1. Admit that you want to travel more. There’s a whole world out there that you haven’t seen. You know you can’t really see it on your iPad or on Discovery Channel. Watching other people travel on TV or reading about it is not going to satisfy your need to see more for yourself. Admitting it is the first step.
2. Acknowledge that you can get help returning to sanity. The Internet has put travel planning within your reach. You can see almost every detail of hotel rooms, cruise cabins, and campgrounds online. You can research places to visit that you never thought you could. There are deals and bargains just waiting for you. You can get schedules for planes, trains, and buses. And the best part? You can research at your leisure, in your jammies, on your lunch break, and on your phone.
3. Decide that you will travel more. Until you make the decision, you are still just dreaming. You aren’t traveling. Start marking a calendar with the following: at least one week of vacation, two or three quarterly retreats in the non-vacation quarters of the year that involve at least two nights away from home, and a minimum of one night away in all the other months. It may look like quite a lot at first, but refer to step 1 if you start to waiver.
4. Take a travel inventory. Where have you been? Where have you been longing to go? Make the lists. Your commitment to the addiction will not be complete if you don’t keep a list that you can adjust every time you find a destination of interest. Try using technology—a Pinterest board maybe? That way you can share your list with fellow addicts.
5. Admit to someone else that you haven’t been traveling enough. When you say it out loud to another human being you’ll often find a partner in whom you can confide and share ideas.
6. Start surfing the Internet and let your travel dreams go wherever they will. Give in and let the addiction take hold. If you don’t look around, how will you ever know what waits for your next trip?
7. Practice shopping for bargains. Part of the reason you don’t go more is fear and the thing that often scares people most is how to pay for their addiction.
8. Admit to those you have wronged by not traveling, and prepare to make amends. This step may cause you to stumble, but it is through your connections with others that you truly enjoy travel. Here’s a list of possibilities:
- Your children—broaden their education. They will learn more while traveling than in an average month sitting in a classroom.
- Your spouse—your other half deserves time away from the world with you.
- Your parents—you haven’t been home in how long?
- Everyone who works in the travel industry—there are jobs at stake here.
- The American people—Travel addicts have the power to turn around the economic crisis.
- Third World countries—your travel dollars really do have a global impact.
- Your cousin in Utah that you only talk to on Facebook—she would really love it if you came for a visit.
9. Start living your amends. Make plans to make up lost time traveling.
10. Continue to work on your travel inventory. The easiest way to get addicted here is to travel with a purpose. Join a car club, start a collection that requires travel to complete, or set a goal to visit all of something—states, countries in South America, wineries in your state.
11. Digest and learn from what you encounter. Whether you are camping or staying in luxury resorts, travel is more than an exploration of the world around us. It’s about exploring who we really are and what we are capable of. Keep a journal or log while you explore and return to your words often. You’ll often be surprised at the depth of the feelings you expressed while traveling.
12. Spread the word! Your travel addiction is not something to be hidden. Share your stories with the world and you enjoy the bonus of knowing that your insight may help other travelers as they find their addiction.