Wanderlust, as defined by Merriam-Webster, means a “strong longing or impulse toward wandering.” In other words, it’s that feeling you get when you first realize just how big the world is and just how much it has to teach you. It’s that insatiable need to swim the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan or climb all 284 steps to the top of l’Arc de Triomphe. It’s a restlessness that can’t be stopped.
I am completely consumed by wanderlust.
It has been exactly two years, ten months and one day since my feet touched back down on Canadian soil after the biggest adventure of my life (so far). Since then, I’ve been biding my time in university, doing the whole organized learning thing, until I can take off again. I’ve traveled since then — of course I’ve traveled since then, to not would be impossible for me — but it’s been little trips: A few hours for a weekend music festival, a day-long drive to Manitoba for a family reunion, a week or so exploring southern Alberta. But my legs, my feet, my entire body is itching to leave this country that I call home (and love, don’t get me wrong, I’ll always come back). I was bit by the travel bug, and I’m infected.
One of my favourite things to do in my spare time is plan my next big adventure: Where I will go, what I will see, how I will get there, even where I will sleep. This future trip that I dream about, however, is rarely the exact same every time. If I ever tried to have a map marked with every place I would love to visit, the whole world would be covered with push pins. I want to see it all.
Here are a few of my favourite travel obsessions:
Much less touristic than somewhere like Thailand, Laos still offers all the great aspects of most Southeast Asian environments: inexpensive, beautiful, historical, and friendly. Lonely Plant describes it best: “Half the fun of traveling here is in the travel itself — the people you meet, chickens you share seats with, wrong turns you take and lào-láo you drink with the smiling family at the end of the road less traveled.”
Imagine grabbing your antique brown leather suitcase, hopping aboard a cargo ship, and taking off to foreign lands. The best part of this dream? It’s possible! You can, in fact, hop aboard a ship with a major global shipping line (like Canada Maritime) for a price and sail away. While it is pricier than standard airfare, your ticket includes overseas transportation, meals, accommodation, and a unique experience. Just don’t get seasick!
I stayed at this hostel while I was in Lagos, Portugal, and I can’t wait to go back! In the off-season (the same as our North American winter), the whole town is rather sleepy, but just as hot and beachy. The hostel is nearly empty, so you have free reign of the living room (with a large TV and great selection of movies), kitchen, and beaches just down the road. Mamma, the owner’s mother, will offer you a great price for your stay and even make you crépes in the morning!
Okay, okay, this is more to remind myself that I need to renew mine as opposed to a real obsession. It is an integral part of the dream, though.
“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” ~ Samuel Johnson