There’s something common among travelers… an aire of dissatisfaction, a mouth-watering craving, a constant yearning. I was reading a travel blog I came across recently, Geckos Tales, where he wrote about “24 Words That Describe Travel Better Than You Thought Possible.” It’s true; most of these words seem to embody my spirit in one form or another. However, there was one word that truly resonated with me. At this point in my life I’m not consistently traveling, I’m working a desk job that can often be very redundant and I’m not entirely happy with my living situation. Things are changing quickly, I know, but I still have this feeling of unease. It’s a feeling I can’t shake. It’s a feeling that would drive any person with the nomad gene crazier than Mr. Hyde.
Fernweh: An ache for distant places.
Fernweh is what I feel. It’s this tugging deep in my belly. It’s the same feeling I think I hear in my friend’s voices when they talk about their recent promotion, or how excited they are to get married. It’s the same ache I’m supposed to have for online shopping, the craft section of Pintrest or maybe buying my first home. Those aren’t things I want. I don’t care if it’s unconventional. Maybe I’m reflecting because tomorrow is my 23rd birthday, or maybe it’s just a coincidence that today feels like the end of this phase in my life. It’s time to turn the page, or whatever other cliché metaphor translates into “get the heck out!”
Ultimately, at some point in the last 23 years I’ve realized that it’s so much more important to make yourself happy than it is to do the things you’re “supposed to do.” You do things the right way, with good intentions, but you do them for the right reasons. So, my fellow wanderers… I leave you with this task: reflect on your last year. Are you happy with where you are? Could you see yourself doing this for the next month, year, five years, forever? You have the ability to choose what direction your life takes… so don’t be afraid to take a chance. Choose happiness over money, choose yourself over the things other people want for you, choose a little instability over boredom. Just do something that makes the ache explode with raging passion.