Confessions of a Travel Addict: Gary Arndt

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Gary Arndt Travel Addict

Easter Island: Clearly the Face of a Hopeless Junkie

Gary Arndt is one of the most popular travel addicts around. He’s been off-the-wagon since 2007, galavanting around the planet searching for his next fix.

In fact, Gary was one of the first people who introduced me to some high quality product. It was his bad influence that helped turn me into a fellow travel junkie. He runs a therapeutic website that documents his debilitating addiction at:

Now Gary, 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 first real trip outside of the United States was during a business trip in 1999. After I sold my consulting firm, I convinced the business that purchased it to send me to their offices around the world. I went on a 3 week whirlwind tour of Taipei, Singapore, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels and London.”

What made you run away from home?

“After I sold my business I started a few other companies which either had moderate success or didn’t involve my day-to-day involvement. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I always remembered the trip I took in 1999. I really wanted to do more of it, so I decided to just travel around the world.”

How did your family & friends respond to your unconventional lifestyle?

“Most of my friends thought it was pretty cool and most of the people who knew me weren’t really shocked. I think my family was worried, but when the local newspaper did an article on me I think they became proud. I tell everyone who is worried about this to just do it and over time the concerns of others will turn to pride and envy.”

Has your travel addiction changed you?

Sure. I don’t think it is possible to travel for 4.5 years and not be changed. I think I’m much more stoic now and willing to accept things which might happen.”

What’s your seediest travel vice?

Eating at McDonald’s in every country I visit. That being said, there is an actual sociological reason for doing it. Because McDonald’s are fundamentally the same everywhere, the differences which exist really stick out. Those differences usually reflect something about the local culture.”

Can you tell me about your biggest travel regret?

“There are a whole host of places I didn’t visit that I could have. As I can always go back, I don’t really think of them as regrets.”

How do you fund your addiction? Armed robberies? Prostitution? Stealing copper wire?

“For most of my first 4 years of traveling I funded everything with the savings from selling my house and my business. Lately I’ve been able to work more with companies and tourism boards around the world.”

Have you ever overdosed?

“The last 3 months have been exhausting for me. I’ve been moving almost every day and I’m ready to stay in one place for a month or so just editing photos and writing. You definitely have to pace yourself.”

Do you find it hard relating to normal people who are clean & sober?

“The biggest issue is having to answer the same questions over and over (What is your favorite place? Don’t you get lonely? How do you afford it?) But it really doesn’t bother me too much. It’s a small price to pay for my life, and they are honest questions. Most people have some deep-seated desire to travel but are either too afraid to do it or feel their circumstances will not allow it.”

If someone wanted to get a little taste of your addiction, which of your blog posts do you recommend they check out?

How to Survive a Visit to the Pyramids

The Curious Case of the Solomon Islands Moon Rock

7 Things That Are Awesome About America

Do you ever think you’ll be able to kick the habit?

“While I might get an apartment somewhere in the future, I don’t foresee myself traveling less than 6 months a year unless I am physically unable to do it.”

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Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Gary. I sincerely hope your powerful story can help others surrender to recover from this awesome devastating addiction. :|