Wanderlust: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world
You could say I’m at that lost twenty-something point in my life trying to find my place in this world. Having spent much of my college career in the Cross-College Advising Services (basically where they place you if you don’t know what to do with your life), I’m constantly trying to narrow my focus and delve into what gets me up in the morning. My dad always said I wouldn’t wake up if a train came through my room, so whatever I do, it’s going to need to be a love-love relationship to get this sleepyhead out of bed.
For me, that something is travel. Have I turned it into a career? Not exactly, but I’ve dabbled. It all began with Study Abroad my junior year at UW-Madison. I was not the person you would expect to spend a semester abroad having not known a single person going with me. I was the youngest of three, and was definitely “babied.” I took my laundry home on the weekends and lived off frozen meals, but that’s exactly why I
wanted needed to go abroad. It was the best decision I ever made.
I fell in love (not lust) with traveling, experiencing different cultures, meeting new people, and honing my Spanish skills. Travel was my boyfriend. It was all I thought about. I wanted to spend all my time with it. You could even say I stalked it – I spent probably too much time researching places I’d never been, but longed to go. Before my semester across the pond was even over, I was already devising a plan to return. I wasn’t ready to admit that the best semester of my life was coming to an end.
Sure, I had been to Disney World and spring breaks in Cancun, but Study Abroad opened me up to whole new wide array of possibilities, and opened up a side of myself I never even knew existed. If you asked me 5 years ago where I’d be, I would’ve been completely wrong – and I’m so thankful for that.
After graduation, should I have applied for jobs, interviewed, and taken a full-time 9-5? Maybe, but I’m so glad I didn’t. My love for wanderlust was too strong, so instead, I applied to Teach Abroad in Spain, and booked my ticket. I desired another year of travel, adventure, and self-reflection, as I was still pretty undecided as to what I should do in this life.
My abroad experiences have helped me figure that out, and I just can’t seem to stay away from it.
So is it lust of is it love? Without a doubt, it’s love…and I’m not going to let that go. Travel is my “the one”.