Ferweh – (n.) An ache for distant places; the craving for travel.
Wanderlust – (n.) A strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.
Knowledge – (n.) Facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education.
I don’t really know how to express my thoughts on this, so I apologize up front if it seems like I am just rambling. But this has been on my mind for a while now (a while, meaning: for the past half a year).
I have always loved to travel. I get the feeling that that is something that was instilled in me since a young age because my mother used to travel a lot and take me and my siblings along with her. We never left the country though, just traveled around the U.S.
My traveling didn’t stop as I got older because in college, I was an athlete and we traveled weekly to other states to compete. We literally traveled all across the country: Texas, Idaho, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Arkansas, the list goes on. We even had a track meet in Jamaica one year and that was my very first time ever leaving the country. I didn’t get to see much since we were there for a competition, but it was still a nice experience.
That was five years ago. And unfortunately, I have not been out of the country since.
I wanted to study abroad but never got the chance to because I was a scholarship athlete and my school did not let scholarship athletes study outside the country (I don’t think any school would. They are paying your tuition to train, compete, and make the school look good. Not traverse the globe). And now that I have graduated and am getting my master’s degree, I can’t help but feel that I missed out on many great things. Did I think about getting a master’s degree in another country? Yes and no. Yes, but I did not give it much thought because I knew my parents would not agree with it (plus some other personal matters) so I threw the idea out. And no, because the countries that I wanted to go to did not have the degree I intended to study (it’s just not a popular thing in those countries).
Needless to say, I want to travel more than ever. Real traveling. Immersing myself in another culture; learning a new language…or five (^_^); seeing what the education system is like in another country; what it’s like to live in a collectivist culture in comparison to the individualistic one I was raised in; what it’s like to be “the foreigner”. There is so much that I want to see and learn and I can’t gain that knowledge here in the States. Sure there are books. But experience doesn’t come from books.
Most people would call all of this “the travel bug”. Like it’s just an itch that needs to be scratched but I personally feel that it is so much more than that. I want to use what I learn and incorporate it into my career field somehow, or perhaps even take a completely different career path than what I want in this moment. I want to meet new people and make new friends across the globe. I want to be fluent in another language. I want to know what it’s like to live in a non-first world country. I want to be diverse in knowledge and attitude. I want to help others (hence my ‘helping’ career field, lol). I want to grow in ways I never thought I would grow.
I am American. And I can’t help but feel that (most) Americans live inside their own little bubble/box. I want to break out of this box; pop the bubble, and roam. I feel like I’m searching for something and can’t yet grab it.
After this upcoming semester is over, I will only have one more year until I complete my master’s degree. Will I be excited about it? Heck yea! Will I be thousands of dollars in debt? Heck yea. And unfortunately, that is something that I think will hinder my ability to travel. If I have the money to travel to other countries, then I can use that money to pay off my God-forsaken loans. I get anxiety just thinking about how much I owe! >_< But yet I can’t stop thinking about expanding my education and studying in another country (Thailand is at the top of my list). That would give me three degrees but who cares?
I am still young. I am in my 20’s. I am not married. I have no children. I don’t have a mortgage to pay. And since I am a fulltime student, I do not have a job or internship to report to everyday. NOW SHOULD BE MY TIME TO TRAVEL. Now is when I should be going after what I am looking for. Shouldn’t it?
What exactly am I looking for?
Knowledge? Growth? Experience? Finding myself and my ever changing interests?
All of it has some truth to it. I can’t really give just one solid answer. I just know that whatever it is, it’s not here where I am in life at this moment. I just want to go after it before I get older and am seen as “too old” or someone who never grew up, or someone who needs to hurry and finally settle down already. I don’t want to be stuck on shoulda, coulda, woulda’s when I am in my 30’s and 40’s. Thinking about age and time definitely gives me anxiety about all of this though, which is a bit discouraging.
I don’t quite know how to end this blog post. So if you have read all of this, thank you for listening. If you have anything you would like to share, my eyes and ears are open.
Later peeps :]
*All photos were taken from a simple google image search.