WARNING: Why obsessive travelling could be a real problem

2019-01-16 12:00 - Marisa Crous
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One thing that's become popular lately is people listing how many countries they've travelled to. Whether in person, or listed on their Instagram or Tinder bio, they say things like: "Travelled to 30 different countries by the time I was 30," or "50 countries and counting."

Discovering is the new currency. Travel bloggers, The Amazing Race and websites like Most Traveled People exist because of this. 

Wanderlust, oh wanderlust, where will you take me too next: Sri Lanka or Peru? Slovenia or Cambodia?

Often inspired by our feeds on Facebook and Instagram, we dream of the streets we'll walk, the sights we'll see and the people we'll meet. 

But is this escapism healthy? Or could it be potentially dangerous?

For some, it's more than just tech-driven narcissism.  

READ: Rand-friendly holiday escapes: Argentina, Thailand, Zanzibar and Portugal deals to book

CN Traveller notes that in 2000 'vagabond neurosis' was officially added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as an actual disorder. What that means is that some people suffer from an abnormal impulse to travel. 

Sounds pretty humorous, but think of it this way: The travel obsessed will do anything to travel. Like, anything. Sacrifice jobs, go into debt, leave loving partners and give up all routine and security in their lives to see new places. 

Committing to one place is their greatest fear. Definitely a different kind of commitment-phobe this. 

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These kinds of travellers are competitive, and will dedicate their lives to going everywhere and anywhere possible. Often, to the least visited places on earth. Just to say they've been there, conquered it. 

CN Traveller also notes that a kind of Hunger Games for travellers exists where more than 30 000 humans compete for the title of the 'World’s most travelled person'.

And Adventure.com notes that this form of extreme competitive travelling is influenced by our 'quality over quantity' lifestyle. Much like possessions, accumulating experiences fill our lives, giving us a false sense of value and purpose. 

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