A Letter To All Of The Wanderlust Stricken Souls


Thought Catalog

Aleksandra Hogendorf

I used to be one of you. I used to dream of foreign towns and cobblestone and mountain peaks, trace my finger on a paper map. I tested out the taste of cities on my tongue- Bruges and Napoli and Tangier and Porto. Names like candy. I dreamed of popping one in my mouth, savoring the sweetness, making these foreign flavors taste like home.

And so I did. I packed a backpack and boarded a plane with no return trip planned. The only remedy to wanderlust is to go. And even then, you are never cured.

I spent a year roaming and living a gypsy life. Cautiously at first, wandering around cities and sipping espressos in sunny piazzas. But a funny thing happens the longer you’re out roaming- you start living. You stop planning anything and surrender to the world, you learn to have faith and to trust…

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The truth about travelers

Perfectly consistent with everything that I am…and aim to be.

infinite satori

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We have been called many things. Travelers, by default. But we like to be called nomads. Explorers. Vagabonds. Adventurers. Wayfarers. Modern gypsies. Wanderers. We’ve adopted them all. A growing breed of humans with restless feet and the inability to stay still, the inability to stay in one place.

That is who we are. And that’s just the gist of it.

We come from all walks of life, from bustling gray colored cities, sleepy beach towns, snow-covered metropolises, small villages nestled in between lush green mountains, we come from everywhere. But our inner gravity always brings us to the same place… the road.

We deem courage weighs more than money when it comes to travel. We’re not rich, not financially well-off and we don’t travel for luxury. Our money does not come from rich parents, trust funds, or whatever privileges you think we have in order to maintain…

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To the girls who travel: Don’t date a guy who doesn’t travel

Yes, you are the girl with the unkempt room and poor time management. You have many things in your head, most of which are notes-to-self on what your future self should do or go to. You are a dreamer, and that means that if the guy you date isn’t like you, it’s unlikely to work out.

Don’t date a guy who doesn’t travel. He is the guy with the medicine cabinet filled with shaving cream, hair gel and toothbrushes he doesn’t use anymore. His skin is fair and soft like a baby’s, which means he doesn’t go out much or at all. He is intolerant to the sun, when in fact you love every minute you are under it, soaking each ray of sunshine into your now bronze skin. He combs and styles his hair in memorized strokes every morning (as he has been doing this for months, maybe years now). He tries to impress you with his wealth, but he knows nothing about the world.

Don’t date a guy who doesn’t travel because he will drive you crazy at how he tries to “tame” you. He will call you happy-go-lucky, which in his language means that your life is a mess and you have no dreams. He won’t go to any of the adventures you planned out, because he thinks it’s childish and silly. He will not sing with you when you belt out your couple’s song in the car. While you can introduce yourself and ask for the time in 15 different languages, all the language he needs is the language of money. He will look at you and treat you as though you are a lost puppy, and he is the kind-hearted man that will put you in the right path. He will talk to you about security and savings, which aren’t even in your vocabulary.

He will not take chances. His whole life has been inside his comfort zone. He grew up on trust funds, and his childhood revolved around a home-to-school-to-home routine. He might never have been allowed to play outside, or he might never have wanted to. He thinks he is better than you because of his stable, 9 to 5 job, which makes you want to gag because you will never have a life like that.

Don’t date a guy who doesn’t travel. He will promise you the world, and then you realize: he wasn’t talking about the world, he was talking about his world. His world where the only people he knows are his co-workers and high school classmates who he drinks with at the pub every weekend. He will not even apologize for his actions while he was drunk, as he is always like that. In his world, he was made for one purpose only: to earn money. His world map is the stock exchange report, and his adventures are about the argument with the co-worker he hates and the taxi driver he yelled at in traffic. He will want to eat in this expensive, overrated restaurant with you, and will frown at you when you ask to try out that mini-stall of Indian food that just opened down the road. He will try to lure you into his world, and you might think about it for a moment. But then you realize you will never live such a pathetic and boring life.

A guy who doesn’t travel has chosen a life of a robot. You watch in despair as the man you thought you loved transform in front of your very eyes into a metal creature hard-wired into working until his last breath. He will never understand that while his wealth is measured by the number of zero’s in his bank account, your wealth is measured on the places you’ve been to and the people you’ve met, especially those whose lives you’ve touched. He will never understand why you have so many keepsakes from your travels, like a small soiled napkin from a café in a French village, to the receipt from HeMa when you purchased an orange lais for King’s Day in Holland. He will not stop at the side of the road to let you see the flowers. He will not let you open the windows of the car just so you could feel the breeze. While you are watching the sunset, he is checking his watch.

He will let you meet his parents, and he wants his Mommy to know that her little boy has found the one. He will let you wear a conservative, pleated dress while you banter in brainless chitchat about the weather. Don’t even try to have a conversation about the environment or social issues, they couldn’t care less.

Don’t date a guy who doesn’t travel. He will make you feel like you need him. He will cling to you and manipulate your life into becoming like his. He will try to introduce you to his boss and impress him with your skills, hoping that he could land you a job. He will talk to his friends about you like he wears the pants in the relationship. He doesn’t talk to anyone he doesn’t know, or tries to ignore those he does. He will get jealous because you like talking to strangers, even those you meet at the bus. He will want to drive you around, when in fact you would rather take public transport and meet people with amazing stories. He will ask you not to travel anymore, to settle down. And you consider it.

Then you realize, your passion and dreams will end the moment you give in. You have always wanted to travel around the world, to meet people from all walks of life, and to life live to the fullest. You haven’t even climbed to the Macchu Picchu yet, you were saving for that. Don’t even forget about Verona. You imagine yourself two decades from now and you see yourself happy; passport filled with stamps and a refrigerator filled with magnets from different countries. A man isn’t there with you in that dream, and there doesn’t have to be one.

Unless the guy you’re dating is like you; a free-spirited, adventurous traveler, you don’t deserve him. And he doesn’t deserve you. He deserves to be with someone who is like him: someone who will raise a family with him in a two-storey bungalow house and a big yard. You, on the other hand, are simply not made to become a housewife. No, that is just not in your vocabulary.


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