Do you find yourself feeling down when looking at holiday photos posted on Facebook? Frequently rethinking careers, hoping to find a job that can make long term travel financially viable? Playing more games to keep mind off travel? Reading more books to keep mind off travel? Frantically saving money and budgeting everything and having vivid dreams and feeling disappointed when you wake up? Then congratulations you my friend are suffering from WANDERLUST.
Wanderlust (also known as ‘itchy feet’) is a mental state of desperately wanting to travel. The term “wanderlust” is often used in a completely lighthearted, consequence-free way. It’s a romantic idea to live a carefree, roam the globe, go off and “find yourself” kind of life.
Albeit there are some people who never feel the urge to leave the house. They’re content to stay in the city they came from, the couch they sit on, and the 360 degrees that immediately surround them. Then there are the rest of us: the people who can’t sit still, perhaps meditate to Anthony Bourdain, and always keep their passports on them – just in case.
Whether you call it wanderlust, a love of travel or regular old curiosity – the fact remains the same: Your hunger to explore simply cannot be quenched, no matter how many vacations or journeys you take.
Now wanderlust can develop if when you haven’t been travelling for a period of time are going though extended periods of working and are going through a particularly stressful situation.
You may not have known this but according to recent scientific claims, the inherent urge to travel can even be traced back to one gene, which is a genetic derivative of the gene DRD4, which is associated with the dopamine levels in the brain.
The gene itself, which is identified as DRD4-7R, has been dubbed the “wanderlust gene,” because of its correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness, for the most part.
Now it is hard enough (and expensive enough) to just live, but despite all that, our urges and impulses don’t really understand or reflect logic.
There are some ways that you can cure the wanderlust itch when it comes up. First investigate the impulse.
Why is it you want to travel so badly? Is it because you keep on seeing face book and instagram posts of friends and acquaintances jet setting across the world? Whatever is at the root of your desire to go off and see the world, think through it carefully, share your desire with a few people you trust and approach it prayerfully.
The next item on the agenda is to honestly survey your now. To be honest not everyone is living “la vida loca” Where you are right now, today, is probably underrated. Your school, your job and the city you live in are always “less green” than the amazing places on all those travel posts.
But it is important to make an honest survey of exactly where you are today to understand where you want to be. And while the world is full of adventures just waiting to be had, you’re probably in the midst of a real-world adventure right now: growing in relationships, experiences, and responsibilities right where you are. Don’t overlook those things as you dream about heading out on the road.
And finally study, plan, save. This is where the process gets fun. Decide exactly where you want to go and what you want to do. It has never been easier to study the world than it is right now. So dream big, learn the insider tips and start making a plan. Remember your expectations and your budget need to line up realistically or you’re headed for disappointment. I think the best guides are people who have done it before you. Ask for advice, weigh all the options and try to connect with locals there on the ground if you can.