A loanword from German: a strong desire for or impulse to wander, to travel and to explore the world.

Have you ever experienced wanderlust?

It’s aggravating, is what it is. There’s this desire dwelling deep within my soul to find someplace that I’ve only envisioned in my dreams. It’s ennui, this boredom or complacency, that seeks to be remedied, sitting way down in my gut. It drives me to seek out adventure. It pushes me to go somewhere new.

When I was in high school I didn’t understand what it was. But when the desire came I would get in my car and start driving West on 290. I would get to Hempstead, go to the fresh fruit and vegetable stand, buy something, turn around and go home. That was enough then.

My sophomore year of college the feeling was different. More intense. I had been working 35-40 hour weeks on top of going to school and I was going to break. I stopped school for a semester, packed up and moved to London. Just like that. That was enough then. I was satisfied.

Now I’ve got roots. I’m pretty happy. But I can feel the same thing building up way down in my spirit again. I’ll probably start looking for little things that are exhilarating, something to quench it before it gets too big. Crawfish festival and live music this weekend. Maybe kayaking with the aunt and uncle or bible study group the next weekend. Last weekend I almost just took off North on 35. I can’t remember what stopped me, but maybe next time I’ll just roll with it.

Can you have roots and wings? Seems like one or the other has to give. Are my roots too deep this time? Or is the desire to go stronger? Strong enough to uproot me? I even like having roots. I just hope that they’re flexible enough to stretch for a while.

Another question, is there something else that causes me to start feeling this way? Am I too relaxed in my pursuit of God? Is there something unsettled in my spirit that makes me grow so restless? Will I always have to deal with this feeling of wanderlust every few years? I’m not convinced it’s a bad thing. It seems like I’ve moved every two or three years for the last 10 years. I expect the change. I welcome the change. I grow restless without it.

I expect I know something is going to change. I’m worried about life after school. I have no plan. No idea what kind of jobs to start looking at. The more that people ask me what I’m going to do, the more I realize I’m headed straight for a quarter-life crisis. Yes, I’m an English major, history minor. No, I don’t want to teach. I don’t want a typical job. Had one, it’s not for me. What do I want? Only God knows… and I try to trust Him. I know he’s got a plan. Am I scared because I have no inkling about what it is? Abso-freaking-lutely. Will He wait until the last minute before revealing it? Absolutely again. There’s a chance I’ll move back to Houston in December. I know that. I could be ok with it in the future. Right now all I can think about is how miserable that would be. Michi, I don’t know how you do it.

But, can I leave Austin? I don’t honestly know. It’s really the first place I’ve claimed as my own, or rather: it’s claimed me. I feel more at home here than in Houston. I just need a big adventure, a little adrenaline kick to subdue the greater need to move onward. I think I want to stay in Austin. But the big unknown world is calling my name. There are so many things I want to see. I can’t imagine settling in to life and not ever seeing them. It’s like the portion of my brain allotted to vision and visual memories is saving these framed empty portraits for things like: the Grand Canyon, the white coast of Greece, the Valley of the Kings, the Great Barrier Reef, Stonehenge, parts of the Roman wall in Scotland, Brazil, Lake Moraine, the Straits of Magellan, Victoria Falls, my first safari, a glacier in Alaska, penguins in California, the first time I wake up on a boat in the middle of the ocean and see nothing on the horizon, the French Riviera, Portugal, a humpback whale, Disney World with grown up eyes. You get the picture. There’s a lot of blank spots in there waiting to be filled. I can’t stay still and not see those things. I can’t even imagine… I need to be a travel guide. How do I get my own show?

Good Lord, I’m a mess.

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2 thoughts on “A loanword from German: a strong desire for or impulse to wander, to travel and to explore the world.

  1. kmac says:

    good stuff. 1) I’ll give you a tour of the Grand Canyon anytime you want, 2) let’s go to Scotland next year, 3) God does seem to be an 11th-hour God, doesn’t He? 4) I understand your thoughts on “what’s next”? 5) I love the word abso-freaking-lutely – I’m adding it to my vocabulary.

  2. Lauren says:

    don’t head north on 35…that highway sucks…too many trucks and construction. Head West on 71…you’ll drive through small towns and hills… and if you go far enough and make a few turns on different highways you just might end up in Midland 😉 And I would welcome that. But really don’t drive north on 35. I love you Emily…I love who you are!

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