There’s a disease for acquired tastes; one that escapes certain norms and boring stereotypes, one that skips happy endings and trades them for the memories and experiences. One that is utterly incurable – at least as far as l know. And I know it all too well because I have fallen ill to it for some time now.

I believe, in the Western world, it’s called “The Traveler’s Syndrome”. As a syndrome, it needs to be described, though; before the plot thickens. I could probably write a PhD thesis on it, however, for the sake of you and me dear reader, I’ll be as brief as humanly possible. The Traveler’s Syndrome is basically the endless pursuit of happiness, combined with the realization that such endeavor is futile, so, why not fuck it and fill yourself with as many experiences as you can; or afford. I’m not sure I can make you see it, actually comprehend its power, but it is a feeling like no other.

You first think it’s good. And it might even seem better than good. You’ll see new places, meet a bunch of people, have good sex with a number of them; maybe even build something of substance with one of them. You’ll always have stories to share with friends, you’ll always get the girl or the guy at the bar with what you’ll be saying and doing. You’ll be an odd number in a world of even ones and that will bring you some welcome attention. You’ll be a better lover, a better friend and a wise mentor. Probably a shitty family man, a weird relative, a misfit. Then again you can’t have it all can you?

You’ll never be a good family person, all the quiet sweet people in your life will seek something more manageable, something that they know will not lose itself while stating at planes taking off on Friday nights. You won’t be there when those in your family you love the most slowly wither away and all you’re left with is the memories of what they used to be.

Ahh the memories. That girl that cried at the bottom of the staircase after a date, the old man that used to climb mountains but could barely move, the house at the end of the road that seems untouched by time, and a whole bag full of goodbyes.

There is no such thing as a hopeful goodbye you know. Once you say it, it’s like cutting a rope that holds something that has no clear shape; but, even so, you can’t live without it. But then you do, you move again and something will occupy your mind, a new place will fill your senses.

Whatever is left of your judgment has become so etching completely incomprehensible to anyone else but your own special mind, your own way of weird thinking. Staying at a place, staying with a person, staying anywhere too long becomes painful, it awakens ghosts you know all too well. You wear your shiny armor in hopes of it protecting you but it slowly but steadily rusted.

The Traveler’s Syndrome is amazing until it isn’t. It’s a divine gift and a curse to not feel your home homely anymore. And all you’re waiting for is to find that one person, that one place, that will silence all the voices in your head and make you sleep at night, in a familiar bed, with a familiar breath on your neck, as the day crawls in the room through the purple curtains.


Author: Michael Poe

Leave a comment!

Do you have an article suggestion?

Feel free to send us your suggestion about an article you would like to read.