We never really know when it happens, this wanderlust thing. One moment you’re going about your life in your own little section of the world then the next you’re fighting off this insatiable hunger to explore. Constantly curious about other countries and perpetually obsessed with getting there. I may have been about 6 when it happened. I think that’s when the travel bug bit. My lanky little body with hands glued to the window watching as we cruised past meadows of wildflowers and cane fields. I’m sure that’s when it happened. Passports sitting on the dash and my sister fast asleep beside me. I’m certain that’s when the bug bit. Its deadly venom started treking through my veins and nothing was ever the same again.
I was born into what you could call a very nomadic family. We moved around a lot and travelled twice as much too. The childhood is foggy here and there, but the cross-border memories remain clear as day. I retrieve them sometimes, just to remind myself that there’s still a scrapbook full of places where my feet haven’t yet touched, and I’m sure most people can relate to. There’s something in all of us. Something that drives us toward discovery and feeds our sense of wonder. Its as if we’re born with an inner compass in our souls that gravitates us towards new places. I’m sure there are days when we all at one point or another wish we could jump onto buses with unknown destinations and not get off until the last stop. Or is that just me? I’m sure we’ve all had days when this thing in us pulls us towards adventures and untraveled paths. Beckoning to us. Calling us out. I don’t know about you, but we can’t possibly believe that we have lived, and our lungs have only inhaled air from one side of the globe. How does one never wonder what it feels like to walk into a Buddhist temple or to conquer Kilimanjaro? How does one live with having never climbed the Spanish steps or never stood at the foot of the great wall of China? How?
Here’s what I think; we’re all have a little Christopher Columbus or James Cook in us and that maybe the world is ours to discover. To eat right up, one city at a time. Robert Louis Stevenson once said, ‘’the world is a book and those who never travel only read one page”. Now my question is: what page are you on? Or better yet, what page would you rather be on? I meet tired travelers all the time and no matter how long they spend on the road, they never truly get used to finding new places or encountering new people. Each culture is different and so is each experience. If you’re reading this and it happens to be all the confirmation you need to book that flight or plan that long overdue trip, you’re welcome. And if that flight or trip passes anywhere close to Eswatini, I hope you’ll stop by. Soak in the sun from our side and capture a new location for your own scrapbook. You know, finally tick something off the list. I hope you’ll wander into new territories and hike new summits. I hope you’ll eat your heart out and return home with stories about strangers who became temporary friends. Take that trip, money will always return, but time wasted wont.
We may never really know when it happens, this wanderlust thing, but we should all be a little grateful that it does because whenever I stamp my passport, I’m still that little girl with her hands pressed against a car window, watching the world go by. Cruising past meadows of wildflowers and staring out into cane fields and that is by far one of the best feelings in the world.
Tap into it. I dare you.