Beach in Cancun, Mexico

Here’s $50 To Get You Excited About Travel

Derek Everything Else 79 Comments

Beach in Cancun, Mexico
We all think about travel. Chances are that we all find ourselves daydreaming about travel quite often as well. Even I daydream about travel…even when I’m traveling. That’s how attractive the idea of visiting foreign lands can be.

But there is clearly a difference between thinking or daydreaming about travel and that feeling of pure travel euphoria that suddenly strikes from time to time, a feeling so intense that we are left wanting nothing else but to be instantly transported overseas. Suddenly, not only do we want to be riding camels across the deserts of India, swimming in the waters of Tahiti and wandering through the Roman Colosseum, we want to be doing all of these things RIGHT NOW!

We go from being merely excited about travel to being so insanely, super-flipping excited that we can’t sit still and we start trying to re-arrange our lives so that we can begin a new trip immediately.

I’m sure any of you travelers out there know exactly what I’m talking about. And even those of you who have yet to travel probably experience certain moments as well when you feel an uncommonly strong urge to drop everything, run straight to the airport and get on a flight to somewhere new.

So what is it that turns on that switch?

For me, it always changes. Sometimes the excitement is cranked up upon purchasing a flight ticket or obtaining a visa from the Embassy of a country I’m planning to visit. Other times, it’s from reading a particular book or magazine article or listening to a certain song. And there are even times when it may be from something as seemingly insignificant as buying a new pair of sandals because my current ones simply won’t survive being dragged through another country.

Yes, sometimes that’s all it takes. With new sandals in hand (or on feet) I’m ready to embark on another adventure, and that realization can send me into a such a state of joy that it’s as if I’m in the midst of an out-of-body experience.

Before I left home back in 1999 to start this life of travel, the grand moment of excitement came when I purchased my very first backpack. I’ll never forget that day when I put a Kelty Redwing 2900 on the checkout counter at Eastern Mountain Sports in Boston and told the clerk, “I’ll take it”. (At least that’s what I think I said. My excitement at that very moment was so uncontrollable that it probably came out as “Owl techie.”)

Anyway, the point is, we all have something that sends us into that glorious state of travel euphoria, where the only thing on our mind is finding a way to get out there and experience this world of ours. If it’s not buying a backpack or a flight ticket, maybe it’s reading a guidebook for some faraway, exotic land that you hope to visit one day. It could be anything and…

Whatever it is, I want to help you reach that level of excitement. So here’s what I’m going to do…


$50 Travel Euphoria Giveaway

Here are the rules:

1. Leave a comment below explaining what gets you into that state of travel euphoria where you become so excited about travel that nothing else seems to matter.

Then…

2. Head over to my Facebook Fan Page and if you haven’t already, “Like” the page. (This is an important step, although the only reason I included it is because I’d love to have more Facebook fans! But in order to win, you’ll need to “Like” the page.)

And that’s it.

In one week from now, at 6pm GMT (2pm EST in the US) on July 23rd, 2011, I’m going to choose one comment at random (using the website Random.org) and that person will receive $50 towards whatever it is that would immediately get them super-excited about travel. To make it more interesting, if by 6pm GMT on July 23rd there are at least 100 comments on this post, I will pick 2 winners who will each receive $50 to help them reach travel euphoria.

So be sure to spread the word! And remember…

It doesn’t matter if you plan to start traveling tomorrow, next month or even next year, it’s never too early or too late to start getting excited about the adventures that lie ahead!


Please note: If the item that will make you most excited to travel can be found on Amazon.com, your $50 prize will be in the form of an Amazon.com Gift Card. However, if the item is not available on Amazon or you currently reside in a country where you cannot receive packages, I will use another method to ensure you receive your prize in full. (This is not a sponsored giveaway.)

Good luck!

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Comments 79

  1. Scott Lehmann

    I have been excited about traveling the world ever since I was a little boy. My Grandmother traveled all over the world. visiting I couldn’t even pronounce. I can remember around the age of 5or 6 talking to her and asking about what some place was like. When she died, she left behind for me a collection of coins from around the world. To this day, I open that box and look at the coins, wondering what it was like decades ago in some far off place. Many of those coins have been replaced with new currencies in those countries now, so I have decided to start my own collection for my daughter.

