“Wanderlust” is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.
“Fernweh” is literally, “farsickness”; “an ache for the distance”.
Once I saw these words a few years ago, everything finally made sense to me. I have spent my entire life loving and longing to travel; to get out of town and go somewhere..anywhere. It doesn’t matter where. But sometimes it is not “practical” or “sane”. Why? You travel for a REASON and a reason only…vacation or work. Any other reason is a waste of time. That is what I felt was put upon me by society, especially being a married woman. I love to be “in the streets” as my mother says. A ‘Traveling Willberry’, my husband says. I’m not even sure what that really means, I just know it’s the name of Tom Petty’s old band and he thinks it sounds like me.
I’ve heard from more than enough people “why do you like to travel”, “home is best”, “you are gone all of the time”, “you can never have a stable home traveling”, “your man will find someone else if you’re not at home”, “you know you can’t have kids and do that”, “there are temptations on the road”, “you have to stop all of that mess to have kids”, “you’re too old for all this”. I could go on and on with the “unsolicited opinions”. The comments and mainstream society in general had gotten in my head to where I would kinda feel bad when I didn’t have work or vacation scheduled but I needed to GET OUT!
Shouldn’t I feel like everyone else? Isn’t home best? What’s wrong with me?
I think because of these conflicted feelings I had, although I have traveled my fair share throughout the world, my real passion of seeing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING eluded me. South America, Greece, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, The Netherlands and lots of other places in between seemed just out of my reach. Even I can’t believe I haven’t been to Munich for Octoberfest!! I’m a total card carrying craft beer enthusiast and connoisseur and…no.
It’s not only new places I crave to go. I also enjoy going back to old loves like New York or San Francisco. I’ve been to both places a million times and every time I return, it’s like the first time. I know, it is only me that holds me back from true happiness. But then again, isn’t that the same with everyone?
Why am I thinking about this now??? Mainly because I never knew there were other people out there like me, to warrant words like ‘wanderlust’ and ‘fernweh’ and just seeing them has changed my perspective 180 degrees. Also, when I was at home for a long period of time without traveling, I became tired, sad, despondent and started to hate life. I always wondered why I felt that way…never thinking it had anything to do with my inner being…the real me. Even when I was in college, during summer break when everyone went home to work, the first summer I went home, I threatened to run myself over in my own car. So, every summer after that, I worked in a different state. Nothing exotic because I didn’t know better but awesome none the less.
This post isn’t about traveling, it’s about finding and being who you truly are. Whatever your heart is calling for you to do…you need to figure it out and do it.
That’s the only way to find true lifelong happiness.
What’s funny is now that I finally know and understand this, I am now truly happy being at home.