comes back the next night, giving me hope of catching it all over again.”
— Sarah Addison Allen (The Girl Who Chased the Moon)
10. ”The loneliness of the expatriate is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.”
— Adam Gopnik (Paris to the Moon)
11. ”Almost every truly creative being feels alienated & expatriated in his own country”
— Lawrence Ferlinghetti
12. “What makes expat life so addictive is that every boring or mundane activity you experience at home (like grocery shopping, commuting to work or picking up the dry cleaning) is, when you move to a foreign country, suddenly transformed into an exciting adventure. Try finding peanut butter in a Japanese grocery story or explaining in broken Spanish to the Guatemalan pharmacy that you need cough drops and you’ll understand. When abroad, boredom, routine and ‘normal’ cease to exist. And all that’s left is the thrill and challenge of uncertainty.” – Reannon Muth
Recognize the person who said that last quote? Haha. I couldn’t help it…
One day when I’m famous, that quote will be worth something.