    Scott
    http://www.travelwithscott.com

  2. thetreasuretracker

    What gets me excited about travel?

    aside from the photos and memories, I think the best reward is the lesson that will learn from it, the lesson that I will never get nor acquire in school or any educational institution. Its the real and actual experience that will help us discover new things.

  3. joanna alder

    For me it’s the planning. Once I know where I am going I can start researching and planning. I get butterflies in my stomach. I dislike times like now where I have just come back from my last trip and I dont have anything new in mind. So yes, planning for me.

  4. Kjrstin

    Comfort and people.
    I get the itch to travel every time I get too comfortable where I am. I live in a routine for too long and all I can do is daydream about throwing myself outside of that comfort zone. I’m constantly fantasizing about a new chance to learn and expand my own knowledge and capabilities and meet new people and do things I never dreamed of. I love to be unsettled, it heightens my excitement and pushes me to be who (in my opinion) I really should be all the time.
    And people. I’ll literally meet one person, think they’re interesting, find their story compelling and then proceed to dream up ways to travel everywhere they’ve been!

  5. Ali Dark

    Earl, I find the anticipation of the wide-eyed wonder feeling the most enticing.

    Wandering strange streets – enjoying things just because they’re new, not caring how lost I get.

    Suddenly, everything’s real, how it should be: wonderful.

  6. Katie

    I think what makes me excited about travel are travelogues — those books in the travel section that are written by people who, more often than not, have lived or stayed in a place long enough to build a life. Some days I’ll just get this feeling where I HAVE to feel immersed in another place. Where I want to be surrounded by another culture and feel apart of another country and experience different things.
    As my overseas adventure is still a few weeks away, this is as close as I can get for now! But just 18 more days and I land in Prague. Happiness 🙂

  7. Kassandra Reina

    The thing that gets me most excited to travel are the “signs”. When I say signs, I mean those undeniable coincidences that you know are pointing you in a certain direction. For me, it is Peru. The image of Machu Picchu is a picture in my brain that will just not leave. I created a vision board last year and had a huge picture of Machu Picchu on it, then I went to a used book store, picked up a copy of the Celestine Prophesy, not knowing the whole thing takes place in Peru. Shortly after, I received my very first issue of National Geographic in the mail – when I opened the mailbox, I almost fell down; it was the exact photo of Machu Picchu that I had on my vision board that was hung up in my room. There’s many other examples just like this. Just last night I watched the movie The Celestine Prophesy and was overflowing with excitement about this adventure to Peru that will someday happen. I’m sure of it – and the signs keep coming 🙂

  8. Murray Lunn

    For me? Music Festivals.

    Music is my passion and I feel there is no better way to meet the wild and wonderful people of the world than going to a music festival. I’ve always met the most interesting people at festivals because it isn’t your normal bunch. The music brings people together. Looking at all the festivals going on around the world during the summer (and some Winter festivals) really gets me pumped to pack up my bag and head back out.

  9. Mia

    Watching planes in the sky! I always wonder where the people in them have been, or where they are going. It makes me want to drive to the airport and board one myself!

  10. Amanda Jones

    I get travel euphoria like it is no one’s business when I check my friend’s facebooks who are currently traveling. I have a friend in Nicaragua, South Africa, Yellowstone, Thailand, and scattered about the U.S (not necessarily traveling but still makes me antsy). I was hosting a traveler last weekend and was so jealous of her 2,500 miles journey throughout the U.S. Every time I even think about these friends, I want to run away and join them immediately. I love my life and where I live now, but it is seriously like I have ants in my pants 🙂

  11. Daniella

    smells. the smell of moist soil makes me want to be in the middle of mountains and forests. food, salty seas, sweet rivers, fumed cities, villages, dusty roads, warmth, cold, libraries, bars, houses, people. smells pop up daily and they take me everywhere, but it’s absolute bliss to be at the source isn’t it?

  12. Mack Reynolds

    food gets me euphoric about travel. i absolutely love food, and thinking about food…and thinking about food from other places. i mean, seriously. sometimes i watch travel channel or something featuring foods from other places and i’m like “holy crap i want that!” just writing about thinking about food is making my mouth water. rice, meat, sammiches, veggies, beans, eggs, everything! food does the trick for me.

