Travel Addiction Is Real: Understanding Signs & Symptoms

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A flippant admission of guilt when it comes to travel addiction is often overlooked as a severe mental health issue.  Believe it, or not, some people actually can become addicted to traveling.  The highs of visiting a strange land can sometimes transform into an unmanageable valley of depression for an individual addicted to traveling.  Here are a few signs and symptoms of a bonafide travel addiction.

Overpowering depression after returning from a trip.

It is normal to feel a little disappointed after returning from a tropical vacation, but the feeling should not overwhelm every aspect of home life.  As long as life feels manageable, excessive traveling is not always a problem.  When life seems unmanageable, it may be time to seek out help.

“If the lows you experience after travel are so bad that you cannot really function in the rest of your life, then you want to get some help to deal with it,” said Dr. Art Markman, a cognitive science specialist.  

Unreasonable spending habits regarding travel.

Traveling should be a leisurely activity.  If the travel budget regularly eats into the budget for bills, then there may be a problem.  It is unhealthy to break into the kid’s piggy bank to visit Paris.  

Assessing someone’s personal priorities is an excellent way to examine and gauge an individual’s intentions and life focus.  A healthy personal inventory will quickly reveal if traveling has become an unhealthy addiction.  A trip to Europe should not be more important than someone’s family or stability.  

Living a stationary life feels like a prison.

It is common to toss around the analogy of stationary life becoming a prison for some people, but sometimes it is a serious problem.  Excessive traveling may be a way for a person to mask their disdain for everyday life.  Consider looking below the surface and working with a psychological professional to dissect what is going on inside the individual’s mind.

Living out of a suitcase even when home.

Living out of a suitcase even when not traveling is a clear sign of a travel addiction.  It is also a sign of a person that has a lot of trouble acclimating to their home environment.  Home should invoke quite the opposite response in a well-adjusted adult.  

An intense urge to continue traveling.

Most obviously, an intense urge to continue traveling no matter the cost is an undeniable clue to addiction.  If a person just cannot function without traveling, and engages in risky behaviors to continue traveling, then there is an issue.  Risking sustainable life comforts to visit foreign lands on a whim is not exactly a sign of a healthy mental status.

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