I’ve never enjoyed the phrase “bitten by the travel bug”. It sounds negative and a little nasty. Like travelling is some squirmy, yucky thing that you would rather run away from than enjoy. Of course travelling is none of these things for me, in fact, it’s rather the opposite.
I traveled a lot when I lived in London nearly 8 years ago. Even though I worry and stress myself out during the run up to every trip, once I am there I utterly love the whole experience. The exploration of new places, the walking and walking. Passing through streets and alleyways, and drinking in all the sights and sounds of a new place. I love meeting new people who have a completely different life experience then yours, like Franscesa, my ski instructor. She was born and raised on the slopes of Cervinia (the highest northerly town of Italy in the Alps). She has been skiing since she was 3 years old and her parents own a big, yellow hotel in the middle of the little town. She has never been anywhere else! In the winter she is a ski instructor and in the summer she is one too. She helps her parents in the hotel bar on Friday nights and at 22 years old, she could not believe that I had taken two planes and a couple of trains to get to her there. I told her all about South Africa and she told me about her life and even though we sometimes couldn’t really understand each other, we related to each other on every possible level.
I most especially love figuring out the language, and learning all the little nuances that go along with it. Especially the confusion you create when saying “carchuffi” when you meant to say “carciofo” which resulted in me calling the waiter an idiot instead of asking for more artichoke!
Traveling is definitely not a bug, for me it’s a butterfly – colourful, bright, fleeting and most importantly utterly beautiful.