Are You a Dromomaniac? — The Ten Most Common Manias that Affect Travelers

Are you a dromomaniac (insatiable traveler)?  Of course you are — if you weren’t a xenomaniac (inquisitive folk obsessed with foreign things and places) you wouldn’t be reading this.  You’ve come to the right travel blog to find out if you’re a opsomaniac, sophomaniac, or oniomaniac when you go abroad — and how to recognize when your obsession will no longer fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment.  Hold on tight to your passport and put in the back of your head what your mother or spiritual guru told you about doing “everything in moderation.”  The real question is, how come our travel agents (or at least Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome) didn’t warn us about the top ten travel manias that can make us feel like out-and-out maniamaniacs?*

1. Ecdemomania: chronic and uncontrollable urge to wander.  It’s not enough that you indulge your travel lust to come to a place thousands of miles away; once you’re there, you can’t even sit still at your hotel, stay with your tour group, or resist following strangely-dressed locals down narrow alleyways.

2. Epomania: obsession with writing epics.  Becomes apparent when 1) your travel blog posts reach 5,000 words each, 2) you’re starting to get data storage warnings from WordPress, or 3) one of your followers discreetly suggests that just because you’re on vacation, they don’t have all the time in the world to read every blow-by-blow.

3. Oniomania: insatiable desire to shop. Rears its ugly head after you’ve swam, boogied, eaten, boozed, and tangoed your way across your charming but claustrophobic resort town, and have nothin’ else left to try.

4. Phagomania: excessive desire for food or eating. Becomes obvious when you’re 1) dining out twice in the same evening, 2) are buying more Immodium AD than Dramamine at that skanky pharmacy down from your hotel, or 3) need to work off your oniomania at the nearest clothing store since nothing you brought with you on the trip quite fits anymore.

5. Sophomania: gluttonous belief in one’s own incredible intelligence.  At its most obvious after you’ve figured out (all in the same day) how to operate an eco-toilet, hundred-year-old elevator, Azerbaijan-made bathtub faucet, and ATM machine that you would never, ever find at home.

6. Doromania: obsession with giving or buying gifts.  Crops up towards the end of your trip after you’ve spent two paychecks on things for yourself, and have one Athenian shopping street, two Turkish bazaars, and three very long airport terminals to wander through before the signature on the back of your credit card actually starts to wear off.

7. Opsomania: obsession with one kind of food.  Develops after feasting on the beloved culinary specialty of your host country for lunch and dinner every single day — especially after you remember that the most exotic thing you’re going to find to eat back home is an enchilada.

8. Islomania: fixation on islands.  Becomes more obvious after you’ve gallivanted through New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, and Japan, and have your restless eye now set on The Philippines, Sicily, Iceland, or Fiji.

9. Verbomania: fixation with words. Becomes apparent when, after failing to learn a single syllable of the local language, you  scrounge for five adjectives of the same English word in the hopes that your provincial B&B host will understand one of them.

Unfortunately, there’s no diagnostic term for 10. shutterbugomania, an obsession with taking  pictures.  But, if you can identify where this photo of all the photos was taken, you’ll win a FREE copy of The Anxious Traveler.

*Important note: this post is intended to offer some lighthearted fun following the tension and stress that most travelers suffer this time of year because of the 9/11 anniversary.  It’s not intended to diminish the seriousness of any mania that is interfering with your life, or the impact of bipolar disorder on mental health.  If you believe you are suffering from manic depression/bipolar disorder, you should consult a doctor.