The Familiar and the Foreign

I’ve been struggling for the quote that explains it, succinctly captures what I consider “wanderlust.” I struggled in my own writing to try to define it, and ended up with passages and passages of ineffective words and phrases that couldn’t quite do it.

And then, there it was. And it was perfect:

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It’s perfect; it explains it all. That yearning inside for places unknown, as strong as the yearning can be for home when we’re in those exotic and alien places. This desperation for the unknown, it’s not a common thing for people in this world. But for those of us who do have it, we must chase it. We need what it offers, that feeling like our souls are being pulled in two different directions, one back to everything we know, and the other far from anything native to our lives. It’s an utter paradox, and you can palpably feel your heart stretching inside your chest as you struggle to reconcile one with the other.

But all this pulling of heart and soul is making both of those things grow, that pang in your chest the truest signal that you are alive, you are feeling something profound, and it is growing you into something bigger than you were before.

Try as I may, I’m afraid I’ll simply never understand the people who are satisfied with only the familiar, those who don’t desperately long for the foreign and strange. I’ll always lament the fact that you will never get to know what I know, or feel what I feel. And yes, that is arrogant, I know. It doesn’t celebrate the differences in people that make this planet so interesting. But I simply cannot reconcile knowing all that it out here in the world, and not feeling a wild and uncontrollable compulsion throw oneself into the thick of it.

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