I want that gut-tugging wide eyes frantic newness of the first minute in a new place. The desperate need to communicate; the absolute inability to do so. I crave to be uncomfortable, to flounder, and slowly to understand. My desire to learn everything is my wanderlust.
Travel consumes my disposable income and occupies the clearest visions of my future. I doubt I’ll stop until I’ve satisfied every cultural curiosity in my silly self. I recognise that this is an impossible feat. The world is too big, too shifting. My whims are too shifting. But I want to shift with them. I’ll feel the buzz of cities and the gritty warmth of long beach days and the slow wet breath of the jungle, every moment from here until I’m done.
I see the flaws in the picture. Travellers feel the travel fatigue. We dream of the same bed every night and a perfect shower. We use impossibly blunt knives in dirty kitchens. We want to drink tap water, thoughtlessly and frivolously, all the time. We miss our families, our friends, the places we know too well. We miss weddings and funerals and birthdays. We want not to think about money, and how it runs out. None of these things stops us, but each can cause us to pause. We return home — wherever home is in that moment — to take a long lungful of familiarity before we set off again to lose our breath.
We’re exploring. We’re exploring new landscapes, new cityscapes, new cultures. We’re exploring our own boundaries. We’re exploring the meaning of exploring, the reason for exploring. We’re opening our minds.
I’m trying to travel in the best possible way. I see I’m a spectator, an audience member in a series of great cultural displays, and I try to be informed, polite, low-impact. I know I’m catered for. That is the blessing and the curse of my generation. And how beautiful it is to be free, fit, and ready to leave everything behind.