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Rachelle Lucas is the kind of junkie who gets the munchies a lot. But rather than simply eat food to help satisfy her cravings, she also writes about it.
Once a banker, Rachelle couldn’t take the pressure and began a life of addiction. She first attempted to make a living by managing a few seedy motels in Florida. But she fled the country after almost burning one down while cooking toast.
On the road she couldn’t get enough of the hard stuff. Stealing hotel soap to make ends meet and traveling the world in pursuit of that “magic medicine”.
The toast incident haunted her though. Rachelle began collecting recipes and photographing meals, sharing them online with other addicts via her blog.
I convinced Rachelle to sit down with me and discuss her tragic story.
Now Rachelle, I know this subject may be difficult to talk about. But you’re amongst friends here. Nothing that you say today will ever leave this room.
Share your darkest secrets with us, and let the healing begin…
When did you shoot-up with your first dose of wanderlust?
“My very first international trip was when I was 18. I flew over to London (on my 18th birthday) and spent a week there with a college friend to ring in the New Year. Honestly, at that time I think I was most excited about being able to drink legally. And champagne on the plane certainly set the bar high for future birthday celebrations.”
What made you run away from home?
“After college, I became a banker. So, I guess you could say my wanderlust and writing from home in my pajamas is my extreme adverse reaction to being forced to wear panty hose and attend endless meetings.”
How did your family & friends respond to your unconventional lifestyle?
“They were very supportive! Thrilled, even. Especially since they get to sometimes tag along.”
Has your travel addiction changed you?
“It’s enriched me in so many ways. I have a higher appreciation for history and the arts. I feel like I have a better understanding of different cultures and can look at things from different perspectives. It’s made me addicted to learning and trying new things. It’s also made me appreciate home more.”
What’s your seediest travel vice?
“I pick hotels based on the size of their bathtub. The bigger and fancier, the better. I also stash away fancy hotel soaps.”
Can you tell me about your biggest travel regret?
“No regrets! I sort have wish I would have started earlier and skipped the whole corporate life. But, had I not had that experience I might not be where I am today. I think there is value in figuring out what you don’t want in life early on.”
How do you fund your addiction? Armed robberies? Prostitution? Stealing copper wire?
“I wear many hats. Primarily, I make money through writing for other publications as well as acting and doing spokesperson work. If you live in Canada, you’ve probably unknowingly seen me in over a dozen commercials, including one for Walmart that’s kind of hilarious because I just don’t think of Walmart while hearing a chic French voice over. Still working on landing a TV show deal…”
Have you ever overdosed?
“I’ve definitely been overdosed. Too much of anything isn’t good. Being on-the-move all the time can be sensory overload. I like to try and balance my time between travel and being home. I need some down time to get organized and write.”
Do you find it hard relating to normal people who are clean & sober?
“With my close friends, no. But small talk at parties as hard. Answering the question, “What do you do?” or, “What’s new with you?” is cringing. Responding with, “Oh, I just got back from three weeks studying food in Italy followed by a two week stint in Cape Town. I’m sooo exhausted and happy to be home catching up and editing photos” usually gets me blank stares and is a conversation killer. And if they don’t know me, they then think I’m a total bullshit artist.
Instead, I now just ask people what they’re passionate about and get them talking first while encouraging them to follow their dreams. If they say, “aaaaah, but I can’t,” then I whip out the travel stories to prove to them that, yes, indeed, you can.”
Has your addiction got you into any trouble?
“Hmm. Trouble. I’m usually pretty good about staying out of trouble. I did learn how addicted I was to technology while lost on a road trip by myself in the mountains of Tennessee. No cell service. No GPS. And there were no damn road signs either. I thought I was in the twilight zone and surely I would die.”
If someone wanted to get a little taste of your addiction, what articles do you recommend?
Do you ever think you’ll be able to kick the habit?
“Stop? Never. Slow down, yes. I need breaks to reflect on what I’ve learned so that I can put it into an engaging story to share.”
How do we find you to stage an intervention?
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Rachelle. I sincerely hope your powerful story can help others