Were you born to travel? Have you ever experienced that burning feeling pushing you to quick everything and go exploring the world? I think travelers develop a syndrome. It’s as if the travel bug stung you and activated a sort of “I don’t know what, I don’t know where” that invites you to pack everything and leave. Something like the one that stung Forest Gump when he decided to run, to run without stopping, to go around the world guided simply by his uncontrollable desire to move, to go and look for something unknown. The point is that desire, has even its own concept, is known as wanderlust and comes from the german words wandern, which means “to hike” and lust which means “desire”. The word became then a “strong desire or impulse to travel and explore the world.”
How do you know wanderlust is active in your blood?
The symptoms appear almost always accompanied by a feeling of nonconformity at work, existential sadness, feeling of nausea by the routine, like boredom, something deep that bothers so much that it forces you to pack and you feel like you were born to travel. The comfort that routine produces, however, keep you doped, and with the sense of being “save and in control”. The truth is we control so little that we live the same day for months or years and we realize it when, one day, we ask ourselves: how come so much time has passed? And we learn that although many things have happened, nothing has happened. Find some of the signs that prove you have the wanderlust active in your blood and if not, why you should start traveling now.
I feel that the wanderlust was activated on me the first time I went to France. I remember the feeling on the plane and how I felt that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, travel and travel. But although I traveled a lot during my university years and then and I even went with Mau for a long trip to South America, and I always felt that was what I wanted to do, “normal” won the battle and we settled for a while in the standard. But with the standard came the normal debts, the normal stress, the normal routine of normal life and I was very close to go crazy. But we still did not make the decision.
It is scary to stop doing what the rule dictates.
The most you want to change the monotony, the most life will test you: I fell into the trap of the system and I became a “professional looking for employment.” I hated it, that awful sensation of fear, of looking for someone to appreciate who you are, your skills talents and all that you have to share. I wanted to run, to move, to go looking for something else, something bigger. At that moment, the wanderlust was reactivated with more strength. We decided to do something different and bring our dreams to reality: we sold everything to go traveling the world. Plop!
Can anyone after the 30’s still be thinking about traveling and having a life in a backpack? Yeap!
Traveling is changing the way you observe things; is to appreciate the noise of an immense city, the rhythm of the cities and the different lifestyles or the silence of a mountain; it is about flavors that reminds your childhood or another side of the world, new aromas, colors. It’s like putting on glasses that make you see things in third dimension. To travel is to see life expressed in many lives. For us, every physical journey is also an internal journey, perhaps in every trip, we seek to meet ourselves, without realizing it. And we run like Forest Gump, driven by a deep feeling of moving, of going to find something, like pieces of soul. Yes, it is as if we have the soul atomized in different parts of the world, as if many people were guarding parts of it, taking care of it; And with each trip, we would pick it up, complete it, as if it was a puzzle, and we were gathering the pieces hidden in some mountain, in some tree, under some stone, in the eyes of a child, in the smile of a grandfather or in the hands of a stranger with whom we share an unexpected moment.
What about tomorrow?
Yes, perhaps we smile nervously as we enjoy the temperature of the grass in the palm of our hands and wonder what will be tomorrow. Who knows? Who knows anyways! It will be whatever that will be. Because “you learn to build all your paths in today because tomorrow’s terrain is too insecure for plans and futures have a way of falling in half.” Who better than Borges to express what we feel. Paths, learning to dance different rhythms, learning to flow and gathering pieces of what we really are at every step, with the world ahead.
One of the biggests lessons travel has taught us is that life is going to pass anyways. No matter what your life is, what your plans are, is the dictatorship of time. Were you born to travel? I don’t know but if you feel that burning sensations deep inside you, and “you don’t like where you are right now, move! you are not a tree”.