It seems like every Instagram profile I see, Pinterest info blurb I look at, or blog I read has the word "wanderlust" in there SOMEWHERE. It's like a new catchphrase. Everybody is catching it. People like to travel. I like to travel. I've used the word extensively before.
"Wanderlust (n): A strong desire to travel"
It started with Rome. I happened to see an Instagram on Monday morning about eating a croissant in Trastevere. And I wanted with my whole body to be there. Memories of eating in or walking around Trastevere came flooding back and I was taken aback at how strong my feelings were. I just wanted to GO. Get out. Leave! Tavel!
But wait. Hold the phone. Wasn't I just inChicago? To further confuse things...I leave in one week to go on a road trip across the US. It's a short one, but it's travel nonetheless. Shouldn't that be satisfying my travel urges for now?
To me, this feeling is not wanderlust. Is there a word for something stronger than that? Amanda (I haven't switched to third person, don't worry) might be a bit closer to hitting the proverbial nail on the head. Her blog, titled "Farsickness," pretty strongly embodies what I'm feeling.
"Fernweh (n): An ache for the distance; literally, farsickness"
It's like the opposite of being homesick. I don't want to get too dramatic here. But ever since Monday, I've been waking up every morning with an ache in my heart. I know that sounds crazy. And I am also aware of how ridiculous it sounds. But I want so badly to be somewhere. This goes beyond a "strong desire." My heart is HURTING right now staying put. Rome started it all, and then this other city happened to creep in.
This is my last year of grad school (for now, at least). And I've been trying so desperately hard to find a website that will tell me I can afford to live in San Francisco. This handy living cost calculator tells me I will need to make an incredible amount of money to pull it off. And that brought me further down than I anticipated. Like. So far down that I wanted to cry.
A lightbulb has since gone off.
Yes, I love traveling. And I definitely have a case of wanderlust about 85-95% of the time. But this isn't about traveling. Rome was my first trip over an ocean. And I lived there for almost four months. The moment I set foot in San Francisco, I knew that I wanted to live there even if I wouldn't make enough money for that in a million years. Every city that I've visited recently has been tinged with, "Would I live here?"
It appears that I/my heart/my brain/my soul/all of the above want(s) to move somewhere, even if just for a shorter stint. Live abroad, move, I don't know. I've known that I don't want to stay in Philadelphia for quite some time now. But this is the first time that I am perfectly content, even happy, living in Philadelphia...and am totally ready to leave. There are no minimal feelings of Philadelphia frustrations. This is no longer a cry of, "I hate Philadelphia and need to get out NOW."
But I am ready to explore somewhere else. I am of no impression that making a brand new set of friends will be easy, especially because the bar has been set so high. I have no thought that my life will magically change if I move somewhere else. I know that I will miss my (very) East coast family. I know money will not magically NOT be an issue. I know that boyfriends sometimes don't like to follow their girlfriends all around the country, let alone the globe. I know it will be hard. If I choose abroad somewhere where they don't speak English, I know it will be REALLY hard. Been there, cried out of frustration, done that.
Oh but I want to do it so badly.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Have you ever felt these feelings? Am I going crazy?