Be Happily Consumed By Wanderlust

Be Happily Consumed By Wanderlust

Travel in your own way and at your own pace.

We are all consumed by wanderlust; wanderlust is the strong desire to travel. Everyone has a little bit of this in their hearts. This aspect will eventually overflow you and when it does, happiness will never fade.

Personally, I am very happy where I am. I’ve lived in the same town all of my life and still absolutely adore it; I wouldn’t change this for anything. My town is a place that I’m proud to be a part of; I’m proud to be in the community that I’m in. However, it is not a crime for me to want to leave my town and explore the rest of the world. It is not a crime for anyone to dream this. No matter what, it will always be the place I call home.

I’ve been grateful enough to travel to different states and even a different country. I know there’s people out there who have never left their state and others who have been to far off places most of us have never even heard of; neither of these things are unwelcome.

I’m a dreamer, always have been and always will be. I dream of exploration and adventures; I dream of seeing the Northern Lights, walking through the Grand Canyon, skydiving over famous mountains ranges, paddling through the Nile river and much more. My dreams of travel may differ from yours, but we all have our own form of wanderlust. You may want to go a few towns over to a new hiking area that you recently heard of, while your friend may want to take the next flight out to Mexico.

It doesn’t matter what shape your desire to travel is in, small or big, we're all different and explore in various ways. As long as it’s a big step to you, then your wanderlust matters whether it involves traveling 10 miles or 10,000 miles. I’ve always been intrigued by the world and how many different cultures and environments there are to see and I bet you feel the same.

If you’re a student in college, take the chances that are given to you. Volunteer in new places, study abroad or join clubs that involve travel. Take that step for yourself. Do it for you; only you can.

My town has always been where I’ve felt the safest and probably always will be since it’s my home, but we can’t let that affect our desire to see the world. We are humans and we fear many things. Maybe, just maybe new parts of the world scare you; I know trying new things has always frightened me. But we can’t let our fear stop us from fulfilling our dreams and desires.

Get out there and follow your dreams; you don’t have to do it alone. Grab a few friends for a road trip or simply plan to camp for a few days somewhere near by. Take the first step and then go from there.

The world is a beautiful place and you deserve to see it; it deserves to see you. The nature in other countries isn’t the same as it is in your town. The flowers, plants and weather vary. You will constantly discover new animals and new cultures that you could learn to love. You deserve to make these discoveries for yourself and to see the beauty that covers the rest of the world.

Let wanderlust consume you. Don’t fear it. Only allow yourself to embrace it.

Travel. Adventure. Explore.

Let the world experience you.

Take the chances that come to you. Buy that place ticket, renew your passport, fill that gas tank, pack those bags, travel with students and teachers, learn from other cultures, appreciate all parts of the world and be overflowed with inspiration.

You deserve the opportunity to see the world. Looking out into a view filled with mountain ranges as far as the eye can see will simply cause you to forget all of your worries and to only take in the breathtaking beauty you’re seeing.

Simply begin by adventuring to new beaches or hiking grounds. Go fishing. Go running. Start small.

Try new things. Take initiative. Control your life. Make your travels a story that wants to be heard and a story that you want to share.

Let yourself be consumed by wanderlust; don't run from it. If the literal meaning of traveling is not for you, don’t worry. Travel the way that you want to travel; let your wanderlust differ from others.

Close your eyes. Imagine where you want to be. Let your mind bring you there. Travel that way.

Be consumed by wanderlust. Let this consumption bring you happiness.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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My Future Is Unpredictable And That's Totally Alright

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations.


For six months, I had plans to study abroad in the Dominican Republic during the fall semester of junior year. Filling out what seemed like endless applications and paperwork, searching for travel ideas on Pinterest, and writing a class research paper on the DR's relationship with its neighboring island, Haiti, I was prepared to live and learn about Dominican culture hands-on.

Then on the Thursday before Finals Week last spring, I read my email. My study abroad program in the DR had gotten canceled. In the span of 30 seconds, my future had taken a new course. Less than a week later, I was submitting papers to study abroad in a new country where another adventure awaited: Ecuador.

If there's anything I've learned in the past year, it's that life is unpredictable and we can't control it. The future is unknown. But-

Who wants to know exactly what's going to happen in the next few years? I mean, I believe it's good to have a direction, but you don't have to have the entire journey pinpointed straight to the core. You meet people, you get inspired, you see things, you have experiences. And you go from there. (Though, I totally respect people who have clear ambitions and stick with them their entire lives.)

Where I was a year ago was a completely different path than where I find myself today. Last summer, I worked four different internships/jobs in the span of three months. A year ago, I would never have guessed my following summer unfolding with an immersion trip to India, a solo adventure to Taiwan & Hong Kong, and becoming a certified yoga instructor. A year ago, I hadn't met half of my best friends. A year ago, I hadn't seen poverty in a third-world country. A year ago, I wasn't even sure I wanted to major in Environmental Studies.

Just because I don't know what the future holds doesn't mean I can't set goals. I have a destination, an idea of where I'm headed and where I want to go. While abroad in Ecuador, I want to learn about sustainable development and coffee production as well as enhance my Spanish skills.

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations. I know the format of the program. I'll be taking classes and living with a host family and then doing an internship at a farm. Otherwise, I have no idea what's going to happen. And that's what I'm looking forward to the most. The spontaneity. The unexpected. As one of my good friends would say whenever he doesn't have formal weekend plans, "I'm improvising." And you know the one rule of improv: Always say yes.

¡Hasta pronto, Ecuador!

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