It’s undeniable that people differ from each other in a myriad of ways. That’s part of what makes being human so much fun. The more different people you encounter, the more ways of being you learn about, and that can help define you and strengthen your belief system.
One way that some humans differ from others is that many individuals will want to settle down eventually. Some people use the term “nesting” when they talk about that. What they mean is that the average person will one day want a steady job and relationship, and they will also probably want to put down roots and live in the same spot for years on end.
But what about those individuals who don’t eventually want to do that? Is there something that makes some humans nomadic at an age when others want nothing more than to stay safely in one spot? Let’s explore this mystery a little more right now.
Many People Crave Predictability
Picture a car driving down the road. The vehicle has safety features in place. Being aware of all the blind spots around it protects it from danger.
Now, imagine that you are that car, and the road you’re traveling on is your life. You probably won’t encounter much danger if the road you’re traveling continues straight and true.
If it never branches off to the left or right, you just have to keep all four tires on the road and the wheel pointing forward. By doing so, you’ll get to an entirely predictable destination.
Many people find this lifestyle appealing. Even if you took a tumultuous path to get to a certain point in your life, once you reach that place, you’re happy there. You can see the expanse of years stretching out ahead of you, and you like the view.
There’s nothing wrong with getting to this portion of your life, but it’s not for everyone. Some people are always going to want to keep seeking life’s alternate routes, and nothing looks drearier to them than the straight and well-worn path. For these people, wanderlust can well up in them strongly at any time.
Who Usually Feels this Way?
One of the things about wanderlust, or a powerful restless feeling that can come over you suddenly, is that you never know what person is going to have it. Those around them might consider it an affliction, almost like a disease, if they can’t understand it themselves. They’ll never see the logic of pulling up stakes and moving suddenly to a different part of the country or wanting to take a trip around the world seemingly apropos of nothing.
While there is no predicting who’s going to be this way, there does seem to be some anecdotal evidence that it runs in certain families. Some bloodlines seem rife with individuals who don’t like to stay in the same place for very long.
What’s the Best Way to Deal with These Feelings?
The real trick is figuring out what you can do if you have these feelings occasionally or even frequently. For many people with wanderlust, travel can be the answer.
If you travel often, you can work through these feelings when they surface, but you can still retain a residence somewhere. This way, you don’t have to completely relocate your entire life if you ever start feeling antsy.
You also have to ensure that you don’t get into relationships that are an encumbrance. If you’re with someone, and you two care about each other, you very quickly need to make them understand that you love to travel and move around, and if they want to be with you, they’re probably going to need the same mindset.
That’s not always the easiest thing in the world to find. It’s safe to say there are way fewer people who have strong wanderlust than those who don’t. If you like to travel or even move often, you’re probably the exception rather than the rule.
What Other Restrictions Might Your Life Have?
If you have wanderlust and you have kids, it’s not going to be easy on them. Frankly, most people would consider it selfish to have children and then move around all the time.
If wanderlust is rare in adults, children will probably feel it even less. That’s because kids often try to fit in, and that means spending time in one spot so they can make friends. It hardly seems fair to a child to allow them to start liking a city, state, or even a country, only to pick up and move six months or a year later.
It’s best for you not to have kids and to only be with someone who understands and can accept this part of yourself. You’ll also either need to be independently wealthy, or else you’ll have to be in a profession where you can do your work virtually.
Luckily, there are more virtual nomad jobs available now than there ever have been before. You might be able to find something that you can do exclusively online. You can simply set up a hotspot wherever you are or find a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi service.
Eventually, even those who love to travel and wander from place to place usually slow down. You’ll finally find a place that speaks to you, and you’ll end up staying there longer than you did anywhere else before. That could be your home for the rest of your life.
You also might get to the point where you can’t physically travel anymore. The human spirit and body are finite resources, and even the hardiest among us eventually must submit to time’s ravages.
In the meantime, if you find yourself wanting to strike out on the road to seek your fortune, remember the song lyric that states that all who wander are not lost. Wandering is part of the human spirit, and there’s something both primal and noble about following that impulse.