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Is There Such A Thing As A Dark Side Of Wanderlust?


When most of us think about wanderlust, we imagine possibilities, dreams, and sunshine. Travel can, after all, transform our physical health and our outlooks. Not to mention the fact that it’s the best way to broaden horizons and embrace new experiences. 

With all these benefits in mind, the title of this post might have you a little confused. A dark side of wanderlust? What on earth are we talking about? Sadly, not everyone embarks on travel for the right reasons. While getting away can still bring some relief in the short-term, this can lead to resentments, long-term struggles, and general lifestyle setbacks.

But what exactly is this dark side, and can you carry on traveling regardless?

Darkside # 1 - Traveling for avoidance
If you’re traveling to avoid anything worse than lousy weather then you’re likely traveling for the wrong reasons, and wanderlust can only harm rather than help in these situations. If you’re booking trips to escape a lasting depression, for instance, you would be far better contacting depression treatment centers to get to the core of how you’re feeling before you head off again. Equally, if you’re jetting away to save yourself facing a death or break-up, you should stay home and focus on healing a little here first. Then, when you’ve taken care of root problems like these, you can start embarking on healthier travel once more. 

Darkside # 2 - Failing to think about people back home
It isn’t easy to think about loved ones back home when you’re hopping from one fantastic country to the other. You may even prefer to escape complex family relationships as much as possible. Sadly, whether you admit it or not, that can cause unintentional hurt. Our families love us for better or worse, after all, and only seeing you for a day or two between trips is sure to take its toll, especially if you fail to keep in contact while you’re gone. Rather than following your impulses, then, why not stick around for a few weeks instead? Think, too, about tailoring your visits around special occasions like birthdays and thanksgiving to ensure you put others first for once. 

Darkside # 3 - Losing the ability to stay in one place

Extended periods of wanderlust can also leave you incapable of staying in one place. You may find that your feet start itching after a few months, or that you forever have to move onwards to stay satisfied. Eventually, this could lead to a struggle making connections, holding down a career, or even build any semblance of a lifestyle you can trust in. Even if it doesn’t right now, that’s guaranteed to get you down one day. Instead of booking flights the second you start feeling claustrophobic, keep an eye out for that sensation, and force yourself to stay put for at least a little while until you’re past it. Then, you’ll be able to find the balance of home life and exhilarating travel that could otherwise be missing.

*contributed post*