• basakbalkan

Travel vs. Falling in Love -- why I am addicted to both

Updated: Apr 13, 2019



"Eureka!", I yelled, as I scrambled out of my bath and ran down the corridor, leaving trails of wet footprints behind.

"Basak-san, stop, you no can run wet in hotel! Danger! Fall, hurt!"

I didn't care. I had understood why travelling was addictive and I had to write it down before I forgot.

Pfff, I thought, someone else must have long discovered this anyways, so why bother? I slowed down, realizing I was naked in the ryokan, with my Japanese host trying to put a yukata over me. Yes, but, so what? I had discovered it on my own, and if I thought this way about everything, well, I might as well just shut up forever. And die, even. Someone, lots of people, must have already written this, said this, countless times over the centuries, but I would say it for the first time and some of my readers would hear of it for the first time. Wasn't that worth it?

Travelling is like falling in love. It's forever living the first few days or weeks of a love story. You meet, you are fascinated, everything about him is new, wonderful, exciting, worth discovering. You barely see anything negative, and when you do, even those are endearing. He has not as yet become a source of anxiety or sadness, expectations are still low, or they are still all fulfilled – you expect to be fascinated, and you are. You expect novelty and you have it. You expect to rediscover yourself though him, and you do. You gulp down that unbeatable, addictive cocktail of oxytocin and serotonin, giving you that inevitable high, you are full of adrenaline, you no longer need much sleep, you just want to be awake and wandering about the streets of his mind, eating up the delicacies he offers you with his whole being, smelling every inch of his body, listening to the music of his words and moans... Tell me all about you! I want to know everything; what's your story, your history, what do you read, what type of music do you listen to, what do you eat, when do you sleep? My mission as of now is to learn all there is to know about your fabulous self. It's only you and me, babe.

This also explains why I love to travel alone. If I am travelling with a real person in the flesh, then I will be busy discovering him and the city will be just a back-drop for the two of us. It can become like a threesome with the third not getting as much attention as he should. But when I'm on my own, it's a full-blown love story between the two of us and he has my undivided attention. He is the only one feeding me my cocktail of ecstasy-inducing drugs; we are in our little bubble. I am in love and passionately happy, you can see it in my face: I permanently bear the tell-tell flush of joyful love-making and my eyes sparkle with fascination. Yes, I am addicted – and do not talk to me about any cures. I am a happy addict.

** thought out between 4 AM-7AM on 25/02, when I could neither sleep, nor open my eyes. Hence the surreal and maybe unnecessary intro!


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