Friday, November 1, 2013

3 Tips for Living with Wanderlust

I grew up on the move.

While I spent most of my childhood living in one house in one town, my whole family spent every summer traveling around Europe in tents with a team of teenagers.

So while I generally crave stability & a home base that stays in one spot, I also can't quite keep still. I always want a bit of movement.

I think that's what they call wanderlust.

In my experience, wanderlust can not be cured. But it can be lived with. It's taken me years to learn how to both stay put & to wander well. And hopefully to remain a sane & semi-balanced person through it all. Here are a few tips that can help you live with wanderlust:

1. Remember the places you've been.

There have been stages when I tried to shut out the wander-y part of me, in favour of a stable life, or maybe in an attempt to look "normal." But ignoring this side of me has never worked.

Even if you are staying put for a while (or forever!) try to integrate your crazy travel experiences into your regular life. For me, this means having pictures around, using the souvenirs I've collected, & actually talking about the places I've been & the things I've done & seen.

It won't replace actually going on trips & being new places. But it helps.

2. Explore the place you live now.

Travel isn't just about exotic places & foreign languages. It's also about curiosity.

Find the things a tourist might find in your city or hometown. Find a way to be curious about the life that's right in front of you.

3. Cross a border, even if you have to invent it.

This is the magic trick I've discovered, that helps me to live with wanderlust & remain a semi-stable person. Cross a border, even if you have to invent it.

Every week, I go someplace that is not where I live. If I'm living in a small town, I travel to a slightly bigger town. If I'm living in the city, I spend a few hours in the suburbs. Go somewhere as different as possible from the place you spend the majority of your time.

It's a weird trick. But I'm not kidding -- for me it's been revolutionary. I GO for a few hours, & I come back to my regular life refreshed. When I skip a week, I can tell.

Part of the habit of travel is not so much that the places we visit are particularly exotic or so much more fabulous then anywhere else. It's the change, the habit of variety.

The routine of leaving the place you live & crossing a border - even if it's just to wander a mall in the suburbs - meets that need for variety & stimulates the part of you that usually lays dormant without travel.

It's not the same as jetting off to Paris for the weekend. And it certainly won't "cure" you of wanderlust. But for me it does the trick.

I'm always looking for ways to live better with my intrinsic wanderlust.
Any tips that work for you?

Wanderlust picture


  1. I love that phrase: "the habit of variety".

  2. Thosebarw great ideas..variety is key!

  3. Aw I love this post! It is so hard to control the wanderlust when you're in the one place for a while. Ill try to rember these tips next time x

  4. Hi! Stopping over from Travel Tuesday!
    I really love this article and I really appreciate you sharing this. #2 is my favorite. I just did a post similar to #2 a couple of days ago!!! I think this is a GREAT reminder for us all to take the time and appreciate where we are, but also remember where we have been. You're right it can't be cured. It can be "lived with" or even embraced in a healthy way.
    Right ON!
    Elicia @


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