Wanderlust is defined by www.dictionary.com as “a great desire to travel and rove about”. Some people have it and some people don’t. Some people are born in small towns and spend their entire lives in the same places, rarely venturing out. I’ve heard of people in Hawaii not leaving their island even once in their lifetime. I can’t put a finger on it but there is something about your home that provides a level of comfort that many people are unwilling risk. Even when there are opportunities for something greater, the comfort of home is not a sacrifice worth making.
I could certainly be fitted with the wanderlust label. After four surf trips to Costa Rica, an excursion to Israel, and a 4-1/2 year stay in Hawaii I have no desire to settle down. I’m currently living in Thailand and it is only a matter of time before I decide to take a long stop in another country. Something about “long-term” doesn’t sit well with me. Case and point: Hawaii.
I was making decent money and saving for retirement in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I had a large group of friends and some of them were the absolute best type of friend you could ever ask for. Even though I was building a career and opportunities to move up the ladder were in front of me, the thought of staying put for the rest of my life made me sick. Being successful in a large corporation requires a tremendous amount of commitment and time. When it’s new it’s great but eventually it turns into a cycle. The daily grind begins to feel dreadfully repetitious and you become robotic. Once you become robotic you really start to look to the future and ask yourself if you would be comfortable in it. Three factors come into play here: money, passion, and family.
Does the money make it worth staying? Are you passionate about what you’re doing? Do you have a family to support? It only takes one yes to stay but when it’s a resounding no to all three and you’ve got wanderlust burning like a conflagration in your mind the decision is easy. Once the machine (Pink Floyd reference) wore out its welcome I had to pack my bags and seek out the next great adventure.
Now, new sets of questions pop up like that damn whack-a-mole game. Where do I go? How long will I stay? How long will I keep roaming the earth for? What is the end game? There is so much uncertainty in the life of wanderlust and most people would never put up with it. For me, it’s no problem. I thrive in uncertainty and challenging situations. Part of it is because there is a comfort nestled in my psyche and I am always able to find peace. I grew up in the best home and no matter what happens I can always go back. I have nothing to help me predict the end game but something tells me it involves home.
The more I travel, the more I see, the more I grow, the more reaffirmation I get that home is the place to be. I don’t understand how someone can stay in the same place their entire life but actually, on a certain level I do.