Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wanderlust

Wanderlust.  Most people would define this term as the strong desire to travel.  Me, on the other hand; I like to think of it as the will power it takes to stay grounded.  There is a big difference between people who like to travel and those who find it as something that is completely ingrained in who they are.  I think only those who have the strongest sense of wanderlust can understand the difference.

I always find there to be moments where you feel like you could just take off.  Sometimes it's an email about a specific opportunity to work or volunteer abroad.  Other times it's just a certain aspect of American culture that you find seriously troubling.  For me, many times it's a yearning for the simplicity of another time and place.  In the U.S. we get so caught up in our 9 to 5 lifestyle that we forget how simple life can and often should be.  I keep telling myself that I'm going to be in DC forever.  I focus on work and I've built a certain social life for myself here.  But I can't help but wonder if there will eventually be a moment of weakness that will lead me somewhere else.

The funny thing about wanderlust is that often once you get to where it is you think you're going, you suddenly feel the desire to go somewhere else.  It's a feeling that never seems to be fulfilled.  For people with true wanderlust, the feeling is never really satiated.  I often find that once I get to where I think I want to be, I have the desire to go home.  Once I get home, I have the desire to go somewhere else.  I think you can only really enjoy your travels if you relieve yourself from them at some point.  This usually means going home.  You don't want traveling to become your norm because then it can take away from how special and moving it can be.

Most people who have a serious sense of wanderlust appreciate the experiences that they have, not the things they see.  I've traveled with many different kinds of people, the ones I've found the most disconcerting are the ones that want to go somewhere or see something so that they can go home and tell others that they did.  I often wonder if these people enjoy traveling at all.  When I travel, what I do is never reliant on being able to tell others about it.  I go and I do so that I can experience things for myself.  More and more lately I've even been taking less and less pictures.  I read somewhere that you remember things better if you don't take pictures.  And even the pictures I do take, I often don't show people most of them.  Traveling is such a personal thing for me that I often like to keep it that way.  That's not to say I won't give you advice on places I've been if you are planning a trip, but sometimes when people ask me about a trip I just got back from, I give very general answers.  Unless you have specific questions, you might not get much information out of me.  I don't do this on purpose.  I'm not holding back just for the sake of it, but I think I don't know how to sum up experiences that are so unique.  This is also why it often takes me a while to blog about a trip.  I never know what to say to properly capture the experience I had.

The interesting thing about wanderlust is that the more you travel, the stronger your sense of wanderlust becomes.  Sometimes I think if I could just stay here long enough my desire or need to travel will disappear, but I think the reality is that it won't.  You can't deny who you are.  Wanderlusters are always hungry for more.



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