Featured, Travel

8 reasons why travel is so addictive

11/02/2016
Us on The Great Wall

It’s been almost 4 years since the last time we travelled outside of Australia and itchy feet is setting in in a big way. We’ve had a few road trips within the state we live in but to be honest with you, the travel itch has hardly been scratched. Why do we love travelling so much? Why is travel so addictive?

Well, here are 8 reasons why reasons why travel is so addictive

Travel is liberating

When you travel you can be anyone. You can even be – or find – the real you.

The first time I stepped foot in Paris I finally became me. According to a close friend it was the first time she had seen me truly relaxed, at peace, as if I had come home… I’m pretty sure I don’t have any French ancestry but I do have a French first name and, on getting married to the other half of Two Hungry Nomads, just gained a French surname… oh and he apparently has French ancestry so maybe I’ll just become French by default?

Janine in Paris

A balcony in Paris

It’s about dreaming

The fantasy, the dreams, the bucketlist items. What would life be without those? Route 66, Vegas, blossoms and powder snow in Japan, seeing a Liverpool game at Anfield Stadium in England, a safari in Africa, Disneyland, driving around France or living in a chateau for a while… so many dreams.

You live your dreams

You get to see places you’ve dreamt about, read about and heard about in the flesh. You get to experience them with all of your senses.

One of the best places the other half believes he has ever been to was the Colosseum in Rome as there was just something about it – the stories, the history, the legend and myth. And then there was Hawaii. Having grown up watching Elvis movies and thinking it would be the coolest place to visit and finally stepping foot in the sand in Oahu…WOW!

Travel is mind blowing

My first glimpse of Italy aside from the airport and the inside of a train was Duomo di Milano. After stealing my breath I was guaranteed to never be the same again. And then there was exploring every corner of the Louvre (aside from the modern art section – I’m more of a Renaissance girl) and the Sistine Chapel, being struck by the beauty of Micahelangelo’s Pieta.

Michelangelo-pieta-590x615

Together we have experienced some amazing things culminating in walking some of the Great Wall of China and exploring the tombs of The Terracotta Warriors in Xi’anmind truly fucking blown.

The food

Steamed pork buns in China, chilli crab in Singapore, pizza and pasta in Italy, croissants in Paris. What’s not to love,  aside from the intestines we ordered hoping for chicken or catching giardia in Shanghai. We never imagined we would find the best beef in the world in Vanuatu, and I will never forget watching Den eat a still-moving scorpion in a street market in Beijing (or the smell, at that).

It’s about doing stupid shit and surviving to tell the tale (after the embarrassment wears off)

I can’t handle pot. It freaks me out. But I did get stoned in Amsterdam and it was fun (got the giggles for the first time ever). We also explored the red light district but refrained from seeing a sex show. Maybe next time.

I left my friends on a backpacking trip around Europe once, heading onto the next destination by myself because I’d spat the chewy and was running out of money. I checked into a co-ed hostel, met an Indian guy who I thought was nice in a ‘friendship’ kinda way, and we hung out for a few hours. He ended up watching me as I tried to sleep and to this day manages to find me and message me asking if I remembered him and wanted to see him. The answer is no.

I lived and worked in a pub once in Bristol, UK. The surrounding area flooded in winter so at times we were literally trapped with just those of us who lived there and the ‘canal boat people’, a unique breed of people. The pub owner used to beat up his wife and get the new girls drunk to have his way with them. He was a fellow redhead and I thought he was a nice guy and naively sat up drinking with him a few nights, talking easily about everything under the sun. I was probably flattered by the attention. Probably even subconsciously flirted. One night he let himself in my room to ‘talk’. I was too scared to move but his wife soon caught him. Thank god nothing happened. From that point on I slept with my backpack blocking the door.

And then there was our almost Hostel-like (the horror movie) experience in Beijing. Eventually I might learn to be less trusting and not follow a friendly artist into a building resulting in Den and I being trapped and not being allowed to leave until we bought something at their asking price…there was even a gun. It wasn’t pointed at us. It was just sitting on the table at the doorway with the other person. That was enough. We now have a lovely piece of overpriced art hanging in our lounge.

