Do you have a strong desire to travel?
Do you long to see the beauty of the world?
Perhaps you are a wanderlust like me.
Before my first international experience – a Cambodian adventure – I began to notice signs of wanderlust in my life.
♥ I fell in love with a culture I hadn’t even experienced yet.
♥ I drooled over picturesque landscapes that I hadn’t seen in person (only through a computer screen!).
♥ I inhaled the aroma of exotic foods I was yet to consume.
♥ I was sorrowful of poverty that I was yet to witness.
♥ I had been injected with a travel bug which invigorated my blood for adventure and challenge!
If you are feeling the symptoms of wanderlust, I have some tips to fuel your dreams.
Travelling is not a reality for all of us due to finances, health, relationships, job commitments, etc. However, there is no reason to close the doors on the many sights and wonders of the world that you would love to experience.
♥ Keep a list of domestic & international holiday destinations, tourist attractions, memorials, lookouts, tours, restaurants/cafes, beaches, etc. that you see/hear about in your day-to-day conversations/online browsing. These will reveal your personality and aspirations through highlighting the types of places and experiences you dream of. Perhaps you will make this a personal hobby – creating a travel journal/scrapbook. This ‘list’ of sorts will grow over time, and can be used to satisfy your inner yearning for adventure. When you reach a time or place in your life when you are ready to take action on your wanderlust, you will already have formulated the experience you desire, and you can use your list to plan your adventure!
♥ Copy, save, print & share photos that make you appreciate the beauty of the world. Hawaiian beaches, Belgium brick lane-ways, fresh french-sticks in France, Australian animals – whatever sights appeal to your interests, make a collection of them to shape the diversity of your wanderlust. Like the ‘list’ above, a photo gallery of your travelling dreams helps to capture the visual evidence of your wanderlust. You can be as creative as you like when it comes to photography – make a photo wall to admire, a scrapbook to fill, or a desktop folder to flick through when you get the chance. These photos will inspire you, and they will help you plan for the experience of a lifetime.
♥ Read and research more about the cultures, cuisines, and countries that captivate you. For me, Cambodia was a nation of mystery. I wanted to discover the past, present, and future of the place that I was drawn to. The past of Cambodia in the Khmer Rouge regime had severe impact on the nation then and now, and the effects of this are evident today in the high-school-turned-interrogation-centre-turned-genocide-museum S-21 (Tuol Sleng), the Killing Fields, and of course in the people themselves. Without a prior understanding of what this country and these people have experienced, I would not have had an enhanced experience myself when endeavouring to immerse myself in this volunteering and travelling adventure. I encourage you to conduct mini-explorations into the places that interest you. This doesn’t have to be an in-depth research project (although this was my personal choice, and proved incredibly eye-opening). For some the idea of combining travel and history would ruin their wanderlust fairytale. So I don’t want you to bore yourself in facts and figures. The idea of opening your senses to the different experiences of the places you’d like to see will help develop a deeper wanderlust in your soul. You will feel a greater desire to travel to a particular place if you connect and familiarise yourself with the types of clothing acceptable, the food commonly consumed, the dominant religion and language of the people, etc. etc.
♥ Never stop learning about the people and places around you. Not only do I encourage any wanderlust-ers to find out more about the international sphere we are so blessed to be a part of, but I also encourage you to be open to experiencing the environment you already live in. No matter how strong your desire to travel is, there is no use jet-setting for an exotic island or an ancient city if you do not appreciate the setting you have already been situated in. The relationships you have and the places you encounter on a day-to-day basis shape you as a person, and you need to develop an inner strength and character through the experiences in your family, friendships, schools, and workplaces before you can expect to have a life-changing experience elsewhere.
♥ Be patient and penny-wise! With the territory of wanderlust comes the strong incentive to travel ASAP. You want to see all that there is to see before its too late. My greatest advice is that while you fuel your wanderlust-ing heart, make sure you do not rush into any adventures. Living life on the whim can be exhilarating, and travelling does not always need to have a planned itinerary to be life-changing. However, be cautious when deciding who you will travel with and when you will travel. These factors can make or take from an experience. As well, for many of us the funds to escape on our wanderlust journey will be hard-earned, and perhaps non-existent, depending on the stage we are at in life. Be sure to wait until the time is right, and in the meantime, be wise with where you spend your pennies. You will find that in your travels you are likely to need more money than you budget for – there are always unforeseen expenses in the journey. If wanderlust is potent in your life, you will need to surrender your savings balance into a untouchable-term-deposit-fund rather that watching your Pacific cruise drain into a shopping spree!
Now if you fuel your wanderlust, but the finances are holding you back and stunting your dream to travel, don’t lose hope.
Keep shaping your wanderlust heart.
If you allow any harsh life realities to puncture your wanderlust heart, then your dreams will deflate. However, if you follow any of the tips above, and allow your imagination to go wild, you will find yourself able to experience the beauty of the world through the experiences of others. The internet is extraordinary in its ability to transport you from one place to another and to open your eyes to sights you otherwise might not see. Whether or not you will be able to go on international or domestic adventures any time soon, don’t discredit that passion you have been given to dive into the wonders of this world we have been so blessed to receive.
Wanderlust is exciting and allows you to experience an array of emotions in your dreaming, planning, and adventuring.
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Do you have any wanderlust tips or adventures you would like to share?
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