Wanderlust (n): a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.
“The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only one page” – Saint Augustine
You may be thinking to yourself… Wanderlust? What is that? Why is she bringing this up? Where is this conversation going anyway? Let me explain what my experience has been and hopefully help you to understand what all this is about.
Wanderlust is a feeling. In essence, it’s a way of life. Once you experience Wanderlust, it stays with you forever. An incessant urge to travel. Not in order to escape or run away from your life but rather to discover new worlds and pieces of yourself that you forgot existed. It’s a desire to meet new people from all over the world and to reconnect with fellow travelers that you’ve crossed paths with before. It’s a sense of adventure that fills your heart and ignites you soul. To some people, including myself, traveling is everything. It is life and the very reason why we’re on this earth. Traveling allows you to grow through beautiful experiences, create wonderful memories, and understand what love is. Although traveling isn’t always easy and the road can be rocky at times, wanderlusters take that risk because they understand that the benefits outweigh the challenges.
Now I know there are some of you reading this right now who cannot understand and who may think that this all sounds rather foolish. The funny thing is that you have to experience Wanderlust in order to fully “get” it. This phenomenon does not happen to everyone either. There are many people who travel and can return to their former lives without a second thought of what they are leaving behind. However, for those of us who have been bitten by the travel bug, the only cure is to keep traveling. Once returning home, wanderlusters have a harder time readjusting to their old lives. Everything is different and yet it is exactly the same. I realized that the reason why all things familiar suddenly felt so foreign was because I had changed. A part of you adores the comforts of living in your own private space and spending time with people that you know. But then there’s the part of you who knows how much adventure is waiting out there in the world. You want to travel far and wide to experience as much of it as you can. It feels as though anything is possible because the world truly is so small (once you travel roughly 18,690 kilometers or 11,613 miles away from home, you realize that you can basically get anywhere in the world within 24 hours).
I only wish that everyone could have the opportunity to experience this sense of renewed freedom, if for only once in their lifetime. To leave everything you know and be open to the unknown. Traveling, especially when alone, helps to build self-confidence and strengthen your faith in both yourself and the world. You realize that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to as long as you take the leap and continue to trust your journey. Life can and will definitely take unexpected turns. But I truly believe that you must follow your heart no matter what anyone else thinks or says. It doesn’t matter about how many naysayers you encounter. As long as you’re doing what you love and allowing your heart to guide you, the doors will open and the path will be shown. I know I say this a lot but there are reasons why everything happens in the way that it does. In my eyes, there are no coincidences. There were so many times that my next destination was influenced by suggestions from fellow travelers and even friends from back home. We end up exactly where we need to be at the precise moment that we’re supposed to. As a traveler with no real fixed plans, I often didn’t even know I wanted to be in a certain place until I arrived there (case in point = New Zealand).
Wanderlust changes you for the better. It allows you to eliminate all the things that you thought you should be so that you can become who you were meant to be. I will always have this great longing to keep exploring the world, whether it be to visit new places or return to places from the past. But I’m keeping my sights set on the horizon and looking forward to the future. I’ve changed tremendously through traveling and I’m so happy that I was courageous enough to venture out on my own. I’m grateful that I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and switch up the direction of my life. I know without a doubt that I’ll be traveling again and it’s only a matter of time until I do. But until that day comes, I still have the wonderful memories and friends that I’ve made along the way. What keeps my sense of hope alive is the dream of a future that is filled with endless possibilities and spectacular moments. And although Wanderlust may be considered a curse by some, it has definitely been a blessing for me.
Until next time…