Definition and how to recognize it
Have you ever came back home after a long trip already thinking about the next one? Have you have found yourself asking at work for days off that you have not even accrued yet? If you know what I am talking about, you might be suffering from the same “disease” as I do: the so-called Wanderlust.
How a Wanderluster feels
Wanderlust makes you daydream, spend all your savings and wear out the soles of your favourite shoes.
It marks the boundary between people who enjoy travelling and people who love it.
And no, it does not depend on the destination. If you love travelling, the destination doesn’t matter. It’s all about this rush of adrenaline that precedes and leads through the discovery of the unknown.
Wanderlust is one of the most powerful drugs in the market.
It makes you feel restless and bored until you’ve fixed the date of the next departure. Then, the countdown begins. At this point, you would usually spend the remaining days switching between excitement and impatience. You crave it, you need it. Time seems to flow slower and slower, almost stops. When it’s about to get into your head, the day arrives. The Day.
In a blink of an eye, you’re sitting in your flight/car/bus seat and only hours away from your destination. It’s still all a dream though, until you get to the place for the night, leave all your belongings and set yourself free to roam around the new place.
Everything is a surprise (for better or worse) and an incentive for your mind to reflect. It’s always worth it, even when it’s nothing like you expected it to be. Even where it gets difficult to cope with what you came across. Be that as it may, you have learnt a new lesson, known new people, tried new food. What’s better than that? Learning. Adding a new tiny piece to your knowledge puzzle and some souvenir to your collection.
Homesickness is not in your dictionary. Too much to see, to know, to try, to love, to hate. All these feelings and memories to share with your astonished family and friends back home.
How others feel
You may or may not realize it, but in no time wanderlust has made you become someone else in the eyes of your loved ones.
Option A: you became this super cool person that everybody wants to be (they envy you).
Option B: that know-it-all freak that everybody wants to avoid (they despise you).
So, while some would ask for the most minute details of your last trip, someone else would rather play it cool and ignore this whole aspect of your life. Others would ask you why you’re spending all your savings to go see alpacas in the Andes instead of buying a home and make a family. You’re in your 30s already and it’s time to start popping out babies!!! That is (still) especially true if you are a woman, sadly enough.
But who cares what others think, right? At the end of the day, it’s a mere question of priorities and opportunities. You are the only master of your time and life.
Besides, I find quite entertaining when the most trivial thing in my daily life reminds me of that trip of some time ago. It starts this stream of consciousness that makes you realise you can’t stop looking for new adventures. You cannot refrain from creating new memories, new anecdotes and funny stories. Not now that I am still young and craving for extraordinary experiences. I cannot stop it now!
The dark side of Wanderlust: The Discontent
Wanderlust makes as well sure that you will never feel satisfied with the place where you live. You can move to a new house, neighbourhood, city, region, country every year. Still, it won’t be enough for you not to get bored and want to change. The restlessness of wanting to be somewhere else, somewhere new. Always looking for a place that you could consider your home and put down some roots. At times you may even think you’ve found it, only to end out having enough of it in a matter of months.
This is the “dark side” of wanderlust: not being able to settle down. So much so that you often wonder if this place exists and, if so, whether or not you’re ever gonna find it.
In my view, wanderlust is nothing but another expression of the discontent of modern human. A human who has become aware of having endless possibilities, but often limited sources and capabilities. Or sometimes even unlimited resources but not enough time.
A cure for Wanderlust
The cure for wanderlust? There is not such a thing. The only possibility is indulging its impulse until your priorities in life change.
In three years, maybe, your desire to start a family will be more important than everything else. Or, alternatively, your priority number one will be buying a house, put all the stuff you bought in your trips in it and enjoy that beautiful view on the ocean that it has.
As I always say, it’s all about priorities.