Ayngelina Brogan is in denial about her addiction. She often tries to stop, but unfortunately she’s fallen too far down the rabbit hole.
While she may wear giant sunglasses to hide her symptoms, the rest of us know what’s really going on thanks to her online diary, Bacon is Magic. Day after day you can tune in to read about the highs & lows of Ayngelina’s epic journey into madness. Oh, and there’s food too. All junkies love food.
Dumping boyfriends & jobs to chase her next fix, overdosing then going back for more, she’s a picture-perfect candidate for some intense rehab. I just hope it’s not too late.
Now Ayngelina, 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?
“When I was 16 my mother sent me to France for the summer to attend a traveling school. I grew up in a small Canadian town of 5,000 people and I hadn`t really encountered any cultures other than my own. It changed my life as I saw people lived so differently and I knew I wanted to see more of it.”
What made you run away from home?
“I continued to travel after that summer in France. After university I went to the Philippines for an international internship and during my career I always traveled on vacation time. Once I reached my early thirties I was in a great place in my career and in life but I felt like something was missing.
I longed for one last great solo adventure before if/when I wanted children. So I broke up with my boyfriend of five years, quit my job, sold all my possessions and bought a one-way ticket to Mexico.”
How did your family & friends respond to your unconventional lifestyle?
“I am extremely lucky as I have a very supportive network of people who don`t always understand what I do but they don`t question it. My mother thought I was crazy but did not tell me until a year later when she understood I was doing the right thing.
I worked at an advertising agency and they told me to contact them when I got back. Friends that were moving on buying homes, getting married and having children did not understand but they were excited for me.”
Has your travel addiction changed you?
“I often wonder why I feel a need to travel, especially when I love Canada and my home city of Toronto. I really need to be constantly stimulated and feel like I am learning and growing as a person and travel does that for me.”
What’s your seediest travel vice?
“Downloading terrible television shows. I like to pretend I`m all high-brow watching documentaries and foreign films but the truth is I love watching Jersey Shore while I`m away.”
Can you tell me about your biggest travel regret?
“Wow that is a tough question. I think travel teaches you to just move on from mistakes once you leave a place so I am not sure I regret anything. I did feel guilty when I first arrived in Mexico and did not speak a word of Spanish but then I returned two years later, after having traveled Latin America and resolved that issue.”
How do you fund your addiction? Armed robberies? Prostitution? Stealing copper wire?
“When I first left for Mexico I had $20K in my bank account and I figured at $1000/month I could travel for 1-2 years. Along the way I picked up a job as the About.com South America guide, I sell advertising on my site and I do freelance marketing work.
But other than the About.com work I do not consider myself a writer at all. I am a good communicator and a great blogger but I do not have the writing skills that others have and so I don`t pursue it professionally.”
Have you ever overdosed?
“All the time. I think I reach burn outs every 6 months or so. The first one was when I was in Colombia and wrote the 12 Things I Hate About Traveling then 6 months later I started burning out in Peru and wrote Today I Hate the Irish and then finally in Spain I wrote about Struggling in Seville and I decided I could no longer be nomadic.
And while I decided to create a base in Toronto and travel from it, I still have not realized what is a good balance. This spring and summer I spent a month in Maui, three weeks in Mexico and then week long trips in Montana, Montreal, Portland and New York. It was too much, but I feel like I am starting to get to a place that works for me.”
Do you find it hard relating to normal people who are clean & sober?
“Now that I am based out of Toronto I deal with these people all the time, many of them are my friends. But honestly I don`t want to be the person who only hangs out with other travelers. I don`t want to talk travel 24/7 as it`s not my only interest and it isn`t what defines me.
So I have several groups of friends in Toronto, some are travel bloggers others are really into food, others into music and some have just been friends of mine for the last ten years.”
Has your addiction got you into any trouble?
“I have been really lucky. I have been in some situations that could have gone sour really quickly but things always seemed to work out.”
If someone wanted to get a little taste of your addiction, which of your blog posts do you recommend they check out?
“Here are a few that people seem to really like and often email me about.”
Do you ever think you’ll be able to kick the habit?
“Never. This trip really changed me. I never thought I could be an entrepreneur and loved working in an office but I could never go back to that now. That said, I always eat my words when I say never.”
How do we find you to stage an intervention?
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Ayngelina. I sincerely hope your powerful story can help others