They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.
Tonight I sat in front of the TV, watching Anthony Bourdain in Hong Kong on the Travel Channel, and I thought to myself, "My god, I can't believe I've never been to Hong Kong! I must get there sometime". Then, on the commercial break, I saw an advertisement for New Zealand, set to the tune of "Forever Young" by Alphaville, and I thought to myself, "Oh that's right...I had actually been planning a tentative trip to New Zealand this past January when I decided instead to take my six month sabbatical to Crete! Wow...New Zealand looks beautiful, when am I going to be able to fit THAT in?". And then I felt a sensation that I've experienced before, a squeezing anxiety as I wondered how I will ever be able to visit all the places I want to, and I realized that perhaps I have a problem.
I'm using up a lot of "capital" for my six months in Crete, and sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have found a temporary home for my cats and roamed around the world for six months, hit all the spots that I've always yearned to visit, taken the brief adventures that I've yearned to take...the Trans-Mongolian express, a horseback trek across the steppes with yurts for accommodations, a freighter around Africa and into the Indian Ocean, a cruise along the Amazon, etcetera and so on. I felt a brief and totally rational fear that when reality finally strikes and the funds I've saved run out, I may not be able to continue to traipse about and see every place I fancy on this beautiful planet of ours.
I feel something like I imagine a drug addict might feel when faced with the impending loss of funds to purchase more junk, and I'm already scheming about how I might possibly fund future trips. Get three jobs? Cash in the 401K?
And I find it interesting that the person that spurred this whole thought process tonight, Anthony Bourdain, relentless world traveler, is a former junkie himself.