Wanderlust is a terrible affliction that can affect absolutely anyone of any age, gender or nationality. It’s something that is especially prevalent amongst those who try to hold down a full-time job, and it’s definitely something they don’t warn you about in career talks at school.
While symptoms are particularly bad on Monday mornings, us full timers are never truly free from this disease. Even when we return from a holiday, we’re already planning the next adventure, even if it’s just a weekend trip to the next village along.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about travel, it’s likely you’ve already been contaminated. There are, however, a number of other symptoms that can emerge. These include:
1. You have to have at least one holiday booked in order to get you through the working day/week/month.
2. You’re always the first to sign up for overtime. More work = more money = more holidays. Right?
3. Your screensaver is a picture of a previous holiday, or some location you’re dreaming of going to next.
4. You’ve considered taking a sabbatical.
5. You’ve also enquired about transferring to your firm’s international offices.
6. You’ve regularly caught yourself seriously considering giving up everything and heading off to go travelling.
7. OK you’ve pretty much got your letter of resignation saved to your desktop.
8. You’re constantly looking at ways to maximise your holiday days.
9. You’re always the first to book off holiday around bank holidays to make sure you get as much time off as possible.
10. Weekends become your best friend because you can easily squeeze in a local trip in.
11. Packed lunches are an evil necessity. They might take an age to make, but you’ll do anything to save an extra fiver or so for your travelling fund.
12. You have a separate account where you move part of your monthly pay cheque into: this is purely for travelling purposes.
13. You’re always moaning that you don’t have enough money to live on – then you realise that’s because you were being extremely optimistic with the money you put aside in your travelling fund, so have to transfer some over.
14. You’re always the first to buy extra holiday days.
15. Your friends know you as “that girl who’s hardly here cos she’s always on holiday.”
16. Upon their return to the office, friends are routinely interrogated on everything they ate/saw/bought on their holidays.
17. Quite a few of your lunch breaks involve reading travel blogs, planning holidays and researching destinations. Ok, that’s all of your lunch breaks.
18. Post-work drinks? As long as they’re as cheap as possible. You’re saving for a trip to Greece/Thailand/Inner Mongolia.
19. Solo trips are a must since you’re running out of 9-5er friends to drag away with you.
20. You’ve been wearing the same 4 outfits to work for the last 18 months because you don’t want to waste money on new clothes.
21. One of the most important things you consider when you go for a new job is how much holiday allowance you get.
22. You’re always entering travel competitions – you’ve got to win once, right?
While there’s not yet a 100% cure, I prescribe regular bouts of travel to help alleviate symptons.