  13. Brenna

    No matter how cheesy this may sound but what really gets me excited about traveling is booking a round trip ticket. I’m very particular about promos so even if I can only catch a one way ticket, I take it – however, this always means my travel can be pending depending if I can actually book a flight back for a good price and if I have enough money to actually go travel. But when I’ve booked an RT ticket, the feeling is different. I have my means of travel and by then all I’ll really need is funds to travel. 🙂 I’m not even a very organized packer – whatever I have is enough. Once the tickets are with me, I feel golden.

  14. Nicole

    I’m a bit like you Earl, there isn’t one particular thing but multiple. 🙂

    If I had to choose though it would be reading. It could be blogs or guide books, I don’t mind. If someone captivates me through words I will buy that book and begin dreaming of travelling to that country.

    When I was 12, I was an avid ‘Babysitters Club’ book fan (don’t laugh :P) and in one of their books they went off to summer camp to be counsellors… and soon I began dreaming of becoming a counsellor too. 8-years after reading that book I finally was a counsellor and had one of the best summers-turn-8-month-round-the-world trips ever!

    Oh, and I met a very nice boy in the travel section of a bookstore once which turned into a nice romance. =)

  15. flipnomad

    It used to be just a photo. But now, a blog post… if I get too intrigued and excited about what a blogger has written about a certain place, then most probably I’ll try my best to go to that place. If budget allows me to do so…

  16. Mark Wiens

    I’m going to say that food (along with meeting people from other cultures through food) is probably my most travel euphoria inducing vessel. As an example: A few weeks ago, I met some people from Sri Lanka and they cooked an insanely good meal for us, here in Bangkok. You better believe that I immediately fell into that longing to visit Sri Lanka!

  17. PennyPincher

    What gets me excited about travel are the stories that all my friends bring around the campfire. There is nothing like sitting down and being able to contribute a wild story full of twists and turns that can only be experienced after actually going to a foreign place on your own. When I hear how a friend once made the mistake of being on a cruise and not accounting for the time change only to be left on an island without any of his important documents at the time his boat left, then the sudden fear / excitement of the unknown is like nothing else. It is these types of stories that make me want to pack up and walk away from the routine I have built over the last few years.

  18. Nikki Frick

    I get excited about travel when I start thinking about my packing list and what I need to buy. I love to plan, and planning something as exciting as new places is the best. Being 16 and still attending school, I haven’t been on any large-scale trips outside of the country, (and I’m not even sure that I qualify for this contest) but I’d love to travel as soon as I’m out of college.

    1. Earl

      Hey Nikki – You definitely qualify! If you’re already thinking about traveling, I’m sure you’ll end up taking a large-scale trip at some point!

  19. Stephen

    The moment I go from thinking “this place looks cool” to having decided that I’m going to be there soon is usually one of my most satisfying, for sure!

  20. Mike

    Photography, amazing people, interesting foods, an amazing person (my wife) to share my travels with, some amazing friends to share my travels with (even if those are via Facebook and Foursquare)….i love backpacking, hiking, kayaking, hostels, cabs, languages i can not understand, airports, and just meeting the most amazing and passionate people the world has to offer. I LOVE TRAVEL!

  21. Laura

    The endless possibilities and the insatiable desire for change… I’ve been teaching English in wonderland for over a year now and this week I’m buying a plane ticket home for a short vacation, and then I’ll be picking a new country pretty soon. That gets me excited. Indescribably excited.

  22. James Clark

    Aviation Fuel. If I’m meeting someone at the airport and get a whiff of jet fuel I am ready to get on the next plane out of town. Not the healthiest way to induce travel euphoria, but that is what happens.

    [note: I’m disqualifying myself from the competition as an associate of wanderingearl.com]

  23. Kayla

    I recently have been getting into traveling. I just took a few trips and just left the country for the first this year. Because of those trips and seeing more of the world, I have been thinking about my next trip and can’t wait to travel again. I want to see what the world has to offer. I am finishing up college and I have been questioning what I want to do and everything I think what I want to do, traveling is the first thing that pops into my head.

  24. Laura

    Totally books! I love reading travel stories or people’s memoirs about their experiences in other countries. I also love reading about other cultures. That makes me want to jump up and down!

