It’s been one of those days, again. One of those days where I kept reading stories written by and about world travellers; people following their hearts to where their feet lead them. One of those days of feeling the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and hearing my feet tread a trail along an ambling creek from the dreary surroundings of my usual office and seemingly endless commute. One of those days in short, where my desire to roam the world seems to burst out of me.
Is this wanderlust?
Sometimes, I feel like there’s a world inside of me. I can feel the majestic mountains with their snow-capped summits and rolling vales, ending at a small lake surrounded by fragrant trees. The air is crisp, not to warm, not to cold en so, so fresh! I feel this space in my heart, as if this is what was keeping me alive instead of the beating of a muscle connected to veins traversing my body.
On days like these there is nothing left for me to do but to sit there, in wilderness in my heart. I sit on a picnic table maybe, or the doorframe of a trailer. Knees pulled up, hands warmed by a hot cup of coffee – somehow there’s always coffee – and just calmly staring at the quiet wilderness ahead of me. A quiet wilderness that does not resemble me – an extravert who loves to talk. But that feels like home.
Is this wanderlust?
Dictionaries describe it as a strong urge or desire to travel and explore the world and to roam about. But to me, that seems inadequate. It is never just a strong urge to explore or a desire to roam about. It’s deeper than that. More than wanting to go on a holiday and it feels more urgent than wanting to escape your place in the world for a while. It is a need to find that place that, like the horizon, appears to be ever receding.
It is a need as deep as the biggest love you’ve ever felt. A necessity to go see the ocean, to run the meadows of the world, climb its mountains, gaze at it’s views. A deep, almost physical desire to explore new territory, meet new cultures, expand your brain. All that is driving you is a thirst for the new, the different, the beautiful, the hard, the difficult, the so worth it, the changes, the sameness of people, the infinite variety of life, the profound and the mundane, the else.
The thirst for something else to see than your daily view, something else to smell than the myriad of smells you’ve encountered so often you can no longer separate them from each other. Something else to hear than people complaining like we all do about how dull life can me. A wish to feel something else. Something calmer and more authentic and true.
This is wanderlust.
A feeling that makes my heart cry out for the sensations of the salty ocean breeze or a pine scented sunset over glorious mountains. A feeling that makes my feet itch with desire to run and fly and keep running until I find a place where I can walk and maybe even be still. Unencumbered by outside influences. Still in the wilderness. A feeling that I fear will never leave, but that gives my heart a place to rest.