Travel Addicts

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My wife announced yesterday that she is “traveled out.” I’m not surprised — I am too: Since mid-August we’ve taken trips (mostly long weekends) to Istanbul, Munich, French Switzerland, northeast Italy, Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Barcelona, and, starting tomorrow, Paris plus London again.

Her comment illustrates her diminishing marginal utility of travel. Today we’re planning next summer’s vacation, a week starting after a conference I have in Lisbon. I suggested to my wife: “Wouldn’t you rather go to a beach and relax after all the travel we’ve just done?” She said no; she realizes by that time she’ll want to travel around more than she does right now.

She knows how rationally addicted she is to travel. Fortunately it’s an addiction we share — and I bet this is a pretty common kind of joint rational addiction of long-term married couples.


CandyKay

I'm so tired of caviar! You know, even if you try a variety of caviar, you really get fatigued with it after a while. Such a bother.

I'm tired of champagne, as well. Poor me. What should I do?

kim

To those who found this post offensive--

My husband is currently stationed (by the US military, that machine of personal wealth and lucre) in Europe. Although we are by no means rich, we felt that this was an opportunity not to be ignored--both for ourselves and for our children--to see more of the world and learn about cultures not our own. Since arriving last March, we have visited 10 countries, and we hope to repeat that number in 2009. To do so, we made a conscious choice that we would look for the best deals (when traveling within the continent, there are more than you'd realize living in the US) and accept the fact that THIS is how we choose to spend whatever money we have right now.

You wouldn't make that choice, and that's fine. Don't get upset because someone else did. Some of us sacrifice a lot for the joy of discovering the world we live in and giving that gift to our children.

Btw, Hammermesh's main point wasn't even about the travel, but that married couples tend to have the same "obsessions." Maybe you and your wife both love reading mystery novels or cooking Japanese food or breeding puppies? His is travel. Calm down.

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David

After college I bicycled for four months through England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, and part of France to Paris and I loved it. I met so many wonderful people on the road and in hostels and it got me in really good physical shape as well.

I am able to do some of my work remotely having access to my university library's journal collection over the web.

I really love being with the kind of people I meet when traveling.

Daniel, when are you and your wife coming to Israel?

Israel should be the destination of every economist. For one thing this robust economy attracts 1/4 the venture capital of all of Europe ($1.7 billion vs. $7.2 billion).

Traveler

There are lots of ways to travel. When I can, I do. When I can't there are books or walking trips. I just went to Classical Greece in spirit. India sounds good next. So I too love to travel or I should say visit other countries, peoples, ways of life. But I must say this, there are some people who travel everywhere and travel nowhere.

When to Boston this summer to a meeting, but can't say I traveled to Boston. Walked from one meeting hall up and back to another. The only experience that made it seem like traveling was the Mac store. It was like I was in a different country--no crowds, relaxed, the accent was not NY and oh yes, Harvard- was fun visiting.. paricularly the student book store across the street. So to those resentful of anyone who has traveled- start saving- I am- And If you can't- a good book will do- these are difficult times- or a trip to Chinatown and a bit of some good chinese food-- I particularly like walking cross town- along 57th Street, central park west in Manhattan this time of year-- the excitement of Christmas is breathtaking- and it's free to enjoy. We all have to make the most of things and I don't think traveling is about money at all. It's about appreciating what's around you wherever you are. As one friend once said to me, it's about taking the time to smell the roses.

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Tiago C.

No brainer: you'll already be where you want to be. Relax a couple of days in Lisbon and then you can either a) go a few days to the Algarve, have a little sand, sun and golf (not recommended, WAY too many foreigners), or go to the North: Minho (Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima, Braga, Guimarães), relax with the good folks there, sample the best popular cuisine Portugal has to offer (wine included) and just... unwind. Believe me, when it comes to a change of pace, nothing tops Portugal. And with the recession coming, you'll get a lot of bang for the Euro.

griff

Hey, did he say anywhere he flew?

Remember in Germany, France and even Paris-London you can get a 200+ mph train.

(Being British I of course have no idea how many kph that is!).

Being an European resident means that you can experience many other cultures - and we are all the better for it. It would be nice to see more Americans over here in Europe!

mfw13

One of the things people need to realize is that HOW you travel is just as important and where you travel.

