Hey all! Haven’t done this in a long time! Sorry for the hiatus, I just got back from backpacking in Central America for 3 weeks, which has led me to this blog post.
My mind has been buzzing since I’ve been home. I had the BEST time. Met some insane, hilarious, amazing people. Saw some of the most beautiful views. Checked some things off the bucket list. Partied hard. Laughed my ass off. And soaked up all the sun.
But it’s all bittersweet.
Eventually it’s time to come back to reality, to leave the beautiful scenery behind.
While traveling, especially staying in hostels, you meet a ton of young people, from all over the world. No matter how many hours, days, or weeks you spend with them, eventually it’s time to say goodbye. Most of the time you know you’re never gonna see them again. That’s the hardest part.
Every time I talk to travelers and hear their stories, or take in a magnificent view, or do something crazy I’ve never done before, it makes me realize how big and vast this world is. I think about how much of it I haven’t seen. I think about how many people out there, all over the world, just like me, thinking the same thing. I itch to meet these people and do all these things I’ve never done.
I’m pretty sure every person on this planet has heard the term “wanderlust.” It basically means a strong desire to travel. While I definitely think I have a big-time case of wanderlust, I think for me it goes a little beyond that.
Some may not have heard of this term, but I believe I have what is called “restless heart syndrome.” Basically, in my heart and soul, I am always restless. There is always more out there… I always want more.
Don’t get me wrong, my life’s not bad! I have never thought that. While I am always thankful and appreciative for what I have and the opportunities I’ve been given, I am always curious about what’s out there. Picture this: I’m in my car. A song that I love comes on. What do I do? I check all the other radio stations to see what else is on, before coming back to the song I love. WHY?
To me, it always feels like something is missing. It’s a constant search for bigger and better.
Honestly, this scares me a bit. I’m afraid I will never grow out of it. I’m afraid of the uncertainty. I’m afraid I will never be in a healthy relationship. I’m afraid I will never stop being curious. I’m afraid I will never settle in one place.
I could be wrong. Maybe one day I’ll meet a man so great and I’ll realize there’s a reason why I never settled for anyone else. Maybe one day I’ll travel to place and think to myself that this is the place where I want to live the rest of my life.
But, the whole point is, I don’t know. I don’t know anything, really. But I plan to find out. Most people go their whole lives and never truly find out who they are, what they love, what their true passion is. I don’t want to be one of those people.
I may be restless, but at least at the end of my days I’ll be able to look back on my life and say that I did the things I wanted to do. I want to look back and know that I never settled for anything that wasn’t meant for me. Even if I spent my whole life searching for it, whatever “it” may be, I want to be able to say I TRIED.
Sometimes I think to myself, “What’s wrong with me?” Why can’t I be happy with what’s around me? Why can’t I do what’s expected of me? Why can’t I be like my friends and my family?
Sometimes I wish more than anything that I would be OK with staying in my hometown forever. I could move out, meet a guy, get married, buy a house, have kids. I could get up and go to work every day, come home, make dinner, spend time with my kids, then go to bed, and do it all again. That’s the goal, right? That’s what most of us strive for? Sometimes I wish that’s what I wanted. But all of that to me, sounds unbearable.
The restless heart in me knows better. How could I possibly think this is where I want to stay, when I’ve only seen a fraction of this world? This big, vast, beautiful world.
Sometimes when I’ve been traveling, and I see something beautiful… like a sunset/sunrise, or a volcano, or a waterfall, or a beautiful beach, or some other strange sight I’ve never seen before, I get this overwhelming feeling. It’s a happy, and sad, bittersweet type of feeling. I always feel grateful for being able to see what I’m seeing. But then, I get sad, because it doesn’t matter if I take a picture, or if I post it on Instagram, I feel as though not many people will get to see it. Like, really see it, and experience it. Obviously, the people I’m with are seeing it. And there are a ton of people traveling and seeing the same sight as me, but I’m talking about the majority of the world. The majority of people that will never leave their hometown. The majority of people that will never get to this place. The majority of people that will never get to experience the magical feelings that come with traveling and seeing new places.
In these moments, I am grateful for how restless I am, and what I have been able to see. My constant curiosity has taken me to all these beautiful and amazing places, and there will only be more!
So, while I am scared for what’s in store in the future for me, I am always hopeful. I am confident that my ways (even though they scare the shit out of me) will never lead me wrong. Even though my heart is restless, I believe you should always follow your heart, wherever it may take you.