There exists a feeling of intense desire, an urge of unrelenting potency which seemingly pulls on every thread of your being to manifest it as reality. A feeling where the border between escape and exploration becomes a blur, and where unendurable frustration finally pushes you from motion into action. This is the feeling of wanderlust, and it can lead to the most life-changing experiences of your future. Here are 15 things only people with wanderlust would understand. Do you have the feeling?
1. You Hate Being Tied down in One Place.
Whether you are in your hometown or a city far far away, when the feeling of wanderlust strikes you’re ability to remain comfortable in one environment is thrown out of the window. Everything around you ceases to stimulate you, and instead the stagnation of routine and an overly-familiar environment takes over. Your sense of imprisonment grows and eventually you find yourself looking for any means of escape. But don’t sweat it, though this feeling is a curse in the moment, it is a blessing in disguise as it will motivate you to follow your heart and explore.
2. You Wonder Why Everybody Isn’t Travelling.
It’s easy to get swept away in the rift that is wanderlust, even to the extent that you forget that there is a world which needs running. You ask yourself why everyone around you is doing the same monotonous things day after day, why don’t they just get up and go, right? Wanderlust doesn’t strike everybody equally, if at all. Besides, all the earth-conquering and soul-exploration isn’t for everyone. Just be thankful that Lady Wanderlust has graced you with her presence.
3. You Live Vicariously Through Others.
Whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, magazines (yes they still make those) or other forms of media, those with wanderlust find themselves lost in a torrent of scenic and envy-inducing images, thumbs autonomously swiping away, eyes locked onto footage of other people’s experiences. It’s as if your brain wants to live vicariously through the travel images of others until it finds itself there in reality. Surprisingly, this is a great method for staying motivated to make that your life, just don’t get content with watching others make it.
4. You Try to Find Variety in Daily Life.
Remembering back to the feeling of stagnation, you’ll find yourself seeking variations in the minutiae in an effort to wring any last excitement from your current environment. Whether you take a new path on the way to work, change the order of your daily activities or try different foods, one thing which becomes apparent is that all of these things and others like them are fundamentals in travel, new paths, no set structure to days, new cuisines. You can see the connection. Could this be a subconscious primer for travel?
5. You are Mistaken for a Hermit.
Sometimes people just don’t understand. The desire for you to escape is mistaken for a desire to leave civilization entirely and to live solo in some beach hut in mexico. Quite the contrary, you wish to escape so you can feel more connected to the world and its inhabitants. To travel is to bond, to explore is to embrace change. Ironically, we know that we are most disconnected from civilization when we’re trapped in the lightening pace of our lives.
6. You Feel Like a Nomad Amongst Settlers.
This goes back to point 2, but it becomes more personal when you feel as though you’re the only one wearing rose-coloured glasses. You are a fork placed amongst knifes. Sometimes it’s easy to doubt yourself and your need to explore when those around you have no interest in such things. We are the average of our peer group after all. Don’t mistake the feeling of isolation for individuality. You know what you wan’t, don’t let the motives of others deter you from getting it.
7. You Embrace Escapism.
When you wan’t to escape but your current circumstances won’t permit it, you’ll often find yourself getting lost in other forms of release. You daydream a lot, this is something I call Walter Mitty syndrome, the tendency to get lost in your ideal life, all within the confines of your imagination. Like point 3, this can be a great tool for visualisation but only in moderation. Don’t forget to turn your dreams – or daydreams for that matter – into reality.
8. You Wish to Meet People Like Yourself.
Global exploration is known to be one of the greatest means of meeting those with similar interests to yourself. People prone to travel tend to be the more outlandish and open-minded types, often a product of travelling itself. You know this, you want to be this, and you know if you can just get on a plane and go, you’ll be happier than ever before. Leading me onto my next point.
9. You Feel Like Your Life Would Be Complete If Only You Could Travel.
Yes, we all know how this feels. You have a slice missing from your heart and travel is a perfect match. You know that if you were to travel you’d be the most complete, fulfilled and well-rounded version of yourself. This is what many people call “finding themselves”, an inaccurate term since we are all products of our environments in the first place. However, you know you’d be a warmer, kinder and less frustrated person, and that is a great reason to go in itself.
10. You Can’t Decide Where You Want to Go First.
Planning your trip is difficult when all your focused on is trying to leave where you are. Ironically, planning where to go takes up a lesser portion of your time, but when you do eventually get round to it you may face great difficulty. Where do you begin? South America or SE Asia? Europe or Africa? You know you have research to do, don’t let yourself get to your golden opportunity to begin with no plan in mind.
11. Your 9-5 Feels Like a 9-9.
When you realise how amazing our planet is, having to work in a routine based job day after day becomes nearly impossible. You loath it. You want to run away from it and never come back. Wanderlust changes you, it’s powerful, and it can often have major impacts on how you live your life.
12. You Start Saving a Travel Fund.
Small things here and there become trivial. You equate the price of those new pair of shoes, or that new sweater into how many extra days you could travel. It’s funny to notice yourself doing this, “$60 for that? That’s 2 more days on the road, no thanks.”
13. You Start Taking Micro-Adventures.
A bus ride here, a train ride there, and you find yourself 50 miles from home, testing out the water to see how you feel in the wild unknown. This is an important moment for any would-be traveller because it’s when you find out if you’re cut out for the travelling life. If you don’t panic when you feel lost, or when you have no signal on your phone, you just flow with it. You are a nomad through and through.
14. You Feel at Home Wherever You Go.
When your mind gets used to the idea that you won’t be hanging around in any one place for a prolonged period of time, everywhere starts to feel like home. You no longer crave that secure base you once did when you first left, but instead you fit right into place no matter the country, the language or the culture.
15. You Become Willing to Try Anything.
Bungee jumping? Sure. Weird looking cuisine? Why not! When wanderlust strikes, your mind opens up like a flower to the world around it. Anything becomes your everything. You realise that you are the most open-minded, wise, and outgoing version of yourself, and that you are the happiest you have ever been. You couldn’t trade it for the world, because the world gave it to you in the first place.
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