I have always been drawn to books and movies in which the main character goes on some great quest or ventures into strange and unknown places. I love stories about epic journeys; I don’t just love reading about them or watching them, I want to have experiences like that. I want to go on a quest, or a journey, or an adventure. I have a deep-seated case of wanderlust. And while it has never really taken me too far from home, I still always seem to find a way to wander. Whether it’s a new interest, a hobby or a different job; I am always looking for the next best thing.
Wanderlust isn’t necessarily the desire to constantly travel; though I love to travel and have gone to some pretty great places. For me, it ‘s more of a desire for variety in everyday life. I despise set schedules and routines. I don’t like “punching the clock” or maintaining the status quo. I also find that once I’ve mastered something, or have been doing it for a while, I get restless. It seems like I’m always ready for something new, and if I can’t figure out the next new thing, I make little changes to make life feel a little more fresh. For instance, my family will tell you that I have a terrible tendency to rearrange things. I’m always moving the furniture or reorganizing the cupboards. I think this habit might drive them a little crazy, but it keeps me sane. I just always want things to be different and I know I’m not alone.
Some people are like Hobbits. They are content to do things the way they have always been done and to never leave the borders of their own land. And it’s okay to be Hobbit-like; if you are happy and find purpose and meaning in that life. But for the rest of us, that’s just not enough. It’s not enough change. It’s not enough adventure. It’s not enough living; it’s merely existing. We want to do things differently, to cross borders and push boundaries. And when we are told that we can’t or shouldn’t do those things, it just makes us want to do them more.
We “wanderers” always need to be on the move; we relish newness and change. I think it’s good that we are wired this way. It makes us the innovators and experimenters. We are the agents of change. But, if we aren’t careful, it can also make us instigators and trouble makers. Sometimes we love newness and change so much that we forget that not everyone feels that way and we get frustrated and lack patience with others. Our love of “different” can blind us to the downside of change, we can lose sight of the fact that sometimes we do things a certain way for good reason. We need to make sure that we wander with care.
So, what is someone with wanderlust looking for? What are they hoping to find? I don’t know about the other adventurous souls out there, but I think, in part, I’m hoping to find myself. I’m trying to get to the heart of who I really am and to go on some awesome adventures along the way.