And then there was surviving petting lions in Mauritius

Petting lions at Casela Leisure and Nature Park in Mauritius

Petting lions at Casela Leisure and Nature Park, Mauritius

It’s about history

Coming from a young country (Australia) we’ve always craved something older. I recall sitting at my Grandads feet as he told me stories and snippets of history, stoking the fire he already knew was there from an early age. I am yet to read the history of Ghengis Khan but it is still on my list.

I’ve shed tears as I’ve walked through Anne Franks house, a touching memorial until disturbed by teenagers taking the piss – so obvious and annoying even in another language. At that I got angry. And then there was standing in a line outside of the gas chambers at Dachau concentration camp rugged up and still insanely cold. I could not help but think of the poor souls who stood there naked and freezing before being led to their deaths. I had nothing to complain about.

It’s all about the people

What can I say. There are so many beautiful people in the world. So many traditions and cultures to discover. So many conversations to be had and friendships to be made.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve landed myself in some shocking situations and met some truly horrible people in my travels (worked in a pub once, had to escape over the roof from a mad man, true story), but on the flipside I’ve met so many more lovely people who have opened their homes, hearts and families to me, and some who even saved me (physically or mentally). My heart will forever be grateful to these people. I miss you all.

Why do you find travel so addictive?

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  • Leanne@crestingthehill 12/02/2016 at 9:33 am

    I married a french surname too but that’s about as far as it goes. I did love Paris and you are so right about history and how old these countries are compared to Australia! I think the other thing that amazed me was that so many buildings had been blown up during WW I & II and then rebuilt, so they were sort of old/new. I hadn’t realized how far and wide you have travelled and I can see why you’d be getting itchy feet. I’m content to stay safe and settled down under for a while now.

    • janine@janineripper.com 13/02/2016 at 6:10 pm

      Oh travel was always the only thing I wanted to do from when I was younger and I always just saved and travelled – and then I met someone and it took me a very long time to settle down and buy a house. I resisted for a very long time!

  • Ankita 12/02/2016 at 1:45 pm

    Like you, I, too, find travel very liberating. I went to Bali in April 2014, and I was mesmerized by the beauty of the place. I found an adventurous side of my personality. I don’t know swimming, and yet, I went for underwater sea walk. So, I get what you’re talking about. Exploring Europe is next in my travel list. Not sure, when it’s going to happen — fingers crossed.

    • janine@janineripper.com 13/02/2016 at 6:09 pm

      You know what, I’ve never been to Bali and I live in Perth which really isn’t that far. Glad you enjoyed it! You will love Europe – it can be intense but so worthwhile and breathtaking.

  • Mackenzie Glanville 12/02/2016 at 6:29 pm

    Oh there is so much I want to see, especially Italy I feel such a desire to go there! Money however is not on our side, so I will dream for now and one day I will get there! A great post I loved hearing all the ups, the downs and the scary, but mostly the ups!

    • janine@janineripper.com 13/02/2016 at 6:08 pm

      Oh I hear you there! Italy is amazing – you will get there one day!

  • Debbie Rodrigues 12/02/2016 at 8:00 pm

    Traveling exposes one to new realities and it can mind opening if we allow ourselves to grow.
    I love traveling too and I wish I could do it more frequently.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • janine@janineripper.com 13/02/2016 at 6:07 pm

      That is so true Debbie!

  • sue 13/02/2016 at 6:58 am

    Janine I just love travelling for all the reasons you have listed. I’ve been very fortunate to travel to many countries and I love experiencing new cultures. Travel certainly makes you more tolerant and a better person. I love your photos they brought great memories back for me. I love this side of your blogging thanks for showing us. #FridayReflections

    • janine@janineripper.com 13/02/2016 at 6:07 pm

      You’re welcome Sue. I enjoy it so much more…which has made me think a lot lately.