• Jessica Stough

Catching the Travel Bug

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

The travel bug is not something that everyone gets to experience in their life, but those that know know. There's something about going on a trip to an incredible new place that can have a person making plans for their next trip before they even get back home. The thing I never really questioned until recently was whether or not someone is born with the bug or if they have to catch the bug.


Our favorite kinds of adventures are those that take us way out into nature. Our most recent adventure took us to Colorado - both to one of our favorite places to frequent in Summit County, and also to some new places like Hinsdale County.


We decided to attempt our longest hike yet in Hinsdale County. When someone is hiking for seven+ hours straight, trying to ignore the dramatic elevation gain they're putting themselves through, its easy for the mind to wander. Although I had my best friend along with me - and our favorite little adventure dog - there were certainly some times when we were more focused on our breathing and own thoughts than conversing with one another.


It was during this time that it hit me - maybe the travel bug is something that we are born with. As I was hiking along with my hydration pack filled with water and snacks to get us through, I was thrown back in time to memories from long ago. My hydration pack turned into an old, torn up backpack filled with kids' snacks and adventure tools. As a young kid who had never been on a real adventure in her life, my adventure tools consisted of playing cards, a compass, some terrible quality binoculars, and other odds and ends. Let's just say, I would never have survived with that adventure pack on my own out in the wild.


I remember, though, trucking that adventure pack outside into our big front yard. I hiked around in the yard with that thing and would set up "camp" in the playground out front. I'd unpack my snacks, my adventure things, and hang out there to enjoy being around nature. Being just feet from the house and yards from the highway didn't matter. In that moment, I was on a true adventure.


Coming back to the present, I realized that maybe I had the travel bug all along. I had that itch even as a kid, and did what I had the means to do in the moment to try to satisfy the need I had for travel and adventure. Those adventures to the playground out front were my kid version of our times spent in dispersed campsites, enjoying the sights all around us; getting up before the sun to hike to a place that makes breathing difficult; heading out on an unfamiliar trailhead to see where it will take us. They were the mini version of everything I love doing now.


Maybe I was born with the travel bug and was finally given the opportunity to scratch the itch as an adult. Maybe, though, I was just a weird kid trucking around a backpack in her front yard and the two things have nothing to do with each other. Whatever the case, my hope is that I can help others find that travel bug in themselves - whether its been there all along or not. Come along on my travel journeys as I figure out this whole blogging thing because the way I see it, we have nothing to lose, but an entire world to see.


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