  25. Giulia

    I get excited about travel when I book a flight. When I start the countdown to departure. When I read a blog post about one of my dream destinations. When I see an amazing photo and I wish I was right there. When I go to my uncle’s bookstore and spend hours in the travel section… and always get some books for free. When I open Google Earth and start traveling even just daydreaming. When I meet someone who just came back from an epic trip and I want to know everything!
    As I always say, traveling is my oxygen… they say a lot of oxygen causes euphoria… right? 🙂

  26. Sam

    Sneaking peeking at work!! When I am planning a new trip I always read about it, look it up on the net etc. But nothing is more thrilling than sneaking in a quick internet search at work. Putting aside the work I am doing to research the place I am going, look at flight prices, accommodation and the like always get me super excited.

  27. GlobetrotterGirls

    Planning what to do in each destination is what gets us both really excited about travel. Looking up information in guidebooks, on travel blogs and in video clips and travel shows is already like being ‘virtually’ there, so that is when excitement starts. But there’s nothing quite like finally walking out of our hotel for the first time in a new place and setting out to explore it – exploring new places is the travel ‘crack’ that keeps us hooked! 🙂

  28. Bri

    What gets me the most excited about travel is the possibilities that anything can happen. Maybe you will find the coolest dive bar, try new food, or meet a local that will take you to a special spot. It’s the sense of never knowing what you might experience or where the next road will lead you. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing things you never thought you could is such a rush. Just thinking about what could happen, the pure anticipation of the trip is one of the best feelings there is.

  29. Dani

    There are so many things that get me excited about travel:
    1. The moment I purchase a plane ticket to a destination
    2. Looking through travel guides in a book store
    3. Reading travel blogs (esp Wandering Earl 😉 ..) and travel articles
    4. Watching the travel channel
    5. Talking to other travelers and listen to their stories about countries I haven’t been to yet.

  30. Tara

    I get excited about travel by reading blogs like yours! There’s always something that inspires me and gets me amped up for my next journey…

  31. Tatiana

    Whenever I watch House Hunters, and people go abroad to move because of work (vacationers always go to south america to live near the beach – so boring!). The other day I watched an episode with a Czech couple and I’ve been dying to go to Prague for ages now. Just seeing the city (aka the Paris of Eastern Europe) is so fantastic looking. They have a film school there that I’d gladly attend just so that I could live, eat and breathe in Prague! *sighs longingly*

  32. Leif aka The Runaway Guide

    For me, all it takes is a map. Once I start looking at a map, especially an old map, my mind runs wild with travel fantasies. My heart starts to thump, I have a huge maniacal grin and all I want to do is start packing my bag. So, for me, its a map. Some Buddha Bar in the background always helps though.

  33. Julia

    Hi Earl,

    I think what gets me excited about traveling is the idea that nothing else matters at the time. Work and other responsibilities go away while I am on the move. I get to completely indulge myself in where ever it is that I am. It is this feeling that has inspired me to try and make a life where I am able to be where ever I want, whenever I want. I wouldn’t mind having responsibilities if they revolved around traveling 🙂

  34. Tom Corey (@TomarHawk)

    So many things get me excited about travelling from seeing photos and videos to buying the equipment for my first round the world trip like my recently purchased backpack! (I leave on 30th August and sooo excited). Hearing about the amazing food (I have a passion for food and cookery) to reading inspiring quotes from famous travellers such as Mark Twain!

    However the thing that gets me excited about travel is hearing the adventures as they happen on social sites such as Twitter where you can read and see what an amazing world we live in and take for granted! It is people like you Earl and travel bloggers alike that take it so passionately and make it soo inspiring!

    Thanks for giving me the urge and kick I need to make my dream come true!!

    Regards

    Tom 🙂

  35. Audrey

    The second they stamp my passport at the immigration desk once I’ve landed. It screams out to me, “You’re welcome! Now go explore.” Once you walk out of the safety of the airport you REALLY feel like you’re on your own. You may not know where to go, but it’s up to you to find your way around the city. That’s what gets me excited about travel – the unknown!

  36. Carrie

    For me, it’s a combination of things.

    I’ll first get really excited about a place when I see photos that clearly show something different from places I’ve been before. Something that sparks mystery and intrigue.

    However, the second that the moment becomes real, and I make that purchase to obtain my plane ticket, everything else ceases to exist. From then, I’m shaking like a leaf, pacing around my living room because I can’t sit down for more than a second, and calling all my travelbug-bitten friends squealing about how it’s really happening, but it doesn’t even feel real. For the next 24 hours I’m in a dream state…

    … then reality kicks in and preparation list-making begins. 😀

  37. Adam

    I always get excited about traveling when I buy something new—usually clothes. Like yesterday, after deciding to live in Berlin, I went out and bought some new underwear. I didn’t particularly need it but I wanted to start my summer off in Berlin with something new…and exciting (at least for me)!

