The Travel Bug – it’s just a state of mind

Tasmania is by far one of the most beautiful places in the world. I say that with confidence, having visited many of the places more widely considered to fall into that category. Yet there’s so much of Tasmania’s beauty I’ve barely experienced – if at all. Wineglass Bay? I was young and can’t really remember it. Cradle Mountain? Fleeting visits for work. Bay of Fires? Haven’t been there. In short, I took it all for granted. Assumed I could, and would, visit it all at anytime.

Plonk me in a new city or country and suddenly nothing can wait. Every day is there to be made the most of. It’s the usual approach to travel and one of the reasons we love it. We call it The Travel Bug. But I’m beginning to think The Travel Bug is just a state of mind. For me, traveling is becoming less about where I go and more about how I feel and how I behave. When I’m traveling I go out of my way to explore new places, try new things, meet new people and push the limits of my comfort zone.

Turns out, I can do all that from home.

I took this photo while kayaking at Halong Bay in Vietnam.

This was taken on Derwentwater (at Keswick) while I was in between the breakfast and dinner shift.

I’m working full-time in Keswick – in fact my rostered week is more than 40 hours, not the usual 38. Although my contract was temporary at first, I now have work until my working visa expires in July, so another nine months. It’s enough time to contemplate decorating my bedroom. It’s worth getting a UK driving licence. In short, I should get comfortable. But I’m not going to.

Getting comfortable is the reason I’ve been to Sydney, but not walked over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s the reason I’ve been to Brisbane and the Gold Coast countless times, but never to the Great Barrier Reef. And the reason I admired the ski fields from my Vancouver apartment every day in winter, but didn’t learn to snowboard until the last two weeks of the season.

When I arrived in Keswick, I was a wide-eyed tourist. During the six hours free I had on my split shifts, I would grab a map, pack a lunch and head out into the fells. Then my contract was extended and there went the sense of urgency. I started skipping a day here and there. Even sunny ones (*gasp*). I started to get comfortable.

Out hiking in Jasper while on a one-month trip across Canada.

Out for a hike in The Lake District on a day off

So I’m back to acting like a tourist and treating the Lake District like any other stop on my travels. I visit the popular tourist destinations. I go on walks just to take photos. I plan weekend sightseeing trips. My traveling may have come to a end for now, but the Travel Bug is very much alive.

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