It starts out as a heavy feeling in your chest when you see a photo of your friend's smiling face against a backdrop of the sea being kissed by the sun's golden rays. You dismiss the feeling and go on with your life not knowing that the travel bug has settled in your heart at last.

Suddenly you begin to notice the little brochures, the ads, and the TV shows, in which you see photos of remote islands, towering mountain peaks, and secluded beaches. The heavy feeling returns but this time heavier than the last. You clutch your chest and will the feeling to pass. You tell yourself that traveling can only be a dream because to do so would cost a lot of money and you don't earn that much cash. It's only for the lucky people with big fat wallets and designer hats.

Then something happens and suddenly you find yourself opening up. Asking questions like, "Will I ever get to see that?" You start seeking for answers and then find out that you were your own biggest hurdle for your excuses were but scant. Some time later, maybe days, weeks, or months, you find yourself clutching a ticket you have booked in advance.

Excitement builds up until the day before departure. You start thinking of so many what ifs. Your mind goes on overdrive and you end up unable to sleep. You doze off sometime into the night and wake up with an aching head when your alarm breaks out in tantrums screaming for you to get up from your bed.

Still groggy from a few hours of sleep you double check your things to see if something was missed. After a thousand glances at your wristwatch you finally gear up and go out into the street.

On your way to the station your nerves build up and start to overflow. Questions cloud your mind and you start to doubt what you know.

  • "What if I can't do this?"
  • "What if I get lost?"
  • "What if I missed something important?"
  • "What if my money is not enough?"

The deciding moment soon comes. Do you get in or do you run? In that exact moment you find calm and bliss. The weight that you carry suddenly disappears. You hop on and find a seat.

On the window you watch the scenes outside as they pass by. Taking in as much as you can try to memorize.

Hours later your senses tingle as you see the sign posts telling you that you're near. The unfamiliar surrounding leaves your heart racing with excitement and a tinge of fear. Once you arrive you slowly walk out the door. You look around and then walk on with vigor. Here is a place from far away. For a few days, here you will stay.

  • Too many sights to see.
  • Too many food to taste.
  • Too many things to learn.
  • Too many people to meet.

Everything is like a whirlwind. You go from here to there. But like everything else things go slowly when the sun begins to set. You find your spot and settle with a drink in hand. You watch as the sky gets painted by the rays of the sun.

The following days pass by like a blur. You get in the zone and forget who you once were. It's only on the last day that the old you begins to stir. It's time to go back where reality waits to devour you like a lion in its den.

The past days will seem like a distant dream. You hop on your ride back still in a daze from everything that you've experienced and seen.

And when you finally get back to the place that you call home. You try to blend back into the life that you once had but discover that you no longer see things as they were before. Material collections turn to clutter, petty problems become trivial, time becomes precious, and experience has now become valuable.

Now, staying at home makes you jittery. Friday night outs no longer make you merry. Your old life filled with routing and comfort have fallen into rust. It's no longer just an itch from the travel bug but an insatiable case of wanderlust.

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