For years I’ve lived with this feeling. A sense that something better was waiting around the corner. Lingering, biding its time. Quietly gnawing at me.
Some may call it restlessness; others dissatisfaction with the here and the now. Some wise souls might even recognize in it the stirrings of that esteemed emotion…
I’d like to believe that I’m not alone in this feeling. That this particular cocktail of restlessness and dissatisfaction plagues the rest of my generation too. Pushing them out of their beds every morning.
I’d like to believe that we all have a wandering spirit, a restless soul. A phantom siren song that we can’t help but answer.
It’s probably why we respond so well to travel blogs and stalk Instagrammers who post beautiful pictures from exotic locales. Why we study their lives and carefully plot our own holidays – the ‘perfect’ pictures we’ll take and the ‘golden’ memories we’ll create. We scroll through their lives, automatically imagining ourselves in their place. Their stories became ours, their moments our fodder. And all the while, that nomadic siren wails louder.
Some may argue that this is not the case for everyone. Not everyone experiences that siren call and even if they do, chasing that call may not always be feasible.
I believe that wanderlust is something we all experience. We may not term it as Wanderlust or even heed its call but it’s something we all experience.
I’m sure we’ve all had those moments where we want to just drop everything and travel the world. Or experience something outside of our normal routine. To me, that’s wanderlust.
It doesn’t have to be you jaunting off on a spectacular world tour where you buy a flurry of airline tickets or compile a mile-long Pinterest bucket list that you spend hours agonizing over.
It could be something as simple as the urge to drive over to the next village or explore your hometown through fresh eyes.
At its fundamental, wanderlust is just an instinctive need to experience something different.
An impatient, evergreen hunger that both feeds your soul and yet demands more. It doesn’t matter if the ‘more’ is a gorgeous city thousands of miles away or a new restaurant you’ve been dying to visit. What matters is assuaging that hunger, falling prey to that seductive siren weaving around you.
I imagine that siren call is something akin to what settlers heard as they left the harbor or what writers heard as they went trudging through their backyards for inspiration.
The siren call of the wind. Whispering their name, luring them in.
Promising them something more.
Perhaps they heard it in the crash of the waves as the ship readied to leave or the rustle of pages as they read about new towns. Perhaps they felt it as they toured heritage sites and fawned over art in grand galleries. The whispers of the past.
Calling their name, urging them on.
I imagine that as nations developed and travel took flight, that siren call was muted and whittled down into what we now term as ‘wanderlust’.
But I can still feel it.
It’s waiting for me.
Calling my name.