What to Do When the Travel Bug Bites...And Bites Hard!
It has probably happened to you, on more occasions than one: you sitting at your 9-5 dreaming of better places, better people, and above all the feeling of just being on the road. It'll strike at the worst possible times too; you'll be progressing nicely in a career, or finally getting started on a project, and all of the sudden BAM! It's there. So how do you deal with this never-ending feeling of wanderlust, and longing for a life of constant travel? Here are a few ways:
Find a Creative Outlet that Let's You Share Travel Stories.
One of the best ways I cope with wanderlust is by sharing my experiences with others. I love to talk travel, whether it be stories from the road, places I've been, places I want to go, or just why I travel, sharing your own personal experiences can easily fulfill the wandering spirit within. Not only will you be satisfying your own interests tough, but you'll be inspiring others to go out and see the world too, which grows the traveler community even further. Find a community group, a cultural class, or even just an online discussion board that allows you to talk travel and it'll be sure to help satisfy some of those longing desires.
Never neglect the power of motion.
Part of the want to travel (at least for myself) comes from the need to be in constant motion. I love to be on the go, heading somewhere even if I don't know where that somewhere is. It's a fundamental need to feel like you are progressing to something, because without it, what are you really doing? Nothing. Movement is key. It keeps you active, keeps you engaged, and above all else keeps you on track for what you really want. If you feel the need to move, simply go out and explore where you live, you may find areas you never knew were there before, and who knows, you may even find a place that envelops what you were looking for all along. Just knowing that I'm going somewhere creates a sense of urgency and intrigue in my own mind, and dulls the flames of boredom.
Never let others persuade you that what you are feeling is wrong.
Travelers, and I mean true Travelers, those of us who feel most at home when we're on the road, know that the feeling of wanderlust is a gift. To want to explore every inch of this world and beyond is a feeling not everyone can understand. It dictates your life, your decisions, your spending, and even who you surround yourself with. Like-minded individuals will applaud this feeling, they encourage you to pursue it, and they help you realize it as a possability. But there are those who will try to convince you otherwise. They'll tell you that what you are doing isn't feasible, isn't responsible, or isn't realistic. Never listen to these people. If you want to travel, go travel, if you want to work away at a 9-5, do that, but don't let someone else dictate what you want, or what you can and cannot do.
Take time out to feed your inner-traveler
Maybe you go to an international market, maybe you plan a trip for later in the year, or maybe you do what I do, and give yourself one time of year where no matter where you are or what you are doing, you go travel. I gave myself the task when I was 21 to spend every New Years in a new country. So far Italy, Thailand, and Canada have covered those bases, this year will be somewhere different. Give yourself these little perks to encourage yourself to keep traveling. You don't have to take a month off, and you don't have to go on a round-the-world expedition. All you need is a few days to experience a new place and engage with a new culture. They say once a year you should go somewhere you've never been. That statement has never been more relevant.
When all else fails, just go!
Sometimes there's nothing you can do. You simply need to be in a new place, lost in a new culture, or just away from what you know. In that case the best advice I can give is to just go. Yes, you may have to leave a job, or leave people behind, or even just restart your life, but if what you are doing isn't satisfying you and you just feel lost, what better time is there than now? It can be scary, it can seem like your throwing everything away, and people will look at you like your crazy, but that simply means you're on the right track. No one is going to walk up to you and hand you a golden ticket on a silver platter. Sometimes in life you just have to take a risk, hopefully you accomplish everything you set out to do, but if you don't at least you can say you tried.
Travelers are unique. We are presented with unique opportunities to see and experience things others may take for granted. Watching the Northern Lights glimmer over Iceland, getting into bar fights in Manchester, eating deep-fried bugs in Thailand, these are all things I never would've experienced if I hadn't hit the road back in 2014. Now here I am 4 years later with 21 countries under my belt, friends on 6 out of 7 continents (still waiting for someone to invite me to Antarctica), and countless memories (both good and bad) from a life on the road!
Go out, see what this world has to offer, and remember that life is a book, and those who don't travel simply read one page.
Carpe Diem Amigos.