the wanderlust hurts.
it’s an ache that won’t go away. i sat at my desk this morning dreaming of being anywhere but where i was. somewhere outside. somewhere brand new. somewhere where everything was unknown. somewhere where everyone around me is a familiar stranger that with a thread of undiscovered similarities could transform into a friend around a small table and laughter filled drinks. somewhere that made those butterflies fly around your insides, that tickles your heart and awakens your soul.
somewhere that makes me feel alive.
i have trips planned. one for work and one for pleasure. both stateside. it’s not satisfying the ache. i want bali. and thailand. and costa rica. oh, i want bali. in my bones, i want to be in those rice patties. I want to chase those waves as they race to crash into shore.
so there i was, emails filling my inbox with deadlines and requests to draft emails and review materials and all i can think is how do i get out of here and instead, be there. so my soul can open its eyes, stretch it’s legs and roam around – find it’s groove once again.
because here’s what no one tells you when you’re small and think you can travel the world. it’s so much harder to do than you think it will be. by the time you’re in your midtwenties and have built up enough vacation time at your company, you’ve run out of travel buddies. they’re all planning weddings and taking care of babies and that is so, so lovely, but you’re not – life has afforded you this gift of being able to just go. But it’s not like that pinterest quote – you can’t just buy a plane ticket and go. sometimes you just don’t know how to take the next step.
i don’t know that i’ve always had the travel bug. but i think i have the ingredients that make the wanderlust spirit – an adventurer, independent and constantly curious, the constant student.
that does not mean that i am the best traveler. i have anxieties. i lack patience. i do not have the strongest stomach. but i will try anything twice. i will eat just about anything. and i have a knack for making friends in the most curious of places. i’m not very good at it when i’m downtown at a bar with friends, but transport me to a wine bar in reykjavik, iceland – and suddenly i’m at a table with 4 new friends sharing a bottle of red and swapping stories of days that have stitched memories onto our hearts. i was bestowed that talent from my parents – my dad knows just about every joe in our hometown and beyond, and my mom knows every baker, mailman, employee at walgreens she’s ever crossed paths with. it’s in my genes. and when travelling, it serves me well.
i think of them as moment soulmates, the friends i make when i travel. moment soulmates are people that come into your life, usually it’s fleeting. they might not transform your life, you most likely won’t fall in love with them, the possibility that you’ll ever see them again is quite low – but, inevitably moment soulmates slide into your heart and leave an imprint. when you think back to that café in that city, you’ll remember their kind smile, how they looked you in the eye, really looked at you, how in that moment there was really nowhere else you’d rather be.
i also don’t mind being alone, or i should say – i don’t mind doing things on my own. i know a lot of people don’t understand that notion, but the fact is – when being solo is the card that life hands you, you adapt. you have to shift your mindset, or its quicksand. you have to look at the solo times as empowering, not lonely. and to me, that’s what it is – empowering – to know i can stand on my own. to know that i’m okay to just be quiet with myself, with my own thoughts – it’s a comforting notion. diane von furstenberg said it best when speaking about what her mother taught her, “she told me that fear is not an option – and the other is that you have to be your best friend. and very early on i was lucky to become my very best friend. that gave me so much strength: no matter what happens – the ups, the downs, the this, the that – i’m always with me. and i have a great relationship with me. and i think that’s probably my best thing: the relationship i have with myself.”
the thing about wanderlust is, eventually you have to satisfy the ache.
buying a plane ticket is only a few clicks away. after all. where should i go?