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Travelholics, we all come in different forms!

[ 8 ] September 16, 2010 | Sasha

Travelholics, you know the type and chances are if you’re reading this your one of them.  They’re the people constantly surfing the web for travel blogs and travel inspiration, gazing longingly at the flight deals displayed in travel agengy windows, forgoing that expensive caramel macchiato for a flat white and staying in instead of going out just to squirrel away the extra cash.  They are the people tubing down the Mekong in Laos, teaching English in some far corner of the world or sitting in a hostel common room scheming how best to stretch their cash. They can’t help but talk about travel whether it was their last trip, their current trip or their next trip.  They’re the people who live for travel, who are constantly planning their next travel adventure, even when there still travelling!  This is me and this is most likely you too!!!

But just like ice cream comes in many different colours and delicious flavours travelholics also come in many different wonderful forms.  These are the four groups I’ve either at one point been a member of or have come across in my daily life and travels.


The Holidayer

The Holidayer, is the Travelholic who travels more often on a short term basis, from as little as 2 days up to 2 months. These people love to travel and whenever they get the chance to they take it whether it be weekend trips, public holidays or annual leave. These people have lives they’re committed to at home like a family, job or mortgage or simply just can’t afford to travel the longterm dream.  They may even be so travel obsessed that they can’t even contemplate depriving themselves  from any trips at all for a couple of years just to save up for a big year long trip!  You will find The Holidayer perusing the newspaper and internet for the latest cheap flight deals, watching travel shows for more holiday inspiration and religiously reading travel magazines. The Holidayer get’s the best of both worlds, the trill of the new that is travel and the comforting, cosy life that is having a home.

This was me for 3 years, obsessed with travel but without the funds or the time between work and study to feed that obsession longterm.  So to stop myself from going travel crazy  I would work, save up my money and go on a 1-2month holiday. I’m sure had I not taken those trips I quickly would have gone insane!

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: jurvetson

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: jurvetson

The RTWer

The RTWer is commonly a Gap Yearer or Career Breaker often taking a year long break in their lives to explore the world.  For them this may be the opportunity to break free of the stagnant, routine lifestyle of work or study to experience the fluidity of world travel.  RTWer’s are often enthusiastic, adventurous and spontaneous and looking to get the most experiences and the most destinations out of their year around the world.  A RTWer’s was likely in the past a Holidayer who gotten bitten by the travel bug on a holiday and now needs a long treatment of travel to sooth the symptoms.  They will attend many Travelholic meetings mainly in common rooms in hostels all over the world getting the most recent tips from travellers they meet on the road and the blogs they spend hours perusing.  This person very likely worked their arse off to afford this trip and may be at times quite stingy, but I’m sure not too stingy to buy the occasional round of beers for all their new RTWer friends!


The Longterm Traveller

The Longterm Traveller is very clealry a Travelholic with very apparent symptoms, they just can’t stop travelling!  This is the person who probably started out at a RTWer only to find they loved the lifestyle so much they didn’t want the year to end!  They do what they do what they can to keep travelling, work casual jobs, teach English, work for their accommodation, stay with friends, couchsurf and maybe even bust out their hidden musical talents to earn some extra dosh busking on the streets.  What ever it takes to keep living their passion day after day they will do it!

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: heypeggy

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: heypeggy


The Expat

The Expat is the Travelholic who loves to experience life living in another culture.  Not content with just travelling a country for a short time, The Expat wants to take it slow, learning about the people over time, travelling like a local, becoming a local.  They may travel to the far corners of their adopted home taking in sights that don’t feature in travel guides thanks to an acquired local knowledge.  They may decide to settle down in a country for many years soothing their travelholic desires for international travel by exploring the far reaches of their greater region.  Expats love the nomadic lifestyle of travel but at the end of the day prefer to spend long enough somewhere to call it home, at least for a while!

The expat lifestyle for me was always just going to be a means to an ends to earn some money to travel. But finally living as an expat I see so much more to this lifestyle.  I found I like having a home far too much and I love the local insight that you only get living life as an expat.


Now of course this is just an overall generalisation of Travelholics, after all, we do all come in different forms, it would be impossible to categorise us all and really why would you want to. At the end of the day the point is we’re all Travelholics and where all different, we all have different motivations for travelling, we all have different passions and interests when we’re travelling and we all travel in different styles.  So surprise, surprise we’re not just travellers and we don’t all fit in this nice neat little traveller box or indeed four travelholic boxes. One fundamental thing we all are and have in common, we are all people who LOVE travel!  And really at the end of the day is a ‘traveller’ not just a person who wants to see and experience the world!

What kind of ‘Travelholic’ are you?  Have you like me been a different one at different stages in your life?

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About Sasha: Sasha is a young Aussie lass who is living it up as an expat in Shanghai. When she’s not teaching English she can be found scheming her next grand travel adventure, dancing up a storm at Shanghai’s hippest clubs and taking an uncountable number of pictures of random things. View author profile.

Comments (8)

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  1. Matt
    Twitter: Backpackingmatt

    I’m not sure I’d quite call myself an expat, but I’ve done the majority of my traveling on working holidays – it allows me to get settled into a country for a longer period of time. I like being able to really understand the countries culture.
    Matt´s last blog ..New Zealand’s Top 5 Backpacking Destinations My ComLuv Profile

  2. Sasha says:

    Yeah, It’s nice to take the time to get to know the culture and also see everything, sometimes travelling it can all feel too rushed.

  3. Andi
    Twitter: andiperullo

    Hmmm, I don’t think I fit into any of those actually!
    Andi´s last blog ..Guest Post- My 3 Favorite Photos Italy My ComLuv Profile

  4. Sasha says:

    Great :) You proved my point, we’re all different but we’re all still travellers! :)

  5. Cashmere says:

    I fall under the Holidayer.. but I dont scrimp and save though.. lol! Just that I have to travel within a certain period of time or I’ll go insane. :)
    Cashmere´s last blog ..Holding my thoughts My ComLuv Profile

  6. Alouise says:

    Well right now I’d be a Holidayer, but I’d certainly like to try be another type of travelholic. But I know any big trips will have to wait until I finish school.
    Alouise´s last blog ..Change and Blue Cheese Ice Cream My ComLuv Profile

  7. Connie
    Twitter: conniehum

    I agree with you: I think at one point in our travel lives, we all fit into each category. While living and working in NYC, I was definitely a holidayer. After I quit my job, I became a RTWer. Two years later, I’m still on the road as a long-term traveler, though I did make Istanbul my home last year as an expat teaching English. No matter what kind of traveler you are, the most important thing is that you’re traveling. =)

  8. Ayngelina
    Twitter: ayngelina

    I’m the RTWer that thought I may turn into a Long Term Traveler but looks like I’ll become a Holidayer.

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