Do you have a lust to wander?

by Katie on May 15, 2014

wanderlust-argentina

One of my favorite TV shows is Parts Unknown, a food and travel series hosted by my favorite outspoken commentator, Anthony Bourdain. Each week he visits a different country. And each week I want to go to wherever he is visiting. My husband jokes that I want to go everywhere. The list of where I don’t want to visit is much shorter than the very long list of where I do want to go. I am full of wanderlust, and I love to explore.

Wanderlust: A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

I have always valued experiential things over material ones. Jeff and I will spend a pretty penny on a nice meal for two, but I rarely buy designer anything. I would much rather buy a plane ticket than a new flat screen TV. Not because one is better than the other. On the contrary–there is definitely no shame is wanting nice things. But for me, the experiences bring the most fulfillment and satisfaction.

So why is travel so often seen as a luxury? It seems like the first thing to go when cutting things out. Unworthy of prioritizing. Seen as extra and unnecessary. Somewhat irresponsible to spend money on.

In reality travel is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself. Traveling has taught me my greatest lessons. How to be independent, resourceful, communicative (often in a different language). To take risks and realize how much I don’t know.

But most important, I’ve gained compassion and understanding. For different people, different cultures. Different lifestyles. Traveling has opened my mind and heart. I’ve learned to respect differences, while also realizing that at the core we all the same. We all laugh, cry, love our families, honor celebration, dance, love music. Traveling enables me to love others more, because I not only honor our differences, but also realize that we are essentially all the same.

Amazing things happen when you open your mind beyond your own backyard, your town, your state. The best way to increase your compassion and understanding for others, especially those that do things differently than you, is to spend time with them and live in their world. Even for a little bit.

How can you bring a little piece of wanderlust into your own life? If you can’t go off to Thailand or India right now, what can you do each day to bring the wonder, curiosity and excitement that exploring a new city or country brings to you right now?

Check out that new restaurant, watch a foreign film. Go to the art exhibit, take a stroll in a new neighborhood. Whatever you can do to stay curious and expose yourself to new ways of thinking and being.

If you’re called to travel, I highly recommend answering the call. Start to value travel. Save each month for that trip you’ve always wanted to take, use up those frequent flier miles. Ask for the time off. But even if you’re home bound for the time being, you can still bring all of those qualities into your life right now.

Just remember to send me a postcard. :)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Murphy May 16, 2014 at 6:13 am

Great article Katie! Traveling and experiencing other cultures is one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves and others. Speaking of…expect a postcard from London soon ;)

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Katie May 16, 2014 at 9:32 am

Thank you!! Couldn’t agree more. Have a fantastic time across the pond! :)

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Emma June 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

i wish we had done more before we had kids, ha!! i love anthony bourdain too!! as a cancer (yes, i’m into our astrological signs, don’t judge) i have a hard time going out of my comfort zone, so seeing people like you travel and take such chances all over the world is in inspiration to me. great post!!

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Katie June 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

Thanks Emma!! As a fellow cancer I can totally relate. :) xo

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