Travel is chicken soup for the soul – a possibly augmented quote (source-file_not-found) heard in passing, years ago, cemented into a fire-pit with flames regularly stoked by the prospect of adventuring to far off lands.
With each new leap forward in technology, our world becomes smaller, more accessible for the wide-eyed wanderer to pack their bags and leap in tandem, an open-armed freefall, into the rich mix of cultures our societies create.
Wanderlust is the bug that bites, and instead of shying away, it compels you to heed its call.
Cities are my favourite.
The vibrant, neon drenched, awake-awake-awake of Seoul confirmed that for me. Cities are endless opportunity and experiences and so alive – it baffles me when I hear people speak of boredom. Tiredness I can understand, the constant constantness of living in the heart, having to hear it beat, pump it’s metal cells around along arteries of tarmac, rattling through the bones of the metros and the underground stations can only be endured for so long before fatigue sets in… but boredom?
Only boring people get bored.
Cities are my favourite because they’re exciting. To my countryside childhood of drives to get to anywhere remotely interesting, stepping off your doorstep into the buzz of something is fascinating. So much is happening. One of my more ambitious bucket list items is to visit every city in the world – I want to get a photo (or multiple photos) of cities at night, too. There is nothing better than a city at night, or in the clearest of blue skies.
My love of cities doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the occasional stint of peace and quiet. Sometimes I crave visiting new places with clear mountain air or deserted, white sand beaches – though I can’t say I’ve seen many of the latter. Parent’s aren’t really down for beach holidays. But to sit on the proverbial top of the world, surrounded by the green summer grass or crisp winter snow and looking down as ant-sized humans go about their daily business, or across vast, rolling landscapes is magical too.
I’m lucky that I’ve had the chance to travel quite a bit at quite a young age – opening your eyes to different cultures and their ways of life, or experiencing prolonged stints abroad where you completely lose the ‘tourist’ feel have helped me appreciate the little group of islands I call home. But it’s also made me want to travel more. More frequently, more widely, in a way where it’s more about the experience than the photo opps. More naturally, more ingrained in cultural exchange than tourist attractions.
Wanderlust makes you want. That restlessness; that itch under the skin that you can’t quite scratch, soothed only by the purchase of tickets with destination: new.
The Financial Times said that we ‘millennials’ – that is, we 20-somethings, the 9-grand students and Generation Rent – are more likely to save for a holiday or an experience than a pension. They said so with disparaging tones, that we weren’t doing the right thing – but when you look at it, when you really look at it, technology has made our world so small and so massive at the same time, and when there’s so much to see and do, why not see and do it?