“Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”- Dolly Parton
By Jennifer Nyström Updated April 23, 2017
The word Wanderlust is borrowed from the German language where it´s original meaning meant "enjoyment of hiking". But today is more commonly used as "farsickness", which is the opposite of the word "homesickness" that most people are familiar with. Wanderlust is a deep uncontrollable desire to to travel, live and explore the world. It is an intense urge for self development that you can only reach from experiencing the unknown and unfamiliar, by confronting unexpected challenges. It has also been linked to Bipolar Disorder and can be driven by the desire to escape and leave behind depressive feelings of guilt.
"The world is your oyster"
It is easy to get lost in your head over all the things you want to go do, see and explore, but to really be able to appreciate all the wonderful things that life has to offer you need to find balance. Finding balance in life is a realistic and important goal. There will always be days when life get´s a head of you, when you don´t have time for everything that you want, or things simply just don´t go as you planned. And as frustrating as that might be, it is a part of life and balance. We need the bad to appreciate the good.
So how do we find balance? For starters you need to figure out what is important in your life and for you´re well being. Write a list or two. This is all in the process of being mindful. Mindfulness might still be a quite foreign word in our culture but reaches back 2,500 years in Buddhist cultures. Mindfulness means to be connected in mind, body and soul, to be present and aware. Your life is made up of many vital areas including your health, family, financial, intellectual, social, work, spiritual, recreation, personal growth, romance and more. You won't necessarily spend time every day in each area in equal amounts, but in the long run, you need to balance all areas equally with quality time and not neglect any one of them. Much like a table, if one leg is longer or shorter than the rest, it will make the entire table wobbly. For instance, if you don't take care of your health, your family and social life will suffer; if you put too much time into running your business, personal relationships and self care may suffer.
Today mindfulness is used as part of treating patiens for different Mental health issues and is proven as one of the most effective treatments along with Antidepressants and counselling. " I first came across the word Mindfulness about three years ago" says Charlotte 32, who has suffered from serious depressions for the last 5 years. "It was after maybe 2-3 years of severe depressions when I finally realised that it had come to a live or die situation and so I decided I needed to make a change and went to the clinic to get help. I had heard a lot about antidepressants and was very resistant to it, I came there to get help through some sort of counselling and did not want to stuff my face with pills. It was at my first counselling session that I learned about Mindfulness-meditation. First, to be honest I thought it was some hippy thing, but not long after my counselor had me sit across from her during my sessions, guiding me through it that I became to love it. Today I wish I could say I practised meditation every day because I really need it, but that would be a lie, life comes between us too often. I still suffer from depressions, and when I think about it I probably always have, it just got more serious a few years ago. I have learned to live with it and somedays I can even say I am thankful for them, for they have made me more open-minded and given me more empathy towards life and others."
If you want to learn more about mindfulness-meditation, click here.
Yoga teacher Veronica, 25 says " Everybody should practise mindfulness. It may seem strange at first and most people who come to me in class get´s really frustrated when they realise how much of my Yoga classes are actually Mindfulness-meditation, they expect a physical workout and do not know that Yoga is just as much, if not even more about mental training. It is not easy, it takes practise and dedication just like everything else but it gives you so much in return. It´s funny actually because most people who are sceptical towards it in the beginning and feel like they want something that keeps their energy level going, are the ones who stick it with it."
Mindfulness and different cultures: While we in Western Cultures use meditation as a tool to balance our stressful life from all the pressure that comes from living in our modern society, we have a lot to learn from the Buddhists who more or less have the ability to be mindful and present from a very young age. Many monks practice for hours every day as part of the path toward enlightenment and Nirvana.
Part of being a Wanderer is the curiosity for other countries, other people and cultures. According to Know Myself Research shows that curious people have a higher chance of living a happier life since their need for knowledge usually lead them to more rewards on the longer term. So let´s explore more, be curious, travel, meditate, live life to the fullest for we only get one (as far as we know) so don´t waste it being stuck inside your comfort zone.