Travel can be very stressful if you do not know how to travel properly, and I know more than a few people who have gotten home from vacation saying that they need another vacation to recover from the one they just took.

You also need to ask yourself WHY you have chosen the destinations you are going to. What is is about your destination that is unique and unusual and that you can't experience at home?

My personal experience has been that the key to enjoying a vacation is to pick your desitnation(s) wisely and spend plenty of time there. If you are going to Europe for two weeks, for example, that means four or five days each in three cities, not two days each in seven. The more time you spending moving from city to city, to more stressed you will be.

happygolucky

I am appaled by the author's disregard and insensitivity to economic reality of the majority.

...my wife and I are tired of travelling around Europe on weekends...

99.9% of the world would want to have your problem, Mr. and Mrs. Arrogant

By the way, how much can you gain by visiting a place on a weekend? I guess, you travel there just to name drop and tell the world what a big shot you are.

just another living the poor student life...

Yeah, all "traveled-out", eh? Sounds like a real tough life.

tisack

99% of the world would like to have your problem happygolucky. You have a roof over your head, live in a nice country that a lot of the people I know will never be able to visit, you have an internet connection and if you just crossed the border to Mexico, despite the fact you consider yourself too poor to travel, you'd be rich.

I hosted a guy in Manila who traveled throughout southeast Asia finding jobs on the way to finance his next plane ticket. He gets free accomodation in hotels or in villages because he is able to help out. He would be spending about 20$ over a period of two months, would be visiting places, and meeting loads of people.

I don't think that makes him upper middle class. I managed to go to NY two years ago because my brother lived in Harlem and I was jobhunting. Life in America is expensive and is definitely not for me. My brother moved out of Harlem, traveled in a van around the US, and landed in Atlanta. He traveled more than you crybabies, but he's the janitor of the French school in Atlanta, so he's no upper-class businessman.

We people in the Western world are all rich compared to the musicians I played with in Madagascar who can't even leave their country even if they save up for years.

Call me arrogant, but I also did get tired of drinking champagne after grape picking in the champagne region, a job that is very tiring and breaks your back. Why do so many disgruntled Americans see traveling as an expensive hobby. Ryan air, EasyJet, hitchhiking, hostels, tents, beaches, the hospitality club and the like made traveling real cheap. You guys are just jealous that you chose the wrong career path and got a mortgage for your house. I respect people who decide to go for a safe job and settle down (never made enough money for that myself), but all this acrimony is uncalled for. Stop being jealous of others because you're not making the most of life's opportunities.

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Roy

From your conference in Lisbon you can simply stay in Portugal, get to know that country and then move next door to Spain. Lisbon has a lot to see once you begin to get to know it, and a visit to Sintra nearby is a must (one of Europe's most romantic and beautiful towns). Obidos and Evora are also nice, as is the city of Porto in the north with a personality of its own.
In Spain there are the big cities everyone travels to (Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao), but also smaller gems like Toledo, Granada and Cordoba.
You've seen the major European capitals, now get to know the often overlooked cities. Lisbon (www.golisbon.com) and Porto (www.gooporto.com) sound like your most accessible destinations after your conference.

gold'n

i'm a student and only work part time. my husband makes less than 50k and we live in nyc. needless to say, the rent aint cheap. like many others we are strugglin.. but determined to see the world.

i understand the frustration of many posters, but i dont think its fair to judge. we live check to check ybut et prioritizes travel.. yes we go several locations in one year... but dont buy new clothes, eat out often, have a vehicle, children or bills other than electric and water... we squeeze our pennies and buy a flight? where as others do the same for that new kitchen gadget, first home, etc.

in many cases its a matter of choice and priority not budget or expensive lifestyle. dont assume

Elize

I found this while googling for Travel Addict. I must admit I am one too.

After traveling to Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Schotland, Belgium, Cairo, Switserland in the first 6 months of this year, I have booked a week in Morroco with girlfriends, I am planning a roadtrip to Berlin in September and going to Gibraltar in December.

I cannot get enough of the new places. The different people, and cultures and lifestyles.

Traveling is a drug