Traveling Abroad; Defining Wanderlust
There are so many reasons why you should consider taking time out to travel, whether for a short break or a sabbatical. One of our featured travel writers Rebecca Kadansky gives us her top reasons why she travels, what she enjoys about the experience, how to plan and why you should get the impulse to wander...
My favourite part of travelling is the build up. The excitement. The planning. Reading about a new place, or seeing a stock picture and deciding you’re going to find out where it was taken and go and take your own picture. Dreaming of far off places that sound almost mythical that soon, quite tangibly you could be visiting. I can spend hours looking at pictures of beaches and boats, sunrises and sunsets and the faces of people I might meet. They say I have wanderlust, I think I just have a keen sense of adventure. I’ve always wanted to see everything, and all at once.
I have a hit list of countries I’m going to visit. The plan is, that in two years time I’ll have enough money to buy that first plane ticket and start ticking off places on the list. It's grand and exciting and perhaps slightly over ambitious, but the bones are there. I've been preoccupied with the idea of going to Thailand for a few years now and I’ve done plenty of research about the country, but I suddenly had a bit of a panic - I know nothing about most of the places on my list other than something in me yearns to see them. For someone who enjoys planning as much as I do, I'm lost. When posed with the question: "What do you want to do there?" I've not been able to find an answer other than "Just see it. Explore." I’m terrified lack of knowledge will mean I miss out on some of the best bits, but as I’ve learnt when I’ve travelled before, sometimes when you don’t have a plan you’ll find the parts of the country that you remember most vividly in years to come.
Thankfully, I have time on my side. I can get caught up in the logistics and find out about that temple hidden in the middle of an island that I just have to see, or the hostel with the guy who knows a guy who can get us a cheap ride to the next city. I can feed my wanderlust, my desire to see something new. There's time to find out about all the customs and festivals and wonderful, beautiful things to get excited about seeing. There's time to plan what one thing I have to do to get the full country experience.
That's what travelling is all about for me. Immersing yourself in new cultures and experiences, unquestionably. Some people worry about the culture shock, but I never feel it until I get home. Everything makes sense when you're travelling; sure, the chocolate doesn't come close to Cadbury's, the mosquitos are driving you mad and you keep forgetting you can't flush toilet paper because the sewers aren't built to cope, but hey! You're here! Why worry?
There’s too much adventure going on around you for even the slightest moment to question. I’ve never felt more liberated than when I’ve been pulled along a dirt track by local children, eager to show me the river they play in, or welcomed into a hut on a floating island to listen to stories in a language I don’t understand. Perhaps it's the familiarity of England and roast dinners and the smell of home that makes me process what I've seen, perhaps that's why I find it hard to settle again. Maybe that’s wanderlust.
By Rebecca Kadansky