Wanderlust. [won-der-luhst] – An overwhelming desire to travel and explore the world. Yup. That’s what I have – and calling it an overwhelming desire could be putting it lightly. While some people live to travel, I travel to live.
I sometimes wonder exactly where, when and why this strong need to travel was born. While I enjoyed the various family vacations from my childhood, I think it was the first few getaways sans parents in my late teens and early twenties that ignited my passion for travel.
There’s just something about visiting new places that brings with it an exciting element of mystery and discovery. Whether it’s visiting a big cosmopolitan city for the first time like Toronto, New York San Fran or Chicago, more exotic locales like Europe, Asia or the Caribbean, or travelling to a remote natural paradise like Banff, Whistler, Grand Canyon or Sedona – travelling provides the foundation for some of life’s greatest memories.
And when I use the word “we” in the title of this post, I suppose I am using it in the royal sense. While I know what makes my own little family tick when it comes to choosing destinations and building an itinerary, my own reasons for loving to travel are very personal. But for those of us bitten by the travel bug, I’m sure we might share similar reasons.
I know a few people that travel extensively for work, which can be a nice opportunity to see the world and get paid for it too! But obviously, work is work, and having to abide by someone else’s schedule is never ideal. Admittedly, I am a hardcore travel nerd through and through. I will spend weeks exhaustively researching a new travel destination to ensure I identify all the top attractions and restaurants. And not just the touristy stops, but the hidden gems that only locals and people in-the-know get to experience.
But why do I get so pumped for our next trip? And why do I spend so much time fastidiously planning every last detail for our next adventure? The simple answer is to get the most out of our travel experiences. More thrills, more laughs, and more awe-inspiring moments to file away in my mind for future fond reminiscing.
But the real answer to why I love travelling is decidedly more complex. As I continue to grow older, and especially since having a child, I seem to be absolutely barreling down life’s highway. Thoughts of my own mortality more and more frequently dance through my head. In my teens, having to wait for something that was a few weeks away seemed like an eternity. But now, events marked several calendar pages away arrive far too quickly for my liking. And there lies the answer.
Life is short. Really short. And when on my death bed (hopefully after hitting triple digits) – I want to be able to look back on a rich life filled with a wide range of experiences collected from the four corners of this wonderful world we live in. Well…so far, so good. The old bucket list seems to be getting longer and longer though. Just when I cross one off, two or three more get added. And that’s a beautiful thing. For now, back to the cage.