Have you ever had that strong desire to travel, to just get out of the house and get away? Then you’ve probably dealt with a touch of wanderlust. It’s the urge to find the nearest car, train, plane, or canoe and go somewhere far, far, away. People who experience wanderlust crave the adventure, new sights, and new experience of another place and culture.
Clothing brands, auto makers, and even coffee companies appeal to wanderlust with advertisements showing how their products will take you somewhere away from here. Instagram feeds that boast hundreds of thousands of followers post pictures of log cabins in the woods, vans near the ocean, and hiking in misty mountains. Many people long for the experience of peace, travel, and nature.
At a deeper level, images and products that tease our sense of wanderlust promise something more. They nudge at a truth: our soul is fed when we get away. We do in fact need to find some solitude from the harried pace of our lives and turn off the noise. We do need to find silence for our mind to reset, our heart to heal, and our imagination to renew. Buying the clothing or off-road vehicle will not satisfy our soul, which often cries out for peace and rest, but entering into silence and solitude may very well be what we long for.
While getting away is often a good idea, wanderlust and the cry of our soul for peace and rest can sometimes be met right where you live. Going for a walk around a pond, taking a good book and finding a bench down by the lake, or enjoying the sunset are all ways that we might be able to tend to our inner life right here in Chestermere.
Wanderlust carries with it both a truth and a lie. The truth is that we do need to stop, rest, breath, have adventure, and change up our routines; all vital to our wellbeing and our relationships with others. But it also contains a lie. Wanderlust can make us believe that life is better somewhere else, and that the grass is greener on the other side. ‘If only’s’ begin to plague us. If only I owned that cabin, if only I lived on that lake, if only I had a boat, if only I had those clothes, if only I could travel to this or that place. ‘If only’s’ do not lead to new life, just regret about the life we have.
Embrace the wanderlust in your life first by being grateful. Start a list of things you are grateful for and watch for moments to extend gratitude. Secondly, embrace wanderlust by writing down what actually makes you happy, not what you think will make you happy. You’d be surprised that many of the things that truly make you happy are small and accessible, not always out of your reach. Thirdly, embrace wanderlust by stopping, resting, walking, and exploring in small and local ways. When you do get a chance to get away on that dream vacation, then you’ll know how to really rest because you’ve already made it a part of your life.
May you explore and seek adventure. May you experience all of God’s amazing world and find rest for your soul. You were made for life, and may you find life and life abundantly.