Coping with Wanderlust

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
One of my favorite locations to cope with the wanderlust. Where’s yours?

Wanderlust is a serious affliction…or maybe it’s a blessing. Regardless, it affects most of us at some point in our lives. Whatever provokes it, whether it be a less than satisfactory situation in the place in which we live or a profound feeling that rivals reason, wanderlust simply cannot be ignored or suppressed. That strong desire to travel, to move from the place you are currently resting in, needs to be nurtured.

Two main things stand in the way of wanderlust: finances and fear. They are very real dilemmas, don’t get me wrong, but for every real dilemma, there is a real alternative that can alleviate the situation. I’m going to lay out some options to the best of my abilities, but if you have suggestions of your own (and are better traveled than me), please leave them in the comments and share your wisdom with the rest of us.

Money is a silly thing. It causes way more stress that it is worth, and no matter what you do, you’ll never have enough. This is why people use it as an excuse to ignore their wanderlust. If you can’t afford a would tour, you simply should never travel, right?

Wrong. So very, very wrong.

You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to satisfy wanderlust (at least not at first).. Sometimes it’s just as satisfying to wander do the nearest small town. One full of Mom and Pop shops and family run restaurants. You’d be amazed what wanders you can find close to home. I don’t generally get to travel very far (yet), but I have found many a good time less than two hours from home. Starting with close trips while you save up for a bigger one is way more gratifying than waiting years and years to go on one amazing trip.

Another, even cheaper alternative is to pick up a book. Really. I mean it. Reading in general provides for a little bit of an escape, even if you aren’t physically going anywhere. I’m sure it sounds like a cop out, but trust me, if you take a good book to the right spot on your property, you may very well forget you aren’t on vacation. Books are only a temporary fix, but I have to tell you that in my experience, books are much more affordable than worldwide travels.

In a pinch, a good book can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of wanderlust.

Along with finances, a general fear of wanderlust tends to inhibit people. They don’t want to travel alone. They don’t want to take the time to disconnect from everyday life. They don’t “feel like it.” All of these inhibitions only make the desire to get out stronger. They get frustrated with where they are and who they are with, but they don’t or won’t see that they can fix that feeling. They make more excuses and get trapped in a cycle of not allowing themselves to wander, and to be frank, that’s just not cool. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you deserve to wander, to feed your wanderlust.

We all have a little wanderlust in us, so quit staring at your screen and get out there. Photo Courtesy Laurie Marino

Whatever your fear is, fight it. Stand up to it and go. Travel for an hour. Travel for a year. Do whatever it takes to feed your wanderlust instead of suppressing it. I may not know what your life is like, but I do know that if you are ignoring an urge to move, you are only straining yourself. Grab your friends, go solo or meet new people as you go. However you decide to go, go now.

Me? I’m in the middle of wandering right now. I wander with friends. I wander by myself. I wander as often as my budget will allow. I’d like to get a tattoo and a trip for my 21st birthday (but don’t tell my family about the tattoo yet). I know I have a bad case of wanderlust, but the last thing I’m going to do is ignore it.


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