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DEFINITION: MAD (Missing Anywhere Disease), is an incurable disease that affects one crazy traveller out of three.
It occurs through several symptoms at different residential stages of compulsive vagabonds. In its less severe forms, it occurs with an irritating feeling of nostalgia for the visited places.
In the more acute forms, the nostalgia occurs even for the places not seen yet.
To be clear, during the more severe forms, you’d bump into such dialogues:
‘I miss Elsinki so much, at this time of the year’
‘Oh, when have you been there?’
‘Never. In fact, I miss it’.
For those aware to be affected by this disease, it’s useless to say ‘I haven’t made a stroll around for too long’. There will always be someone ready to remind you that you’ve come back from ‘Somewhere’ hardly one month ago, not realizing you’re just in the midst of a crisis.
Here we go with three of the most common symptoms for which there are only palliative remedies. No authorized and definitive care.
- SYMPTOM 1
association of unfavorable weather conditions with cities in which it would make sense to live them: eg. torrential rain in London, Dublin, Amsterdam and so on. and / or
Association of favorable weather condition with cities where it would be particularly lovely to (re) experience them: eg. soak up the sun on a bench in Central Park.
Association of the most beautiful (and, for sure, bizarre) dresses with the cities you’ve worn them in, without any hesitation. (eg studded boots with the 50’s style dress you wore in Budapest, grunge sweatshirt you had along the streets of Berlin, jeans with pink stars in Malta, etc.)
Palliative remedy: do things that you would consider normal in a place where you don’t know anyone, but for some reason never do in your city. eg. Read a book sitting alone in a bar, just as you would in Paris, wear a strange hat as you would in London or NYC.
Bad News: Even in your city people will ignore what you do. You can also read alone wearing a hat with feathers, you will not be disturbing anyone because no one looks after you.
Good news: Even in your city people will ignore what you do. You can also read alone wearing a hat with feathers, you will not be disturbing anyone because no one looks after you.
You are a free person, subject only to your personal taste. Just like when you travel.
- SYMPTOM 2:
you look into the mirror and wonder why your skin is so yellowish while, when you travel, capillaries on the cheeks seem to burst like during a ‘love at first sight’ attack, or immediately after a glass of vodka (or during a love at first sight attack after a vodka).
Palliative Remedy: forget the beauty centers, it’s all crap. Go to the website of your trusted travel agent or the one of your favourite low cost airline. You have two alternatives. If the MAD crisis is strong, just book a flight. The cheapest, no matter if the departure is after more than 3 months.
Your muscles will relax, a bit of endorphins will flow through your veins and anxiety will be less. Along with the fear of the future, of the taxes, pay-late clients, the fear of the ozone hole and of the invasion of the aliens. This is caused by the awareness that, go as it goes, in a while you have another appointment with the world, so for a while it’s worth holding on and surviving.
If the crisis is not too acute, you can also just take a look at the cheap flights available. It’s a bit like when you run away from the city just to see the sea. Just to remember that there is a point where the earth has a limit, and that you can’t go beyond anymore. You remember that it’s there, you touch it to be sure, you feel free knowing there is always a limit, and go back home to resist for another while.
- SYMPTOM 3:
Recurrence in car key/home key loss. And heart and brain loss. Search for the car all along 3 blocks until you remember you’ve left it in the garage or that you don’t have a car at all. No appetite. No sleep. All this, given the awareness that, as you travel, you have a perfect organized bag, you walk anywhere as if you were a resident, being able to fall asleep no matter where you can sit.
Palliative remedy: look for a place in the surrounding of your city that you hardly know, at least 60km away, where you don’t have any connection. Leave with the idea of staying at least a day and a night, but do not book anything. If you can, go to by the regional train and not by car. The search for coincidences with the consequent risk of sleeping in a country station, the on-site search for a place to sleep, the desire to fill the time looking for what that is worth… all this things would switch you in the traveling mode, giving you a higher level of efficiency. You can interact with the natives in a common language and ask them what to see.
And you will find out (or pretend) that you don’t need a plane to go away and that a trip is not only made of (large) distances.