Wanderlust is something you hear about often. It’s tattooed on random bodies everywhere. But to someone like me, it isn’t just a word. It’s this feeling that’s in the back of your mind every single day—or taking over your mind completely. It’s the desire to travel somewhere and get away from your normal life. To explore and see new things and meet new people and try foods with names you can’t pronounce.
Wanderlust is an everyday experience. Some might call it a disease, but it’s the best kind possible if it is. Watching every day go by with the same routine is almost painful. The cubicle walls seem to get smaller by the second and my eyes seem to flicker to the clock more and more frequently. Time drags on when you’re itching to be somewhere else.
The people in my life make it more bearable and it can be nice to always have a place to call home. But it never feels like home. It feels like a stasis point until the next adventure. My Google searches are filled with plane tickets, trips and study abroad programs that I stare at longingly. I contemplate daily asking for a week off and just going. A week is never enough time, but at least it’s something.
Sometimes it goes even further and I think I should sell everything, quit my job and just leave, making the entire world my home. I think of how I could accomplish it, taking odd jobs at each destination until I have enough to move on to the next place on my checklist. I always reel my mind back in, but maybe one of these times I won’t stop myself.
Day trips and mini vacations hold me over for a little while. I get impulsive and sometimes day trips just happen. I won’t sleep and will drive all night. It’s not because I want to, it’s because I need to. I have to go at least a few hours away, to somewhere unfamiliar, at least for a little while. Without this I go insane. I’m restless and pacing, wanting to do a million little things that’ll break me out of the routine. Or I’m the complete opposite and I just retreat into my own little world, escaping through the means of books and TV shows.
Wanderlust makes me adventurous and fun to be around, though. I’m that friend that’s up for anything. You want to go skydiving? I’m in. I’ll try that new exotic restaurant down the street with you that everyone is scared to try because it’s different. I’ll make you different foods from my journeys and teach you the things I’ve learned. There’s a wealth of information in my mind just waiting to be let out. I want you to love the countries I’ve visited as much as I do and I want you to catch this wanderlust bug too.
I have loose plans for my future. I know I should settle down, get married and build a house somewhere. That’s what my parents expect me to do. But if I have the chance to travel, I’d drop all of that in a heartbeat. Whoever I end up with has to understand my restless soul, and maybe even have one too. I’m not going to stay in one place and build a dream house and have a big family. That’s just not who I am. But I’ll follow you to the edges of the earth if you want me to. I’ll go on any adventure you seek.
I’ve learned that true friends and family accept you for the free-spirited person you are. They aren’t offended by the wistful, far away look in your eyes when they’re talking to you because they just know. It’s not their fault. You’re listening to what they’re saying, but at the same time you’re on another continent. They appreciate the time you spend together so much more because they never know when you’ll be leaving again.
I wouldn’t change my wanderlust for anything. It wouldn’t feel right and I wouldn’t feel like myself. I’m meant to be a floater, drifting around the world and seeing what I can check off of my bucket list next. If you’re the wanderlust junkie then you should embrace it. Don’t let anything try and change who you are. If you’re just in the life of one, don’t pressure them to be someone else. Everyone wants to be loved for who they are. Let them go. When they make their way back, they know you’ll be there for them.