Being bit by the wanderlust bug is more than just a desire to travel, it's a state of being. You don't just need to travel, you also love it and love every adventure that comes with it. It seeps into your life in expected and unexpected ways and if you've been bit then these 10 signs will definitely resonate with you.
1. You moved away for college
And you probably went out of state. If you are from the West Coast, you just had to go see what the East Coast was all about and vice versa. Something about a place that mystifies you also completely excites you. If you grew up with a beach, you had to check out the mountains. What you don't know doesn't scare you, it motivates you to figure it out.
2. And you definitely studied abroad while you were there
Sure, you traveled a couple of thousand miles away from home, so why not add another couple of thousand more? Your hometown was great, and your college city is great, but you still needed to check something else out while you were still in your formative years. It didn't matter where you went, not really, as long as it was something new.
3. You don't have a good answer to why you keep moving
People probably ask you all the time why you keep moving about and you can't seem to find a good answer because “I don't know, I want to try something new," just doesn't seem to encapsulate it quite right. It's not just about trying something new, living somewhere you've never been, it's about exploring. It's not about finding something, it's just about living.
4. You don't want to visit a place, you want to live there
The idea of visiting a place is nice, it might give you an idea if you want to come back, but it's not the best option. The best option is living there, for at least a few months, to get a local coffee spot, to familiarize yourself with the culture and the language and the people. Being a tourist is nice for about a week, but you want to know the city as a local does. You want to set your roots into a place and really connect with your surroundings.
5. But you can't stay in one place for too long
It's been four years and as soon as your grad cap has flown, you couldn't be happier. Not just because you finished your undergrad, but because you can finally move to a new city. You got the itch, which basically means you can't stay in one place for too long before you have to pick up and try another.
6. And you seem to fall in love with every place you've been
The itch doesn't fade away the love you once felt for a city. You pass by your favorite donut place, or that one restaurant that is family owned and you know you'll never get their food anywhere else but here. It makes you excited to find these places elsewhere; your new favorite local joint in a city far away. But as much as this excites you, it's still a little sad to leave.
7. You're never completely at home anymore
It's the worst part of wanderlust. You found a home in Los Angeles, and New York and London and your heart is torn because your feet keep moving forward so that soon enough Houston or Rome or Hong Kong are also in your heart as home. But eventually you come to know that…
8. Home is your own two feet
You've come to realize that you'll always be at home. Because it isn't the city that makes it a home, it's the love you feel in each place and the ways you've made each your own. Whether it be the way the sun rises or how the fruit stand man on the corner always says hello to you, you can trust that you'll make a home for yourself wherever you are.
9. You fall in love with people, not places
You'd think that those struck with wanderlust constantly fall in love with the places they go but that's not true. People who fall in love with places usually stay in the places they fell in love with. Those who are bit with the traveling bug fall in love with people. You find that every city you go to, a piece of your heart is left to the people you met there. To the (wo)man you fell in love with, or to the barista who always chats you up, to the gentle old woman who helps you with directions, and the amazing friends you eventually leave behind. You haven't found a place that can keep you, but you always know that you have friends who will always be in your heart.
10. And you wouldn't change it for the world
It doesn't matter if your mom thinks you need to settle down, or that pieces of your heart are scattered across the globe, it only makes you happier to know that you have loved in so many places and will continue to do so. You can't wait for the next city and the next adventure and settling down is something you can worry about in the future. Because right now, you are young and wild and free to roam the world. So get out there and explore!