My adventures and mis-adventures as I travel here and there

Travel Envy

Yeah. I want to be there too.

We’ve all had it, hidden from it, beaten it down, given in to it- that green-eyed monster sporting luggage tags and a valid passport. It likes to rear it’s head at the slightest provocation- photos of squat toilets on facebook, the word nutella, the travel guide aisle in Barnes and Noble- but it becomes especially ugly when someone you know is preparing for travel, especially if it’s the kind of travel you crave.

My sister and her boyfriend recently left to live in Milan, Italy for 3 months. I haven’t been back to Europe since my first visit three and a half years ago and as they packed and planned with gusto my happiness for them was matched only by my jealously. Sure, I wanted them to go, but I also wanted me to go! It’s called travel envy, and the complaint is very simple: Someone else is going to travel and I’m not. Which of course is at the height of all that is unfair in this life. I used to feel it even before I’d been anywhere outside the country, but now that I’ve had a real taste of travel (that sweet, irresistible taste) it has the propensity to be sooooo much worse! I want to go to Asia and climb the Himalayas, I want to go to Europe and float in a gondola, I want to go to Africa and hike a lemur rainforest, I want to go to South America and learn Spanish, I want to go to Australia and pet a platypus, I want to go to Antarctica and….freeze into a solid block of… Anyway!

It’s so difficult to avoid travel envy when someone else is about to have the time of their lives doing all the stuff that’s impossible in Mundane Town, USA. You congratulate them, you throw a bon voyage party, you listen to their promise to write even though you know they won’t because they’re having way too much fun to remember you exist, and you give them a ride to the airport, but secretly you are hoping all the while that you suddenly have some kind of weird body-switching experience that will allow you to go and them to stay home. I currently have at least 5 friends who are living out my dreams- 2 in Europe, 2 in Asia, and 1 in Africa. Sigh.

There's my lemur!

Is there a cure for that sick, sweet longing for the open road (or the dusty unpaved road, or the crowded haphazard road)? Dun, dun, dun, DUN!!! I am here to cure all of your longing for travel so that you can live a long and satisfied life right where you are! All you have to do is… the only thing you need to tell yourself is… the one key to nixing the travel bug forever IS……………. no, I’ve got nothing. You’re stuck and it will never leave you. Unfortunately (or fortunately, whatever). The only thing to do is to treat yourself regularly with international flights and new passport stamps!!! 😀 …..Right. As luck would have it, most of us can’t afford such a treatment, either monetarily or timewise.

The next best thing I have is what I call “Vicarious Travel”, and yes I am aware of the fact that is is a far far second, but it can be done from your favorite recliner. The trick, of course, is to get your kicks from someone whose travel tales include not only the phenomenal but also the dismal. Perspective, you know. That way you can temper your envy of seeing the Mayan ruins with your relief that you didn’t pick up that weird intestinal malady (as you sink further into your armchair). My sister has been exercising her fingers regularly on a blog dedicated to revealing all the sordid details of her Italian adventure. When I read about her failure to buy groceries in an Italian supermarket without making a fool of herself and dropping produce all over people, I feel JUST like I’m there…. but without the humiliation- HAHA! And it’s great! Not only can I save myself the embarrassment of blushing and sweating over my veggies and cheese while a cashier chastizes me in foreign tongues, but I can be reminded of adventures that I was a part of in bodily form. Like the time my sister dropped a large container of yogurt in the Polish supermarket called Berti and splattered everyone within a ten-foot radius. 😛

feed me

January 13, 2010 - Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Haha why do all the embarrassing food stories have to come from ME?!! (That feed me monster was me just a couple days ago though.)

    I’m sorry you can’t be here, it’s kind of sad that I’m back here without you! We had the kind of adventures that I doubt I’ll ever have with anyone else, if nothing else but the fact that they were new and exciting to us. Some day I promise we’ll both go traveling wherever you want! 😀

    Comment by The Sister | January 13, 2010 | Reply

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