musings on: wanderlust

I’ve never been big on this whole “wanderlust” concept that has taken twenty-something culture by storm in recent years. I’ll admit I went about my post-university years in a fairly conventional way—which I guess, these days, is actually pretty unconventional. I finished my 4-year degree and went straight to grad school; I spent the last semester of grad school applying for jobs and going for interviews; I received a contract position and started working a couple of weeks after graduation; and my contract position eventually led to a full-time job. I moved to a new city and got an apartment. I bought a car about a year after that. And life has basically been moving along pretty seamlessly since. Of course, I’ve always made plenty of time for fun and adventure (because otherwise, what’s the point, right?) but I’ve always put a lot of value on responsibility and direction. That’s just the way I’m built.

Now here we are, about three years into my career, and I’m feeling very ready for a bit of a mix up! Call it wanderlust, call it restlessness, call it finally having enough money in the bank, but with my twenty-sixth birthday fast approaching (eep!) I find myself longing for a change of pace and a change of scenary. Am I content the majority of the time? Of course. Am I looking to completely rebuild my life? No. Do I feel the need to escape everything and everyone around me? Definitely not. But am I feeling a need for rejuvination? Well, yes. You see, in my mind, we can’t possibly make the most of the very limited time we have (especially the limited time we have as young, healthy, energetic, unattached twenty-somethings!) if all we’re doing is cruising along at full speed moving singlemindedly towards all of the things we think we want and need—money, a better job, love. I think it’s infininitely important to have goals, and to go after all that you’re looking for in your life, but sometimes taking a breather, reevaluating, and simply enjoying being who and what you are at this particular moment can be the best thing for you—and can help get you ready for what’s to come. Often, to get out of your head, you just need to get out of town.

Luckily for me, my vacation time is scheduled, my tickets are booked, my bags will soon be packed, and I’ll be jetting off for a month-long European excursion with three of my oldest and dearest friends in just a few weeks. I feel very blessed and crazy excited. I can’t wait to soak in beautiful countries and cultures, meet incredible people, eat incredible food, and take in a little piece of what the world has to offer.

Even for a tried and true straight path gal like myself, sometimes a temporary dip onto a winding backwoods trail is exactly what the soul needs.

The Lone Traveler

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beauty all around: stop, look, listen.

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I stumbled on this Insta-photo the other day and my immediate reaction was: There should be more signs like this posted on the street, and there should be more people in the world that go around and post them. What a simple yet beautiful reminder that we are surrounded by stunning, inspiring, even magical things, and if we take the time to stop, look, listen, and appreciate, it can transform our mood and often change the course of our entire day. Maybe it’s taking a moment to breathe in your first cup of coffee in the morning and soaking in that intoxicating roasted scent; maybe it’s leaving the office for a 10 minute walk over your lunch break and enjoying a little fresh air; maybe it’s stopping whatever you’re doing to call your parents or your best friend just to say hello and that you love them; maybe it’s that unmistakable buzz you feel when you step outside on the first warm, sunny day of the season; maybe it’s the quirky regular at the cafĂ© on the corner who smiles and waves when you stop to say hello; or maybe it’s blasting your favourite guilty pleasure song on the drive home and singing at the top of your lungs. Whatever or whoever it may be that brings you joy, revel in it. Let it remind you that life can be a pretty remarkable thing.

j.