“Wherever you go, there you are.”
I felt this urge for Wanderlust [wan·der·lust, wändərˌləst/, noun, a strong desire to travel], this zest for something new strongly in early January when I actually came back to Canada from Germany. What I missed was sun, warmth and since the Canadian winter is very long and cold. After I read this New York Times article on 52 Places to go in 2017 and some recurring dreams about flying high above the Atlantic, looking out of the window to spot some white Rorschach clouds I decided it is time for change.
Changes. Today at my son’s daycare his teacher announced the list of children who will leave (travel to) for Kindergarten in September. How come many changes happen usually at the same time? His teacher said, “Daniela, change and a new scenery is a good thing!” I did not say not too much to my son about it all and he is totally okay with the transition. So while we were at his new school for an introduction session he looks at me and says, “Can we see grandma and grandpa in Germany again, please?” And I am thinking and answer him surprisingly pretty quickly, “Why not. Let’s fly to Germany!”
I heard many of my “friends” say that people who like to travel that much as I do usually always run away from something. They are not content. They are in this perpetual state of confusion of looking for something new, something that does not exist or keep running from things they actually cannot run away from. When we travel, are we running away from something? For me, it is obvious that I love to discover new things rather than to run away from anything. Looking at ze husband’s life who currently arranges and organizes his life according to flight itineraries, I have to say that this is traveling galore to me and something I would love to do as well. Just not to the same locations he is traveling to.
My trips are usually always bittersweet with this anxious anticipation of the unknown. Leaving and coming home is usually even “bittersweeter”. Leaving my parent’s house is always a drama since good old Germany and the home base are predictable, comfort, rest and relief. Everything is familiar. Germany means hugs and smiles of loving parents and family. But I am more than fine exploring any other country. It is slightly different since I usually travel with my son and not alone anymore but we did not have any issues so far. I reckon, there is always some physical or emotional sacrifice when I travel. This will never change. If it is the sometimes intrusive security personnel or the new food we taste that 98% turns out to be delicious. [
Buffalo Mozzarella Caprese in Italy! Now I can die. NOW I have had it all!] I find it challenging at some points to deal with a new found courtesy or hospitality as well as different levels of friendships or respect. Or when the words “Closing Hour” does not mean anything but partying until 6am. Sometimes a population is surprisingly cool, yet dramatic and angry when I ask for a glass of wine. Some curse at anything and everything while rushing through the streets and trying to hail a cab. The traffic, this f****** traffic in this city. How come cabs don’t want to take you to the suburbs? And how come so many people are homeless and poor in this seemingly rich, yet isolated society?
Is there a problem with wanderlust? So far, not to me. I have heard others say that the more places they traveled to, the less satisfied they were. Anything fancy is boring to them now. The same happened with adventures, backpacking tours, road trips and whatnot. Well, I believe if I don’t see wanderlust as an addiction it works well. Of course I would love to travel more but I don’t need it all the time. Until it hits me again. Like in January. One thing is crucial for me however. It is that the more I experience and see in different countries the more similarities in personality issues and hate I discover and detect among the people. It makes me sad sometimes, angry or frustrated and I understand and have to keep in mind that the only reward of my journey is the journey itself. This journey on the path of my life with a never-ending bucket list of places to go, see and explore.
To conclude, I want to reflect on the quote I added at the beginning of this post. I guess, I can never escape myself. Wherever I go, there I am. But I also cannot find myself since I just am. I also did not lose myself yet. I exist. And travel. And explore. And I do it with lust. Wanderlust. Germany first stop.