Highway 1 California

What a coincidence that a few weeks before I live my dream of moving to another country Sabine of Ferngeweht had the nice idea to call out for a blog parade with the topic WANDERLUST

“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest; Their’s is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.”

– Robert W. Service –

What does wanderlust mean to me?

Just a few weeks ago when I was sorting out papers I came across an old note book. It contained poems that I wrote in teenage years. I had totally forgotten about! Most of the poems dealt with love, broken hearts, and imaginary boyfriends – the usual teenage problems. But one of them was entitled ‘wanderlust’ and here is what I wrote in March 1998 when I was only 16 years old:

Sometimes I feel very confined here,
I get the feeling of being smothered.
Smothered by the daily duties and obligations,
smothered by unspoken expectations.
That’s when  I would love to pack my things and leave.
Go anywhere, a foreign city, a foreign country.
I would love to start over,
find new friends, gain new experiences.
But then I think of all the people I would leave behind,
those that are close to me,
those that mean so much to me.
So I push away the thought of my itchy feet,
dedicate myself to the duties and obligations of daily life
and think to myself: one day I will leave all this behind
and start a new life,
in a foreign country, far away from here.
one day…

Now, 16 years later, I still agree with what I wrote back then. After fighting this feeling for so many years with many short and not so short holidays for compensation I’m finally about to leave and to start a new life in another country: I will move to Finland. Although it was one of my biggest wishes for so long I have to admit that lately I started to doubt a little… Am I doing the right thing? Should I really leave completely? Am I not supposed to settle down instead of leaving everything behind and starting all over again? But after finding this poem again and after realizing that half of my life I was carrying around this longing for living in another country, experiencing a new culture, and learning a new language I knew I was doing the right thing.

I also know that after a few months or even years in Finland, after knowing the people, the culture, and the language the restlessness and the longing for the unknown will come back. To a certain degree I even enjoy this feeling! It makes me think about new options, create new plans, do holiday trips to discover even more options for where to live next.

It might even take another 16 years but eventually I will give in again and move on to settle in another place, a new country with new people to meet, a new culture to discover, a new language to learn.

This is my idea of wanderlust.

“Wandering flushes a glory that fades with arrival.”

– J. A. Baker –

What does wanderlust mean to you? Tell me in the comments below!


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