No matter how much you travel or how often, there will always be times when you’ll look at someone else and get a little ping of envy. That condition is perfectly normal and happens more often than you think. It’s called travel envy and no matter how much you deny it, you have experienced it at some point. You know I’m right.
Those who travel tend to develop a fondness for the activity. It becomes like a drug. As with any other drug, travel becomes addictive. Those who have been bitten by it, continue to seek it out. I am part of that club. A proud, card-carrying member. True story. As such, I know when the little monster rears its ugly head.
Whether subconscious or not, travel envy is real. It can happen to anyone. Those who travel, those who have just come back or even those that have only dreamt about it. You can be at home, at work or even on the road when the beast will rear its ugly head.
So, why do we experience travel envy? Let’s take a look at what causes it.
When others are travelling and you're not
Life can be awfully dull when you’re between travel. Especially when you don’t have the next destination picked out. Those moments become withdrawals and they are as painful as any from any other drug. You are sitting there, looking at Instagram, reading travel blogs and are practically crying out with pain, because they are somewhere and you’re not.
This is the moment where travel envy usually becomes the most pronounced. You are looking at others who are travelling, their stories and pictures. It’s painful. It is so bad that it can border on depression. I’ve been there. It hurts like hell and it’s awful. The worst part about it is the fact that you don’t have anything planned. Not even a glimpse of a possibility of venturing somewhere. Nada. But you keep looking at those images, blogs and posts, because as much as you hate not travelling, you hate not seeing images from travels even more.
When others are visiting places you want to see
When I read other people’s stories of visiting foreign lands, places that I have yet to see, I also get that little ping of travel envy. The little green monster rears its ugly head at those times and all my travels pale in comparison.
Normally, I’m a rational person who realizes that people experience things differently and at different times. But when it comes to travel, all reasoning disappears. I envy those who have seen things and places I have always wanted to, but haven’t yet had a chance to. My first urge
is to run off and book as many trips as I can while packing my bags as fast as I can.
I know I’m not alone in this. How many times have you looked at some place you’re dreaming of visiting, just to see someone else there? Damn you, the person who is not me.
When others visit the places you've been to and loved
Sometimes it’s also hard to see others post images from places you’ve been to and loved. They could be there at this very moment and all you can do is wish you were there. Sometimes this type of travel envy can be just as bad as any other type. Once you’ve been to a place and have experienced it, it’s a lot more difficult to see others enjoying it while you’re not. And this sucks big time.
I sometimes tend to look at it and re-examine my own experience. Why didn’t I think of taking that photo, or using that angle? It’s so easy to compare and agonize over. Have you done that? Let’s be honest, you know you have. Everyone has. It’s a trap and you know it.
When you’re don’t have a travel lifestyle
When you’re not able to travel for personal reasons, it might be difficult to see others travelling. You might be looking forward to your next trip or hoping to go on your first. It can be excruciating when you don’t have the means and opportunity.
Travel envy can be especially nasty when you feel like you’re missing out while everyone else seems to be travelling. Friends, family, random strangers. All of them snapping happy photos and shoving them in your face on every social platform. The struggle is real.
To deal with travel envy you have to admit it
I know that I’m not the only one who experiences travel envy. It’s a common feeling amongst those less traveled as well as those who travel all the time. The travel envy condition, more of a temporary madness really, diminishes once the reality kicks in.
It’s always important to figure out why you’re jealous. Do you need to plan a trip? Is there somewhere else you can go to scratch the itch? You don’t have to go to a different country to get your fill of travel. A road trip with friends or a visit to some local touristy attractions can also be great for alleviating travel envy.
The reality is that I enjoy reading about the travels of others and am happy that I can learn from their experiences. I gain valuable tips and insights, and see places though the eyes of others. Not travelling is a great time to plan your next trip. After all, you have to find the positive somewhere.
Your mundane is someone else's envy
It’s easy to sit around and sulk about not being elsewhere. There will always be a place you wish you were, but there are also others who wish they were in yours. It doesn’t matter where you are. Someone else will want to be in your shoes. That’s a given.
You can’t also guarantee that you’ll love the places others are enjoying simply by looking at what they share. Rather than envy it, try to learn more about their experience. You might find the information useful in planning your trip. You might even learn something new.
Looking back at your past travels is also a great way to bring back some of that travel-lovin’ feeling. Pictures, blogs and even social updates are a great way to remember your travel experience and re-live the good times you had there. Thanks Facebook memories!
Have you suffered from travel envy? Let me know!