  38. Forest

    The excitement rarely properly hits me until I am on the plane as I never quite believe it until that point. I am going home to London for the first time in 2 years in 2 weeks and my brain just isn’t registering it properly….

    1. Earl

      Hey Forest – That will be quite an experience after being away from home for so long. I can’t imagine what it will be like when you walk off the plane. Of course, I’m sure after a short adjustment period you’ll be thoroughly enjoying yourself!

  39. T-roy

    For me it’s normally when I have to leave one place (visa expired or whatever) and need to decided on a new place to visit. This is when I start to really get excited, as knowing I can go just about anywhere I want and all i have to do is choose!

  40. jojo

    i don’t get to travel much due to hectic schedules of school and exams.. but just the thought of being able to dump everything aside and go on a stressless and carefree trip to anywhere gets me excited.. i often think of where i could go, the things i would want to see, even if my ideas are sometimes a little too ambitious.. 😛

  41. Stephanie C

    I get excited about travel when swapping stories with a friend. I want to visit the places that they have – especially Africa. Meeting people while traveling who come from or have been to places I haven’t like Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, India, and well just about anywhere gets me excited. Wanderlust for new places.

  42. Natalie

    I am permanently excited about travel but get excited when I am surfing the web about my next destination. I get all my travel information from the web like where to go, what to see, how to travel, foods to taste etc. Sometimes ther pictures are so good that I immediately want to be transported there. Impatience, I think they call it. 🙂

  43. Dee Williams

    What gets me excited about travel? Well, back in 2008, I was watching Samantha Brown’s Passport to Europe and after watching a few episodes I decided to go. I was there with a tour group for 3 weeks. It was so much fun. While I was sitting at the airport to return home, I was secretly wishing that the flight would be delayed a day or 2 so I could go back out and see London one last time.
    Another time I was excited about travel was while I was working at a bookstore a few years ago, a customer walked up to me to purchase a travel book to Japan and I asked her what made her want to go there and she said “I just woke up today and decided that I’m going to go in a few weeks”. I love that! To just pick up and go!!
    Today, I work in the travel industry, as a customer service rep, and I usually have to deal with the negative side of travel (delayed/missed flights, no hotel/transfer reservations…etc,) but it still makes me want to go out and travel the world.

  44. Rad Nad

    Toys!
    I have gotoobs arriving soon and I am (sadly I know) very excited.
    I am always on the lookout for new things that will make travelling easier and when I get them I get excited about where I can use them.

  45. Christian Hollingsworth

    What gets me excited about travel? Interesting question. Well, I think what gets me excited about travel is a mixture of memories as well as the unknown.

    I often remember all the fantastic time I’ve had traveling – and that certainly gets me very, very excited. I also imagine the places I’d like to travel – and that pumps me up too.

    Love what Maplemusketeer had to say about travel above. Photos do wonders for inspiring me to travel.
    Christian

  46. ashley

    what gets me excited? pictures. mostly cultural pictures – things that show the area. i have an inspirational mural on my ceiling i’l have to show you a picture of – i have all the places i want to visit and pictures i found fascinating of every region in the world basically, all organized by area as they would be found on the map. i read blogs like yours, i take out sentences, put them into adobe indesign, and add them in! this mural is another thing that kickstarts me traveling woes.

    also, as a double major in history and anthropology, its a shame i havent left the country yet….

  47. Jayson Moore

    Every time I’m in a bookstore I practically run over to the guide books. I flip through any and all of them and I am immediately transported there. Where ever it is. I’ve already checked out, bag packed, one way ticket bought.

  48. Maplemusketeer

    A photo.

    It’s that simple. The visual of a different place starts all sorts of thoughts racing through my brain. I notice the different geology or flora; the architecture and the history of an area and people; the clothing and the traditions, and stories, of the people who wear them. Just simply discussing the things that make me excited is making me excited! Frick! lol 😀 😀 😀 Our world is amazing. And we get to experience it. We’re so fortunate.

    1. Earl

      @maplemusketeer: Haha…now I’m wondering if after you wrote this comment you went and booked a ticket to somewhere!

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