I live to see. I live to fill my life with stories, real and tangent. My daydreams don’t fall within the typical fairytale love story “dream” but rather a fairytale that you may not have heard yet. My dreams take me all around the world, from spending the night in a hostel overlooking the Colosseum, to walking hundreds of miles to complete the Camino De Santiago.
My dreams take me to different cities, different countries that lead me to converse with others from all over, just to fill one need, a never-ending void, my wanderlust. I was first “infected” when I was twelve and I traveled to Italy where I did a multi-country road trip, traveling to Switzerland and Germany, as well.
My wanderlust was only fueled when I had the opportunity of a lifetime to study in London. Since getting back, my life has never been the same, nor will it ever be.
However, I did just end a relationship that I thought would last “forever.” I say forever lightly because the truth is that I wanted to believe that it would last “forever,” but I knew because of my lack of belief in a “forever” and my need to go that it probably wouldn’t last. Yet, I still said it. I had never said that term before with any other man; I didn’t believe in the idea of a forever and I still don’t. But with him, I wanted too. I wanted so badly to believe that there could be something more, something that was so strong in this universe that would never make me want to leave. I wanted to believe that was this feeling called “love.”
I knew that I would never have been happy, rather merely content, with this man. I would never see the world with him, merely the town we lived in. I knew that I would never be in love with this man because I was already in love, a love that had yet to escape me. I began to hope that it never would.
I was a sophomore in college when I met him. I had just gotten back from living in London and he reminded me of home. An aura of overwhelming peace and comfort filled him, and I wanted so badly to believe that being loved by him would be enough. I wanted so badly to believe that he was all I needed; he could be my fairytale. Flash forward to my senior year of college. Before I knew it, I would be breaking his heart into pieces because this mold that I once thought I needed actually didn’t fit with my wanderlust. Therefore, he didn’t fit with my life.
I destroyed him. I destroyed a man who loved me more than anything for something that I couldn’t explain. Among all the accusatory cheating texts and “never really loving him” messages, I knew that there would be no way that I could ever explain to him why I did what I did. He would never understand what it meant to live with wanderlust. This is because it isn’t a transient thing; it’s a feeling, a desire to be where I’m not.
It is this constant desire to see all that I haven’t, to experience all that this world has to offer. I risk spending everyday sounding like a cliché in efforts to explain all that I can barely understand.
I’ve been in love once. I know this because I have never experienced this feeling again, and I fear that I may never experience it with a significant other. My first and only love was Paris. After landing in this grand city, I walked off the plane onto a bus and began to see ancient buildings, the glimmering Eiffel Tower, and instantly I knew that this was the greatest feeling I had ever experienced. This made it one of the best and worst days of my life.
The best being that I now knew what love was, this grand emotion, this idea that if every new city that I went to was able to give me this undeniable happiness and inexplicable joy, then I would be one of the lucky ones. It was the worst day of my life because at that moment, when I fell in love with a city, my heart knew that it would be nearly impossible to actually fall in love with a man. Part of me knew that if I wanted to stay so in love with traveling, that it would be one of the hardest things to actually fully allow myself to fall in love.
Love is when you’re at a restaurant and you see your food coming out. When you’re sitting down and just looking at the one across from you knowing that every day of your life, they will make you smile, make your soul laugh and cry and be so absurdly happy that nothing else will matter except them. Love is trusting your gut; it’s trying foods that you normally would never eat, it’s about meeting new people who are nothing like you. It’s about being so willing to try new things for that “experience” that nothing will ever matter but the feeling you’re experiencing.
I want to believe that I don’t believe in love simply because it hasn’t happened to me yet, or because I just haven’t met the right one yet. Part of me has always wanted to believe in it, wanted to experience it, but I know that the love I have experienced is far more exciting than anything a man could give me right now.
The reality is that loving a girl with wanderlust is terrifying. Never knowing what is out there leads her away. It causes her to begin a new journey of sites and experiences that most will never understand. She will leave at a moment’s notice; her decisions are quick and often ill-thought-out but lead her exactly where she needs to go. She has a will to see, not only with her eyes but also with her heart and soul.
Loving a girl with wanderlust is eventful. She craves experiences, the action in it. You’ll be getting out of your comfort zone with her, whether it’s hiking or flying. You’ll be on a new adventure as often as your life allows it and even sometimes when your life doesn’t allow it. You’ll learn to expect texts asking what you’re doing next weekend because she has an idea. The idea is typically about going somewhere weird and unique but that’ll lead you to question all that you know. That’ll be the beauty in it, though: the chase will always be there. You’ll never know what she plans on doing next. Life will be weird and so utterly exciting.
Loving a girl with wanderlust is thought-provoking. She will want to know everything about you, all the places that you’ve been too and where you plan on going. She will crave all the knowing, all the feelings that come of knowing you. She’ll hope that maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get infected with this insane yearning to be where you’re not. If you do, you’ll have the time of your life with her.
You’ll begin to want to show off your passport as an excuse to tell all about where you went, what you saw and all that you felt. Your stories will become so exciting that you can hardly contain yourself when telling them, you’ll often sound braggy and conceited. Eventually, others will be able to feel your joy, and if they’re lucky, they might just be infected too.
Loving a girl with wanderlust is heartbreaking. She will always leave. Always. Now, if you’re lucky, she will invite along but if you won’t, then she’ll go. She will leave without a second’s notice. I’d like to say that she will always come back to you, but she won’t. Sometimes, wanderlust needs to be cured on its own, on an empty playing field by oneself. Sometimes it takes random bus rides to random cities, late night talks with people you don’t know, a night filled with drinks from all over or train rides that’ll lead you where you never expected.
Sometimes, all of that, only fuels wanderlust more though. If she doesn’t love you more than she loves her wanderlust then she’ll leave, for good. Yet, if she loves you more than it, she’ll still leave but she will always be back, always.
Loving a girl with wanderlust is frustrating as all can be but still is one of the greatest frustrations that you have yet to feel. It’s looking at her and knowing that her wheels are turning in her head, not because she is mad but because she’s beginning to form a plan. Usually, her ideas take up all her anger, all her thoughts. Her plans lead her to exactly where she needs to be, and if you’re lucky, exactly where you need to be.
If you love a girl with wanderlust, set her free. Let her see all that she needs. Let her wings take her to her wildest dreams, soaring way above any normal life. If you set her free and she comes back to you, she was always yours. Love a girl with wanderlust. It’ll be the scariest yet most exciting time of your life because more than likely, you, too will become infected.