The travel bug

It is undoubtedly true that since I moved back to Italy last March I have been very much inspired to get back to writing. Maybe just because a lot of new things happened to me. And I am a happy person again. But as things go, I have been writing mostly in Italian due to the environment stimulation.So here’s one again to stretch my English…

I really love Airports and Hotels. The period of my life spent in the travel industry, which was also my very first job, opened up my life to a series of events that -with no exaggeration- changed my life.

To travel is a sort of addiction, once you get infected you need it more and more. Some may call it the travel bug.

When I was younger I dreamt about working as flight attendant and see the world sashaying around in my uniform.

But also, I’d had loved to work in an airport. Airports have that energy, that unique conglomerate of emotions: people sad, people excited, people stressed, people waiting for their beloved returning home, or leaving each other forever. It’s a unique environment. The profi travelers, the business men, the mums with kids, and those who are newbies. You can find a wide range of human conditions, human types, human races, human odors…

Those kilometers of corridors, stairs, escalators, travellators. Those lounges, those chairs that make you feel important. The sport bars, the chic oysters restaurants. The shops!

The few times I travelled for business so far I was quite lucky and I could treat myself to nice hotels.

How can you not love high-end hotels. The nice treats, the polite and well-trained staff, the modern design furniture, the bright light, the concierge, the people treating you like you are really important, and people pretending to be really important, people pretending to be busy…

The great breakfast buffet. Oh I love some salmon for breakfast, and scrambled eggs, and then the pancakes with jam and 6 different type of cereals…

The wide bathrooms. The pillow selection. The complimentary slippers. The maids. The bugs…

Oh, Yes, the bugs! (You thought I was going on ranting about all these nice things only, didn’t you?!) Because in a famous hotel chain (4 star), once I had one of the most disgusting experiences of my life as a traveler. I woke up at around 6 and saw a shade on the pillow, turning on the light, looking closer I realized that the bed was infested by bed bugs, I ran to the bathroom and inspected my PJ and found one crawling up my sleeve. They were everywhere, of different sizes and colors, on the walls as well, and in the empty bed next to mine -being a double room.

Not even in the most disgusting pension in Thailand –where on the contrary at night, if you happen to use the toilet, you would find cockroaches running away… Long story short I packed my stuff in a rush not before having checked my suitcase because if they hide in your bags you can take them home and everywhere else you are going! Took few pictures for the records and did not pay for the room.

I spent the day at my customer visit feeling really odd and scratching discreetly everywhere where I slightly had the impression of something tickling me. I spent the next days reading about those bugs and I discover they are pretty nasty. I mean really in their behavior. What I find most disturbing is that they can climb on the walls and launch themselves on you from above, because they are not really good crawlers. They have developed strategies those beasts. They are mischievous and sneaky. They hide during the day in a way that if you undo completely your bed you wouldn’t discover (in fact I am someone that always checks bedlinens before going to sleep) then at night they come out when they feel the increase of CO2 in the air as a sign that you are sound asleep, so they can banquet on you. But they can’t bite through clothes unlike flies, so if you are well covered you are pretty much safe like me. At home I closed all my stuff in a bag, sprayed it with insecticide and washed it.

The only way to kill the insects and all their eggs is either below 10 or above 46 degrees Celsius. Not really practical to disinfest an entire hotel room. The real problem was that I could not sleep well not even in my own bed afterwards for some time, dreaming of these bugs..

– Here comes a wonderful consideration on the power of the mind. –

Believe it or not I started seeing a rush appearing on my arms in the morning, I was so convinced I had bugs at night biting me that my brain produced those red spots similar to the images I saw online. And this went on for days. On the phone with my sister, trying to make sense of this all after having sent her pictures to ask for her medical advice, she told me stop thinking you have bugs and it will disappear. And so it actually happened, when I finally convinced myself it was all in my mind it stopped. So I thought, ok right, if my mind can make me feel/appear actually sick just because I think I am sick, you can imagine if, on the contrary, I am ill and I can convince my body to cure himself on his own?!

I leave this with you. Think about it. Of course medicines are important and we need to consult specialists, but also think about your own mind power, something nowadays totally underestimated.

As regards me, yes, I can say I really got the travel bug in one sense or the other.

I keep travelling whenever possible and keep checking my room and my bed as soon as I check-in.