The anxiety of not travelling

Posted by Cameron Ewart-Smith on 28 May 2014

Getaway magazine editor, Cameron Ewart-Smith, comes down with a serious case of resfeber. And there’s no cure …

A penguin contemplates life in Neko Harbour, Antarctica. Read the full article in the June issue of Getaway magazine. Photo by Brandon de Kock

I have resfeber.

Never heard of it? You should have. It’s a Swedish word that describes that anxiety, that fever, that builds up within you if you haven’t travelled for a while. It can manifest as an illness and the literal translation would be travel bug or possibly wanderlust. But I like resfeber – pronounced race-fay-ber – and I have it in spades, built in part by my position at Getaway. You’d think the editor of a travel magazine would be well sated with travel, but in reality the travel we do is mostly short, sharp, and packed with pressure. Get the shot, get the story, rush, rush, rush.

Travel for us is stressful; it’s a job. And so I’ve quit – yip, just walked in one day and called time. (It’s easier than you think, by the way.) It’s been a huge privilege to lead Getaway through its most fundamental revamp since its inception 25 years ago, but I’m relieved to be getting back to what I love most: telling stories with my cameras and words. I will no longer just watch the stories and pictures we work with every day cross my desk. I’m getting back out there. As the song goes: ‘I’m packing my bags for the misty mountains where the spirits go now; over the hills where the spirits flyeye…’

I’ve recently come to realise there is no cure for resfeber. Some fight it successfully for years; not me. How you deal with your ‘illness’ is up to you – and this month’s issue won’t make it any easier, packed as it is with stories on the best farm stays, epic journeys to Antarctica and Patagonia and, closer to home, the grossly underrated Pilanesberg.

Whatever you do, don’t keep your wanderlust bottled up for too long – there is no bottle that can keep it contained forever. I’ve tried my best to infect you all during my tenure here and I encourage you to spread a little resfeber yourselves by sharing your stories and photos with us via email or one of our social media platforms.

I leave you with this final thought, compliments of Robert Louis Stevenson: ‘I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.’

See ya later, crocodiles…


Spark your wanderlust with the June issue of Getaway magazine (on shelves now). Click on the magazine cover below to see more, subscribe or buy digital issues.

Getaway – June 2014 issue