(n.) A strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world.
Have you ever had a sudden urge to travel? To just leave everything behind and go some place where you can be at peace with the nature and yourself. That urge while looking at the beautiful pictures on Facebook, or when friends narrate their stories about that place they went, or just like that sitting at your desk in office? Have you ever wondered why? Well, I have, and let me tell you what I know.
It has its roots on history and human evolution.
We were once nomads. Travelling from boulder to boulder, tree to tree, shrubs to shrubs in the search of food, shelter and peace. Some, like lions travelled in groups, while others like leopards travelled alone, but travel everybody did. Sometimes we used to find what we wanted, at others; we became an important link that connects our history – a fossil.
Hardly ever a homo erectus (it’s not what you think it is) died of old age, as more often than not, the lion caught him first. Then there were bears, hyenas, snakes and mosquitoes waiting in line to increase their score. An odd one fell prey to the innocuous coconut falling from the tree. If he still survived, the floods, earthquakes, volcanoes packed the lot off in bulk. The whole earth nay universe, meteors also had their fair share, were conspiring to derail the development of humans into what we are today.
The poor ape man was left with no other choice than to travel, literally for his life.
He went to the banks of great rivers, to the top of mighty mountains, to the golden beaches of the salty ocean and to the solitude of dreary deserts. Everywhere he went, he discovered something new: a new food, a different tree to sleep under and a new found peace.
When he sat near the shore of the calm river with his ape women humming him a song, all the bears of this world dare not scare him. When he saw the golden sunset from atop the mountain, the slithering snake dare not bite him. And when he lay on the beach, under the coconut tree, listening to the footsteps of the approaching waves, well, the mosquitoes still were very daring.
Everywhere he went, he met the local cave man, if one existed, and who told him about the crocodiles, and the leopard; and the mosquitoes, about which he already knew.
He learnt something about himself as well. Cold made him shiver; warmth made him sweat and the stars, well, stars made him happy. And then he went along his way to find a new animal, discover a new fruit and learn something new about himself.
Whatever we have evolved into today is because our forefathers travelled and explored the nature within and without.
At heart, we are still nomads. One can change habits, but nature, like karma is a female dog. Once a habit seeps in, gets in our nature, good luck getting rid of it.
Wanderlust is inescapable as much as the internet now. It has seeped under our skin and has made us what we are today. It is futile suppressing that urge within you, as one day it is bound to overcome the pull of “responsibilities” behind which we choose to bury it. Just hope that it isn’t too late.
Go to that hill station near your city which you always wanted to visit. Go to that valley which you often came across while commuting for work but never had a chance of exploring: where green takes over the dust and sand of the city, and where the music of the river flowing sings you to sleep; where the morning sun wakes you up gently; where you are not afraid to take a deep breath for the fear of gagging on the smog in the city.
Because life is not about saying “I wish”, it is about saying “I will”. It’s not like a movie to be seen, it is like a bike, meant to be ridden all the way.