We are all born to ask the BIG question, “What IS the meaning of LIFE?” This quest and search for meaning starts early in life such as when we once asked, “Where do babies come from?” Or, “Why is the sky blue?” This quest, desire, and thirst for knowledge usually wanes as we get older, although mine hasn’t diminished at all over the years. I am always wondering, “What more is out there? What can I learn? What is undiscovered?” And, “What IS the meaning of life?” Well, the answer to the BIG question will never be answered fully and with complete satisfaction, and I believe this to be a good thing. I believe it’s a good thing because it makes me question my life, where it’s going (or not), and allows me to recalibrate my life to focus on what IS important. Since my trip to Turkey last year, life has become more clear, more focused, and I felt forever changed. In an instant, I knew I would want to travel the world for the rest of my life. WanderLust was borne.
If you think about it, many of the pleasures of life that exist today started with travel. It could just be mind travel or armchair travel, but it is travel, nonetheless. Mind travel could mean day dreaming or creative thinking which could inspire a great, fantastic story leading to an exquisite book for others to enjoy. Armchair travel is experienced often by countless many in the form daydreaming or internet surfing, for example, to exotic locales. How happy do you feel when you look at a breathtaking picture of an island with the bluest of waters and the whitest of sands and imagine yourself floating on a hammock being caressed by the gentle tropical breeze? Of course, you would (or should) imagine yourself with a cold drink in your hand and you would be in sheer, heavenly bliss. And what about all the different foods and beverages we love to devour and imbibe? Variety is the spice of life! Think Italian pasta, Italian gelato, Chinese dim sum, the sushi of Japan, fresh seafood flown in from the islands, the wines of Italy or Napa Valley, the champagnes of France, and the tapas of Spain! Yes, yes, and yes! What about fashion? Yes, made in the U.S.A. is patriotic but who doesn’t want shoes, clothes, or handbags with a “Made in Italy” label? Think automobiles…German engineering, of course. As much as we take pride in our own cities and countries, there’s an innate, human desire to be curious and explore beyond our comfort zone and venture out into the unknown. When we travel, we usually return home with something from our trips, whether it be great stories, insights, souvenirs, and we end up sharing our happiness with friends and loved ones. The joy of that souvenir taking us back to that moment of travel stays in our minds forever, giving us instant pleasure upon reflection. These happy feelings and great memorable experiences are exactly what inspires and intoxicates me to travel, again cementing my bond with the unexplored parts of the globe.
The anatomy of WanderLust can also be traced back to our innate desire for freedom and exploration. As toddlers, we discovered our own legs and learned to walk and then run. We hated being buckled down in our strollers. Instead, we wanted to be free and roam. When we ran away as energetic two year olds, our parents would catch us, and then we would want to break free and roam again. That same lust for freedom haunts us in high school where on some days we just wanted to cut class. FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF did well at the box office because we could all relate to that desire to skip class and play hooky. Naturally, we are all meant to be explorers and venture out into this big, beautiful world that we all share. I believe it’s in our DNA to be explorers and to bring something back from our field observations. Since we are social animals, we naturally take part in the sharing process from our travels, whether real or imagined, and we spread our stories, enthusiasm, and, perhaps, our WanderLust. This exchange and sharing of information from our travels are the bonds that foster growth, the understanding and tolerance for others, which allow us to open our minds and hearts and increase our knowledge of the great unknown. Therefore, Life is not meant to be contained in a small circle and it cannot flourish if so. We are meant to explore, to go beyond, to seek and expand our awareness and knowledge, and, eventually, to return home, although I hate the return home part! This continual movement is the energy of the Circle of Life. WanderLust is Life and Life is WanderLust…
This is WanderLust!