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  • Parul Joshi

Wanderlust - Not all those who wander are lost...

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

We've all been locked inside our homes, restricted in place, for four months now. And I am going stir crazy. I don't know about the fever from a virus here, but cabin fever has been a major problem.

So I started to think about my last long vacation - feels like ages ago now.

It was last June, went to a few hill stations and such. To put it simply, amazing experience.

Nature has a way of expanding our horizons, doesn’t it? We realize we’re such a small part of this vast universe, and how much bigger we can be. But my epiphanies aren’t what this post is about.


Owing to the travel (which wasn’t excessive, just to clarify), I found myself on the receiving end of one question from some people. “What is with your inability to stay put?”


So I thought about it, the urge I had to go someplace else whenever I had some free time on my hands. Even if it doesn’t pan out, the craving is still there. It doesn’t even have to be new or adventurous, it just has to be, well, not where I am at that time.

I’m told there’s a word for that. Wanderlust.


A word that traces its origin to German, the dictionary meaning for wanderlust is ‘a strong desire to travel’. But I think it’s a little different than that. Literally speaking, it would be a desire to wander. Wandering from one spot to another, from one place to another, or from one person to another. Or basically, a condition where we simply cannot settle. And that is great. Not to sound self-congratulatory, but I think there’s a certain charm – one that needs a different kind of courage – to wandering. It doesn’t come easy – the wherewithal to ask yourself, “Could this be better?” And then leave the comfortable safe we’re in to try to make it so, even if it doesn’t turn out the way we wanted it to. At least we left the stagnation behind.


Or maybe that’s just something I say to justify me to myself. Two lines from something I wrote a while ago: Find me an Eden where I can bloom, one with no snakes but my own. Find me a place where I belong, find me home.”


Because every ship needs a harbour. Even Jack Sparrow needed a Tortuga, or Shipwreck Coast (love the whole ‘ship-wrecking’ idea of it). Everyone needs an anchor, not one that drags you down or pulls you back, but an anchor that can be lifted when we want to explore the endless ocean in search of beauty and adventure, and be dropped to port when we wish to draw a breath of peace.


So maybe that is what all the wandering is about, trying to find somewhere, anywhere, that doesn’t make us want to run. Finding something to always come back to, no matter how far we wander.






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