Get Bit By The Travel Bug

Get Bit By The Travel Bug

What's so wrong with being bitten by the travel bug?
Nikki
Nikki
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As I sit here, somewhere in Canada, I think. Why am I here? What made me decide to come to this little Thai restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

Curiosity?

Adventure?

Boredom?

Probably a little bit of it all…

As I sit here… knowing I really don’t like Thai food I decide to try it anyways. What can it hurt? If I don’t like it, I’ll pack up and go to Tim Hortons or McDonalds. As I also sit here I wonder… Why do I have such a travel bug? Why is it that I love travelling so much?

I think the answer to that is I really don’t know. Something about getting in the car and just driving. Not knowing where I’m going or when I’ll be home. (Other than knowing I have to be home for the 10 am class I have tomorrow) I like the unknown. It terrifies me but I love it.

I think I have been bitten by the travel bug so early in life because I love the adventure. I love seeing different people and different environmental cultures. You wouldn’t think that just over the border would be so drastically different but it is. Different kinds of people, different relationships, different everything.

Could you imagine just up and going somewhere?

Just hop on a plane and go wherever it is taking you.

Now obviously we all know that in this day and age that something like that is something you just can’t do… But we can try, right?

What’s wrong with grabbing a plane ticket to anywhere and going? What’s stopping you?

Time off work?

Or how about the big M word? Yes, you all know what I’m talking about…

MONEY!

You can find a new job or make more money, but you the memories you make along the way is what makes it all worth it. Travel while you can! Do it all! Nothing is stopping you. Money is only paper; you can always make more of it. (Legally that is.)


So here I say, Go! Get out and go! Break out of your comfort zone and do something spontaneous. Go somewhere you haven't been before. What's it going to actually hurt?

Cover Image Credit: Flight Reviews

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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30 Things You Think During Your Last Work Shift Before Vacation

8. If the power goes out right now I can leave, right?

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Summer is the time for family, and vacations. But sometimes you still have to go to work. But if you're like me, you know that you can count on your impending vacation to get you through your last shift.

1. Can I just leave?

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I just got here...but I'd so rather be on vacation.

2. Is it time to leave yet?

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No? Oh...okay. I'll check again in five minutes.

3. I've been here FORVER!

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I could literally die here.

4. Oh wait, it's only been 5 minutes.

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Why do I keep doing this to myself?

5. Maybe I'll just glance at the clock...

It has to be closer to time to leave, right?

6. Nope. It's still 5:05.

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Slowest... Shift... Ever...

7. Only.... three hours and 55 minutes till vacation!

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Count down powers activate!

8. If the power goes out right now I can leave, right?

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Snip snip!

9. Maybe they'll send me home early!

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One can hope.

10. Can I non-fatally injure myself and leave?

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Hmm... Maybe not.

11. What time is it now?

Maybe it'll be time to leave! I'll check.

12. Only three hours and 50 minutes till vacation!

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We're doing great guys.

13. Do I have a good playlist ready?

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It's very important to jam on the trip. More important than this shift probably.

14. Did I pack everything I need?

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Did I bring the cute sweater I bought from Target? Did I pack enough towels? What about makeup?

15. I'll just repack once I get home...

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Better safe than sorry!

16. Okay... Maybe I should pay attention to my work now?

We'll see what happens?

17. I can't wait to leave..

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I just wanna go.

18. Maybe it's time to go now!

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I'll go check!

19. Nope.

It's been 20 minutes. Why is time stopped??

20. Can't I just go already?

I mean... Am I really necessary?

21. I want to go spend time not here...

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Like, please? Send me home.

22. My vacation is gonna be so nice...

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I can see it now.

23. I can't wait to relax!

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I runaround here like a chicken with my head cut off half the time, so it'll be great to not do that for a day or two.

24. I hope this place burns down while I'm gone...

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I mean... I'd get an extended vacation! It's gonna be great.

25. #PermanantVacation?

I could quit and then I'd be stress free for at least two weeks... But money is nice... Maybe I shouldn't quit.

26. If someone dies right now, we could close.

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Who wants to take one for the team??

27. Who wants to try me, I'll do it for my vacation.

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#WorthIt

28. I'm SO gonna miss dealing with customers.

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Not!

29. Can I just get paid to stay away from here?

Dreams can come true sometimes, right?

30. It's time to GO!

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Time to leave! Vacation is here! No more work talk, I will block your numbers.

Work is a necessary part of life. But vacations are also necessary. Don't forget to relax sometimes.

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