Travel Envy

28 July 2014

Every travel fanatic suffers from a bout of ‘travel envy’ now and again.

Aircraft in a sunset sky "‘Travel envy’ is always lurking. It’s just a matter of time before it rears its head"

It can start in one of many ways. Your friends are talking about their latest beach holiday or backpacking trip to South America. You come across photos on the social networks of acquaintances trekking the mountains of Sapa, Vietnam or standing with the Statue of Liberty towering behind them in the distance.

And suddenly, you are searching cheap flights to anywhere. You’re checking your employment contract for your absolute maximum number of leave days in a row. You are researching the best accommodation options for Italy and Peru and Auckland. You’re madly reading all blogs available for these places.

The feeling never truly goes away. ‘Travel envy’ is always lurking. It’s just a matter of time before it rears its head. I am experiencing a pretty bad attack at present. Most people I know in Hong Kong have headed off home for the summer holidays; to South Africa or England or America. If they haven’t travelled home, they are sojourning in some tropical destination. I am stuck in Hong Kong for various reasons, which is hardly a bad place to be. But living abroad and travelling are two quite different things. And my ‘travel envy’ has hit its peak.

Remarkable-Rocks-at-Sunset- Wouldn't it be fantastic to view the Remarkable Rocks at Sunset?

Even though I am unable to leave the city, I have searched for cheap flights, calculated how many days holiday I could get away with, researched budget accommodation for several destinations and have read too many travel blogs to count.

For this summer holiday, however, I’ll have to be content with travel through books. But my feet are itching to be on the move again. To borrow the words of Swiss author and explorer, Isabelle Eberhardt: “Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” And the photo albums of others’ adventures surely won’t help.

Philippa Francis

Over the last few years, I have fallen in love with travel and I am not sure I will be able to stop, except for my other great love; writing. After studying journalism at Rhodes and Stellenbosch Universities, I wanted to get a taste of the bigger world. I have worked all sorts of jobs and I have saved. I have ‘bused’ around Europe and backpacked around south-east Asia. I have seen magical sights and met wonderful people from all walks of life.