Wanderlust, to go or not to go?

explanation of wanderlust

Why is that some people constantly have the urge to explore the world and others live in the same village their whole lives and never even feel curious what the outside world is like? My family always jokes that my mother’s side of the family are born with a natural urge to travel. My great grandparents, a schoolteacher and a housewife, traveled around the world in the early 1900’s to Indonesia and raised a family there for thirty years. That was in a time when they needed to travel half a year by boat to go to Indonesia. What a sense of adventure to move to the other side of the world! It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I found this picture on Pinterest that put my family’s never ending urge to travel into one word: Wanderlust: A strong urge or desire to wander or travel the world.

Where does this traveling urge come from?

I feel like part of me was born with it and my parents awakened the rest in me when moving to the Middle East when I was just a girl. I attended international schools with over 150 different nationalities. My friends came from America, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Bahrain, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, India, Britain and Belgium. Hearing about everybody’s homes, learning their customs, bits of their language and food triggered me to learn about the rest of the world and made me dream of visiting all those wonderful places.
But maybe it’s just plain pre-historical instinct that drives me to want to move and discover new places, people and foods. Although all of my theories don’t make much sense if you consider that I have two sisters who lived abroad with me and love traveling but do it far less than I do and have never been on a trip around the world. How come they have more peace to stay and live in one place instead of feeling a constant urge to travel?

Others with wanderlust

There are plenty of people who don’t grow up in an environment with so my cultures, but do travel around the world. How do they get the urge to travel? On my holidays I curiously talked to dozens of people traveling around the world for their summer vacation, whole summer seasons, sometimes months, a year or years about their wanderlust. Almost all of them shared a indescribable need for adventure and a love for nature and wildlife. After they had made their first trip outside their own country with a backpack they were hooked. Besides it being described as wanderlust I call it the travelbug. Maybe the combination of a love for nature/wildlife and an adventure awakens the travelbug in people?

Settling down

There have been plenty of people around me who thought wanderlust was just a phase while being young. That it would disappear once I settled down and I found a husband and had a baby. The first thing my grandmother said when I told her I was pregnant of her first great grandchild was: “I am so glad you made all those wonderful trips around the world, because those won’t be possible now”. I have been unbelievable lucky to find the love of my live twice: in my husband Michiel and son Noa, but that hasn’t stopped that urge to travel.
I see other people getting kids and they suddenly stop traveling. And I get it, traveling with young kids is hard and sometimes doesn’t seem like a holiday at all. But staying home doesn’t do it for me, I would rather rough it with a baby with a beautiful sunset of jungle in the background.

Living in one place your whole live

There are also people that live in the same town/village that they are born in their whole lives. I always wonder if they ever get the urge to just get up and leave. Or if the fear of the unknown becomes so great that you choose to stay and never leave. Or if they just never, ever have the urge to travel. It must be so comfortable to live in one place not having to worry about change.
I have always admired people who seem that have that peace of mind that I think I will never find. Because I moved around so much when I was younger, and switched schools every one or two years I feel the urge to move every other year. I drive my husband Michiel nuts. Every time we have settled into a place, a city, a new house and have everything in order I start bringing up moving again. While I’m writing this I’m wondering, might there be gypsy blood in my veins to explain my urge to travel?

The conclusion is don’t I know where wanderlust comes from. It seems there are different ways to get the travelbug, some are born with it, others develop it by traveling or a love for adventure or nature. One thing is for sure. If you don’t leave the city you live in you won’t experience all the wonders of the world and to some that doesn’t matter, but to me that’s living. I’m really curious as to how you live your life. Do you like traveling? Do you have the travelbug like me? Or do you not understand people’s urge to travel? Leave a comment beneath this blog.


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