I happened upon this word recently – stumbled over it more so – in my attempts to become adept at the art of word crafting.
It seems to have claimed my attention, and not because it sounds (dare I say!) pretty.
The morning’s Autumn chill had me thinking of this modern catchphrase evoked by many an artiste.
It seems that every one has to be on some sort of journey nowadays, whether it be a mountain trek or the progression of a relationship. Which ever it may we, we are encouraged to be moving.
Wanderlust… This particular word evokes an almost dreamlike state, it tends to inspire or causes us to aspire – but for what?
Let’s break it down. The true meaning of this German word is identifying a strong desire to travel or wander.
To reduce wanderlust to its rudimentary meaning is to think of backpackers or campers, but I’m prone to imagine glampers or a privileged friend traveling the globe, whose stories are richer than any gift they give upon return.
Wanderlust seems infectious and I want it!
Perhaps we have had the opportunity to travel, or mightn’t as yet –
SO…how do we catch this bug?
- Stick our noses into a good book. In these wintry months with a desire to stay warm and dry we may be less likely to wander outdoors and explore, but this does not have to stop us embarking on an adventure through the pages of Narnia or perhaps a more modern bestseller. For the non-readers, a film will do. Always wanted to go to Italy? Well, we can live vicariously through Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday or Amanda Seyfried in Letters to Juliet.
- Taking a day trip with friends to a destination on our bucket list does not have to be an expensive exercise and there is nothing like discovering a new place – or home town – freshly covered in snow or sparkling from a downpour of rain. Once we overcome the initial discomfort, there really is a wealth of beauty in the surrounds. It may also give us an excuse to dry our boots in the nearest museum or cafe!
- Signing up for volunteering opportunities can be done year round. Cleaning a retirement home or working in a soup kitchen can work up enough of a sweat to stave off the seasonal chill. We will also make new friends on the way and discover our city with the eyes of someone who has a different life experiences to ourselves.
Wanderlust is not only a desire for travel but it is also a result of traveling, or of ‘journeying’, that enhances our ability to wonder about the world around us; to make us hungry to explore new worlds and be open to many new life experiences.
Remember that we should approach all journeys with a positive outlook, even if part of the way becomes clouded and it is hard to find our path. These negative experiences too, can provide a beautiful depth to the seasons of our lives and allow us to continue improving and moving forward.
Each aspect of our lives and the people that intersect with our route open us up to the wonder and awe of this world in all its forms.
So… this winter I won’t allow the cold to sink into my bones and settle me under a warm rug with hot chocolate, hibernating for the rest of the season (although I can’t rule out at least one day of wintery goodness!).