And East and West the wanderlust that will not let me be; It works in me like madness, dear, to bid me say, good-bye! For the seas call and the stars call, and oh, the call of the sky.” ~ Gerald Gould, “Wanderlust,” c.1905
And East and West the wanderlust that will not let me be;
It works in me like madness, dear, to bid me say, good-bye!
For the seas call and the stars call, and oh, the call of the sky.” ~ Gerald Gould, “Wanderlust,” c.1905
Why Do You Choose to Travel?
Discover more wanderlust motivation: Travel Egos & Bragging rights
Personally, I find collecting experiences more rewarding and the memories they provide, than filling up pages in my passport. However, it’s merely personal choice, an expression of why travel is important to one individual.
Travelling opens up many possibilities, some of which seem extraordinary, even unique; immersion in another culture, an encounter with rare or even endangered wildlife, a festival, climbing a mountain, or even a chance meeting with a stranger or group on an excursion or a tour operator arranged journey, passing through several landscapes or environments.
Our world offers many opportunities to travel, a multitude of different environments; cities, mountains, deserts, rain forests, oceans, freezing, temperate or tropical climates. Each has its own cultures or wildlife which not only survive, but thrive, offering still more experiences.
Read more cultural discovery here: Faces of Indonesia; A Cultural Portrait
It is possible to trek long distance footpaths or high altitude routes, to climb above the clouds in remote areas of the world or to share a meal or mint tea with Bedouin nomads in the Sahara. We can witness polar bears hunting for seals on the pack ice of the Arctic, or orcas sweeping baby seals off a beach in Patagonia.
Through travel we are empowered to help others, voluntourism is a lucrative business for many companies, but there are plenty of genuine opportunities to travel and actually benefit the communities we visit. Having a positive impact on the people we meet is a powerful motivator, helping others is possibly the most altruistic reason for taking to the open road.
Do We Actually Choose?
The need to travel is commonly referred to as “wanderlust”, it doesn’t manifest itself in everybody, develops earlier in some and slowly creeps up on others, discovering the joys of travel late in life. It can also spring on a person, catching them like a trap door, capturing them suddenly, in an instant.
Is there a particular type of individual susceptible to wanderlust, or maybe nobody is immune to its temptations? Male, female, young, old, rich, poor, educated, poorly educated, professional, unemployed, soldier, pacifist, religious, atheist, able bodied or disabled, it does not differentiate.
Experiences shape our values and beliefs, watching David Attenborough or reading National Geographic as a child can foster wanderlust before we are out of our teenage years. Television, films, magazines, radio, newspapers and the internet are all sources of inspiration which we can respond to at any time in our lives.
Maybe wanderlust is actually buried within us all, just requiring time or a catalyst to release it. A single event can change a 9 to 5 white or blue collar worker, only taking a two week vacation each year into a person needing to travel. A meeting with an inspirational character, a natural history documentary or a James Bond film filled with exotic locations, an intoxicating, jet-setting lifestyle, which is impossible to resist.
Discover some travel inspiration: My Travel Inspiration – Inspired from within
Travel ambitions probably develop overtime, initially exploring our home country, possibly as a child with parents before travelling overseas. Countries visited will at first be those perceived as safe, probably popular tourist destinations before dipping a toe in more remote, exotic destinations as experience grows.
Wanderlust, Still Experiencing the Excitement
So, how do you feel about dolphins, would you get out of bed an hour earlier for the chance to see some playing alongside the boat?
It’s the little things that should excite us still, regardless of how much travelling we’ve done, or how many similar experiences we’ve had. Becoming blasé, is almost an occupational hazard of long term travellers.
Read about the slow travel experience here: Journeying; Travel without destination
Despite all the amazing experiences which we are exposed to, in fact because of them, there is a risk that at times we become desensitized to exciting moments, incredible landscapes, unique cultures or iconic wildlife.
Every experience is different, just because we’ve had a similar experience before it doesn’t mean it cannot be entirely different, even unique. That is reason enough for me to get excited, and just one reason I hope they never find a cure for wanderlust