a strong desire to travel.“a man consumed by wanderlust”
Those that know me, know that I am not even done with my current trip and I am already planning the next one. On a Thursday, I feel the deep need for my toes to be in the sand, and by Saturday they are. I am just not content to stay home. I don’t want to travel. I need to travel! It’s wanderlust pumping through my veins!
You expect me to believe this?
Yes! Want to know what it feels like to have wanderlust? It’s an intense need to explore new places and to enjoy new experiences. Wanderlust has you yearning with desire to go somewhere, anywhere. It has you planning trips you know you can’t take…yet. Wanderlust is an addiction that leaves me feeling high emotionally as I head towards my new destination. It leaves you breathless with anticipation.
Not Sure you believe traveling is addicting?
Some claim there is a wanderlust gene. I wholeheartedly believe this must be true! Therefore, could it be true that “Research into why humans like to travel and as a species have travelled so far has been focused on studying genes. A gene DRD4 is involved in dopamine levels in the brain, which is linked with motivation and behaviour (Lichter et al, 1993).” By the same token, I believe that the enjoyment of exploring is a seed that can be planted and nurtured. In either case, it is the driving force behind every coupon I clip, every budget I try to come under, and the day to day decisions I make!
What happens in my mind when I can’t travel?
Not only is this going to sound crazy but also an entitled First World problem. While I am by no means wealthy, I understand my privilege and have it firmly checked. The emotions and feelings of travel withdrawal are real and documented.
The anxiety creeps in and I begin to feel claustrophobic. I begin to feel restless and that only amps up the longer it is between trips. My need begins to feel overwhelming, and I start to find ways to squash it down. Perhaps a weekend trip will scratch this itch. I begin to get moody and detached, and very annoyed at myself for feeling this way. It’s not a vacation (lack of responsibility and relaxation) that I crave, but the intense feelings of euphoria that come with discovering, learning, exploring, and experiencing something and somewhere. In short, it is my happy place.
Not to mention, it seems like something is missing in your life when you aren’t “out there.” It is the exact opposite of being homesick. Skyscanner and Groupon are enabling my addiction by helping me plan cost effectively and ergo rationalize my addiction! My brain words in airport codes, and I can tell you the going rate for a ticket to Iceland. By the same token, my Pinterest boards are filled with places that I desperately want to visit or go back to. This intense urge was not accidental. Here is looking at you Mom and Dad! Thank you for this painfully precious gift of needing to explore this world. It can only make me a better person by doing so, right?
Is there a 12 step program for those addicted to traveling? If traveling is an addiction, I’m more than content to be labeled an addict. Just don’t leave me in a room full of other wanderlust addicts or you may never see me again! Does that mean I have to move out of my house? After all, my children are my biggest enablers!