Wanderlust, or the strong desire to travel, is a word that I relate to all too well. Being born and bred in Florida, I haven't seen much of the world. Heck, I've barely seen the United States. Granted, I am only 19 years old and I have plenty of time to broaden my horizons, but the inner urge to explore the magnificent world around me is thriving more than it ever has. When you're young you want to to do as many things as possible, and you can find traveling on most college kid's bucket lists. But how am I supposed to pay for travel, lodging, food and shopping expenses, and everything else in between when I work a minimum wage job? Here, we are presented with struggle number one: lack of funds.
I know that when people think of traveling, they think of going abroad and exploring countries they've never been to before. Of course this opportunity should be taken if it presents itself, but traveling doesn't always have to mean 12-hour flights and a European country. Taking a mini road-trip to a place you've never been to before definitely counts as traveling, and it will be a lot cheaper too. I know that some day I will be strolling around Paris eating croissants and loving life, but for now you can catch me making a day trip to New Orleans and feasting on crawfish and beignets.
It's easy to get caught up in the chaos that accompanies a new journey, and you're going to want to cram your schedule with anything and everything possible, but sometimes that tour of the MoMA just doesn't happen. This brings us to struggle number two: lack of time. Time is one of those things that is just out of your control at times. Life happens, and it can sometimes get in the way of what you want to do. In order to really get the most out of your trip, try to plan ahead and make a list of exactly what you want to do. And here's the important part: give yourself ample time to do it.
I know that when I go on vacation, it's hard for me to pack up my things and leave—partly because I always come back with more stuff than I came with (RIP bank account), but also because a piece of me wants to remain at the place I'm in. Here's struggle number three: never wanting to come home.
I believe that home is where the heart is, but I also believe that you can leave a little sliver of yourself wherever you go. When you travel, you make memories. Some of those memories can be bad, but I guarantee most of them will be good and you'll laugh at the bad ones later. If you choose to return back to a place you've traveled to, you will be reminded of the amazing gelato you had at that tiny bakery or the way the sun set on the ocean front. These memories and feelings of joy are hard to ignore when you leave, but just remember that you can always venture back.
Wanderlust is an incredible thing, and it can fully consume a person. I have always had a love for traveling and exploring places where no one knows my name. I have big plans for traveling in the future, and I look forward to being able to see what the world has to offer me. Until then, I'll be fantasizing about my journey and counting the seconds until it finally arrives.