“I don’t want to go” we probably all would have moaned when we were kids growing up; apart from I pretty much always wanted to go, I mean literally go everywhere. As long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to up and leave, especially if that going meant travelling, when I was a child I always had a longing to visit far-flung places; as I have grown older this longing has grown deeper and deeper until it is an ache so strong it can’t possibly be ignored. This ‘Wanderlust’ or ‘Fernweh’ is the feeling of wanting to be away, to explore the world, experience everything, and see as much as possible.
A vast amount of people get these urges, every day normal people like you and me answer the call to travel, they up and leave their normal lives behind to go see the world, some of them for only days at a time, some of them for years; ultimately it doesn’t matter where you go or how long you go for, the Wanderlust is the same.
When we do spend time at home or at least when we’re static for a long period of time; we dream of travel, we look at photos of the places we long to visit, we peruse websites for hours dreaming of our next adventures, we read travel blogs (thanks for that), we do whatever we can to get our fix, to satisfy our growing Fernweh (have you noticed that I’ve just learnt this term and I love it?!). However more often than not by feeding the wanderlust we’re just making it grow, trust me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; that is until, one day, you’re sitting at work, maybe in London on a rainy Wednesday, and the Wanderlust is so strong that you would do just about anything for a few days (if not more) away, just so you can fulfil the craving for exploration. But it’s just not obtainable; you don’t have the money, you have commitments at home, work to do, classes to attend, your days fill up with the mundane until your soul is practically screaming for some adventure.
I know how horrible it feels to be static, you dream of visiting new places until it takes over your mind, the wanderlust eventually becomes so strong that it drives most of your thoughts, it seeps into your subconscious whilst you sleep, even when you’re awake the subject of travel becomes one of the things you talk most about. However there are a few things you can do to feed your wanderlust until you can find the finances and the time to get back out into the world. This list has been put together by some of my friends and family who adore travelling but all work fulltime and have commitments at home, as well as my own thoughts and experiences in suffering with constant wanderlust.
10 ways to feed your Wanderlust:
1. Go for weekends away, jump into the car and drive out of your normal town and into the countryside; exploring the countryside you are in definitely helps. – My lovely friend Sophie, who is currently planning a wedding in the beautiful Bath
2.“Create smaller plans to be able to look forward to, say something every 8-12 weeks” – My mum (thanks mum!) who is the queen of plans, she fills her free time doing what she loves, leading the life she loves, loving the life she lives, people will do well to follow her lead.
3. “Go on small cheap holidays or spend non-holiday time planning a massive holiday” – The ever lovely, Sasha. (blog link) Planning a massive holiday is one of the things I love doing when I have itchy feet, I remind myself that I’m working towards something utterly amazing and my time to go will come round.
4. Get outside, honestly, get outside, no matter what the weather, and have a microadventure. Go for a walk, experience some nature, see a different side of your city; microadventues are the best way I’ve found to satisfy your craving for excitement.
5. Set up a travel fund – *yawn* “Savings?!” I can hear you shout” “C’mon Hannah, you’ve got to give us more than that” but hear me out, if you set yourself up a fund to put money in on a week by week or month by month basis to save for your trip away, every time you feel your stomach lurch because you want to travel you just have to look at your fund and remind yourself that that’s exactly what you’re aiming for. I have a savings fund for my trip of a lifetime (I will tell you about this at a much later date); it really does help me to think of the bigger picture when every part of me yells that I need to travel.
6. Enjoy the moment – enjoy where you are at the time and what you’re doing. It might not be exactly what you crave, but it’s your time, you will never get this hour, this minute, and this second back. Remember that you have to smile, be grateful to be here and enjoy every single second of it.
7. Tell your story, what better way to satisfy your wanderlust than living vicariously through past adventures that you’ve had? Start a blog, tell a friend, write in a journal; get your adventures from your mind out into the world, you’ll find yourself reliving them and smiling about what you’ve done in no time.
8. Pack your imaginary suitcase and decide where you want to go, live as ferociously as you’ve always dreamed of doing. Bungee jump Victoria Falls, explore lost Mayan temples deep within the jungle, skydive over the great barrier reef; it’s your imagination, go exactly where you want to go. Then maybe get creative with it, take your wanderlust and write, write about where you want to go with vigour and passion, take your writing and use it as your personal book of what you want to experience in your lifetime.
9. Learn something cultural and new, take this free time and learn a new language; there’s a mass of free language apps to download and enjoy, I’m currently attempting to learn Thai. I love the country and the people who live there and would like to deepen my knowledge whilst at home; this has done wonders for soul whilst I dream of Thailand. You can do anything, like learn how to make Peruvian rugs, or learn how to cook the food of the places that you dream of visiting. Immerse yourself in the culture of a place without the hefty cost of a plane ticket, it might even make the time you spend there (when you do go) more enjoyable.
10. Become a ‘Yes person’, most of you more than likely are ‘Yes’ people already, but if you’re not then you should definitely become one. Open yourself up to new opportunities and experiences, visit friends, go to new areas, explore, live your life to the fullest, no matter where you are or what you can do with your time and finances.
We have this urge to explore and travel embedded deep within our souls, we are called to explore new countries, meet new people and experience new things; we will see more than most see in their lives, we will create memories that will make us smile for a lifetime. We will live fuller lives than we have ever dreamt of doing; we will do what we love, eventually. Until then, we can embrace the desire to travel and let our wanderlust fuel our day-to-day lives until we can get out into the world again.
How do you satisfy your need for travel and adventure?