Have you ever felt like you weren’t at home in the place where you grew up? Have you ever felt like wandering around and exploring the world outside of your comfort zone was the best feeling ever experienced? Have you ever felt the excitement wash over you when booking a flight? Have you ever started planning another trip while you were already on another?
If you replied “yes” to at least three questions, I’m happy to say that you suffer from the “wanderlust bug”. I bet each one of you reading knows what “wanderlust” means, but do you really?
Wanderlust is originally a German word that existed as far back as the Middle High German age. It was acquired in the English language in 1902. It’s a union of two German words: wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire). Wandern is always translated as a false friend with “to wander” but it literally means “to hike”. Putting the two words together it translates: “enjoyment of hiking”. How beautiful is that? In Modern German, wanderlust has been replaced by other German terms. On the other hand, it has acquired a powerful meaning as “the desire to travel” in Modern English. I personally started experiencing the “Wanderlust Bug" when I was 12 years old. It was my first trip without my parents and since then I’ve never really wanted to stop wandering every summer of my childhood and teenage years, my family and I used to take road trips to Italy during the summer months. We would spend a week or so there, sometimes even two before the economic crisis forced us to reduce our budget. Traveling has always been something that makes me happy; the entire crazy process. I’ve traveled a lot around Europe during my teenage years, first with the Church group and then by myself with my fellow friends.
I don’t want to live my life watching the days pass me by, I want to live my life to its fullest because like my beloved Grandpa used to say: “Chi ha tempo, non aspetti tempo” (who has time, shouldn’t waste time).
Discovering new places and diving into new cultures has always been something that makes me feel at ease. There are people who feel comfortable living in the same place all their life, and there is nothing wrong with that but I’m not that kind of people. I feel most comfortable knowing I have a trip planned within the next month. I feel comfortable in an airport, on a flight, or road tripping along an unknown route.
I have to admit that routines scare the shit out of me! I like to change my days, always on the run, always doing something. That’s why two years ago I decided to pause my college career and move to the States to be an au pair. I already hear a lot of you saying that a degree is important, that I shouldn’t have done that, but oh well, I did it and I’m the happiest person alive! That experience changed my life, it made me understand what I want to do with my life, when before I was just fulfilling what society wanted me to do. I don’t want to live my life watching the days pass me by, I want to live my life to its fullest because like my beloved Grandpa used to say: “Chi ha tempo, non aspetti tempo” (who has time, shouldn’t waste time).
"How do you cure the Wanderlust Bug? You don’t. You accept it. You go with the flow, you embrace it because you have been bitten to enjoy the taste of adventure!"
It means that your life it’s not meant to be static. We are not trees, we don’t have roots that force us to stay in one place, we can move around this amazing world. We are lucky enough to live in a globalized world, where distances are so small compared to just years ago. That’s why we should embrace the Wanderlust bug and go out in the world and be explorers. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal” - Paulo Coelho.