Three things that stoke my travel itch

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There are so many things that trigger the travel bug for me.

All those email deals that pop up in my inbox.

Friends’ travel photos, especially of places I haven’t been to yet.

Fond travel memories – triggered by something as simple as hearing a German accent on the bus, which throws me back to the time I had to ask for help figuring out the Berlin bus lines … or the time we all piled onto the last train back to Athens from the ferry port, and tried to help a bunch of European girls figure out where their backpacker’s hotel was.

And of course, smaller, random occurrences like these…

Seeing backpackers trying to navigate my local supermarket

I work in the burbs, so I don’t see  backpackers on Queen St on a daily basis. It’s always a surprise to see them wandering around my local supermarket – we’re a bit of a way out from the CBD after all, but it is a lot cheaper here (the first thing I usually asked any couchsurfers we hosted was whether they needed to make a grocery trip), and a lot of the best parts of Auckland are not in the centre. So props to those travellers!

Using ATMs

It’s very, very easy to live a cashless life in New Zealand. I sure do! But I had to get used to using ATMs throughout Asia and Europe (and once or twice in the States), which was mildly annoying. So the rare occasions when I need to visit an ATM here to get cash can trigger travel flashbacks. (Thankfully, our ATMs are generally big, clean and shiny, unlike some of those tiny, filthy grey ATMS scattered around New York, the kind that look like they were created specifically to spread disease.)


Pizza (takes me back to Naples and New York). Seafood (takes me back to Naples and the Amalfi Coast). Or the lack of! Example: dreaming of a good sandwich, ala New York deli subs. Or my North American buds talking about certain foods – BBQ, poutine, anything Mexican…

What kinds of things give you itchy feet?

20 thoughts on “Three things that stoke my travel itch

  1. LOTS of things. Just setting around here on the computer poking around online, seeing deals or talking to people in other timezones will remind me that I wanted to take this trip or that other trip. Of course, with Doggle, it’s somewhat less easy than it used to be! Figures, we now have enough money to think about travel recreationally but my heart’s tied to the dog 🙂

  2. I have itchy feet ALL the time. I want to go everywhere, but mostly I travel to places where friends and family are. Seeing dear friends while also checking out new places makes travel so special that it is hard for me to go anywhere I don’t know someone. Plus, you know, free accommodation! I am constantly planning my next trip(s). My friend posted a pic of her skiing in Colorado…that just made it onto my life list, planning on visiting her this Sept (skiing will have to wait!). Another friend posted some pics of his commute–he lives in London and travels to Switzerland for work, so I’m planning on spending some time in each of those places before/after work sends me to Prague next year. Yet another friend lives in Bangkok and is taking a day trip to Myanmar today–I’m determined to visit him as well. I’m lucky my friends live all over and provide a long list of places to visit!

    Somewhat off topic, but where ARE the best parts of Auckland City, and why, in your opinion? I don’t have a car so am pretty restricted to the CBD and surrounds…though I get out to the Waitaks and beaches whenever I have the chance. Gotta get exploring in my hometown when I need a low cost travel option, but I just don’t know the ‘burbs well enough. 🙂

    1. Well, I’m big on food and I think a lot of the best eats especially on the ethnic front are in the burbs. (Post in a week or two about some of my favourite restaurants is in the queue…) Obviously Sandringham and Dominion Rds but also scattered around (I mean even just around where I live we have Kohu Rd, Swiss Konditorei, and more) The night markets (Pakuranga is the best but all the way east!) Clevedon Farmer’s Market is awesome…

      The west is my homeground so anywhere on this side 🙂 Pretty much everywhere in the Waitaks – bush and beaches. There’s so much to explore in this area alone.

      Western Springs, Cornwall Park/One Tree Hill for picnics, greenery, open spaces…. The international cultural festival is on soon in Mt Roskill. Shore beaches and the areas just north of Auckland – looove Matakana etc.

      Mt Eden is a charming neighbourhood, as is Titirangi, Birkenhead, Devonport…

  3. seeing people’s travel photos on facebook def makes me itch to travel!! I curb the itch by planning our vacays months in advance. If I can go somewhere at least once a year that usually keeps me satisfied. I wish we could travel more but Eric’s schedule just doesn’t allow it

  4. I always want to travel when I see someone post pictures on Facebook. It’s terrible of me. But, whenever that happens, I just read travel blogs or visit sites touting tourism in my town, and try to do something fun on that list.

  5. I work in between our CBD and the tourist office, near the strip of motels and backpackers. Seeing people walking along the street towards the train station with their backpacks on makes me nostalgic for backpacking – I always want to join them!
    Also, some books really give me itchy feet. I just finished “Wild” and now I’m really desperate to hike again.

  6. Kids crying on a airplane, squished in the airline seat, taking a cab in a foreign country and feeling like you are paying double of what it should be are some of my irks.

    And the worst one is when you get the bill…

    1. What makes me want to go travel is 50 days below zero, snow on the ground for 100+ days in a row, 30 degree below average temperatures for three months, and seeing everyone else come back with a tan!

  7. OMG YES! I see backpackers navigating our local grocery store all the time and get a pang of wanderlust which continually gets stronger until I can’t stand it anymore and charge new flights to the credit card 😀

  8. Thinking about WARM WEATHER! Also when I travel it’s usually the one time I get to ‘unplug’ and truly feel relaxed – so stress definitely fuels my travel itch. I also get a lot of sleep, so I guess when I’m tired I daydream of going on vacation and sleeping for 10 hours a night.

  9. I think being in one place too long will get me itchy. I’m used to travelling almost every month so I’m always looking forward to my next trip.

  10. Memories always get me fired up to travel again. Reliving the fun times with my wife and kids just makes me want to create more of those memories. That’s why we are constantly saving for summer vacations so we don’t miss those chances.

  11. Watching movies set in various locations make me want to travel. Also, when spring rolls around, I always feel the need to hit the road. I guess that comes from being married to a teacher and taking off for spring break for over a decade.

  12. Too many to list, but here are some that give me that travel itch:

    -whenever I see a plane fly overhead, I often wonder where is it going or where is it coming from
    – watching the Amazing Race
    -looking at photos from previous trips
    -reading about other peoples’ travels on their blogs
    -the Lonely Planet website
    -when I peruse the travel section of the bookstore

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