As someone who follows more travel Instagrams than I can count, and has a room filled with souvenirs from my travels around the world, I am a proud fangirl of travel.
I adore the smell of an airport. I actually enjoy waking up at sinful hours of the morning because it usually means a new adventure is beginning. I treasure the blisters I’ve earned after a long day of exploring a new city and I get a sort of high at watching a new stamp being added to my passport.
But I hate this whole wanderlust phenomenon.
I know that all you bloggers and #hashtaggers have the best intentions with the use of the word– but is it creating more ponderers than it is wanderers?
I see it in my friends’ eyes as their stares grow glassy at the sight of the bright blue Mediterranean or the shimmer of Paris on their screens. Lust. An uncontrollable desire to be anywhere but here. Our generation is so obsessed with getting out, we don’t know how to be happy where we are.
We are that colorful spinning wheel that appears on your computer when it is waiting for something to load. We wait until our study abroad semester comes or spring break arrives to feel like we are living in an adventure. We are too busy waiting for the next best thing to come along that we are wasting our lives by simply existing instead of living. What we forget is that we are living our adventure, every. single. day.
Here’s a newsflash: there is nothing wrong with where you are. In fact, your small college campus may even have the same potential for your next big adventure as much as Rome does. But that’s all up to you.
Explore the depths of your neighborhood coffee joint, or discover the wonders of the family run Korean BBQ joint down the street. Revel in the fact that you will never be able to meet every single person in your city. But why not try to come close? The idea here is to stop #wanderlusting and start #wanderloving.
I would still highly encourage studying abroad or saving your money to cross some borders on your summer break. But remember, practice makes perfect. So before you go trying out sidewalk cafes in Heidelberg or exploring the Underground in London, learn a little more about your own turf. All you need is a full tank of gas, a friend, and the willingness to try anything to have the best day of your life.
If you need a little more inspiration for spontaneity, bring along a pair of dice and roll at each intersection you come to. Odds you go left, evens you go right. There are a thousand opportunities for adventure every single day. So stop with the lust. Stop waiting until you get out of college, get enough money, get enough guts.
Because it’s about time you realized how exotic your story is simply because you are living it. Adventure is right in front of you.
Image via Anna Schultz