Screaming through the desert, dirty, matted hair tangling in the dry air, the warm Winter sun on my wind-beaten skin, eyes opened wide for maximum intake of the parched, desolate, and dusty expanse. 10,000 metres above sea level, basking in the snowfall and staring at the boundless and immense silver mountains. Infinite metres above sea level, paragliding, infinite metres below sea level, scuba diving. These are places I recoil into time and again. These are my happy places. These longings are deduced as early signs of manifestation of wanderlust.

Wanderlust is a rather enigmatic and obscure emotion. It is a pang on the edge of your heart, a twitch of your nerves, and often homesickness. It transpires when you feel too rooted in a place. It’s when you long to see places you have only heard about, it’s when you want to step onto soils no one has stepped on before, and it emerges as a longing to seek the true meaning of life. It materializes when you fly the coop and meet new, interesting people. It is a wish to expose oneself to foreign languages and cultures. It is also a yearning to change and broaden your horizon. Because travelling does all of that. It transforms you, widens your perspectives, and exposes you to cultures and traditions you have only read about. It gives you wings, but also helps you trace back your roots. You don’t have to be necessarily irked about your present to inject yourself with wanderlust. Often, a photograph of a treehouse makes me go bonkers. Travelling is only a panacea that fills a void, a vacuum in your life. Sometimes, a void you never knew even existed.

You do not even realize your life was missing a fragment till you are on top of that mountain, screaming your lungs out of exhilaration, or it could be the limitless expanse of gardens and trees and all you want to do is dance out of ecstasy. It’s in that moment that you know you feel complete. Wholesome. Or it could be nothing extravagant at all. It could be simply a train journey to some place with your cherished ones. It could be something completely silly. It is simply something you have never done before. But it is a feeling that makes your heart race, accelerates your breathing, makes you feel like you have wings and makes everything in your life supersonic. Travelling is multidimensional. It moulds your life in a way that you envision things with a clearer mind. It brings out a different, more loveable, carefree person from within you. It helps you understand global events on a macro scale. Or perhaps not. Maybe it just helps you understand your own self better. It lets you evolve into a person you always dreamed you’d be.

Wanderlust is only a step to the series of revelations. About yourself, about humanity Instead of listening to their hearts, so many people are chasing pointless goals and worthless people just so they feel complete. Just so they feel validated. Just so they feel they belong somewhere. So many people are rushing themselves into a future they haven’t really earned yet. Just because you wish to escape your present, it doesn’t mean that you have to fast forward life. You don’t have to take a dive into a future you’re not ready for. Slow down, take a break. Treat yourself to a vacation.

Believe me when I say, travelling takes you to places you never knew existed. It helps you tap into your inner strength. It might not solve your problems and the future may still seem bleak, but when you travel to a new place or explore the place where you live, the present automatically becomes better. And future, less bleak, hopeful. Trust me when I say, to travel is a step in the right direction. That’s what wanderlust does. Helps you forge the path to travel. Makes you travel more and make you want to listen to your heart more. It may make you slow down and reduce the speed at which you’re running into a direction you don’t know yet. Or it might finally instil in you the confidence to take that plunge into the future.

The motivation you needed to recover your life, or the strength you required to give each of your problems a black eye. I want people to live for such coincidences and serendipities. I want them to let their guard down, to go out on a limb and take chances. I want them to honour their preferences, respect their wishes, and follow their heart. Why is it that people like to be told what they already know as if being told makes it anymore real? There are great things to do, people to meet, happy dances to perform, continents to cross in mind and in matter. And I want people to stop postponing it.

Stop living a life you don’t like and start making one you will always treasure. Touch base. Or fly away. Just karate chop the shit out of anyone slowing down your trail of awesome. Let wanderlust guide you to the streets that will inspire you, and make you feel brand new.

Discover, explore, seek.


Surbhi Arora

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