Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had this insane desire to travel and see every facet of the world on which I could place my pixie-sized bare feet. It slowly emerged into something more than a want. It was a need. I needed to breathe new air, see the different hues of the earth’s sky, and smell the different aromas of foods with names I couldn’t even fathom or pronounce.
Throughout high school, it seemed as though it was a distant dream. Honestly, it didn’t even seem possible. I heard stories about people traveling to different countries and continents, but I never imagined I would reach the point in my life in which I would actually begin planning for those types of trips. I was too worried about what I should study in college and which school I should attend. As a fifteen-year-old, I had a small array of career choices in front of me and I sifted back and forth between the three of them: lawyer, journalist, and struggling writer. These ranged from the most reliable of careers to the career I actually wanted.
I didn’t want to be poor, but we all have to make sacrifices, right?
Still, in the back of my mind, images of Parisian streets, luscious Irish greenery, cobbled streets in England, sunny Los Angeles beaches, and bustling New York City streets kept me from making any definite choices. These were all clichéd images I held, though, because I had never actually been to any of these places. That’s the problem with being the girl with wanderlust. You have this desire and this need to travel so you make it a priority to do so, but you’ve never actually been anywhere yet.
These images simply float through your mind because photographers and travelers from all around the world have already lived the lives you want to experience so you try easing your thirst by saving their experiences in your memory.
When people ask where you want to be after college, you simply say, “Anywhere.”
It no longer matters. You could be in a dumpy one-bedroom apartment in New York City or you could live in a beach shack with four roommates, and it still wouldn’t matter. You simply want to be anywhere else because you don’t want to waste one moment stuck in one place for too long. Life is too short and the world is too large so you’ll sacrifice fighting over the shower or you’ll sacrifice cleanliness by living in an overwhelming cloud of dirt in order to see the world.
You don’t have one set image of your dream career.
You don’t know if you’ll be in an office in the United States or if you’ll be on location in Europe. You honestly have no idea where you’ll be, but you have an idea of what makes you happy. When you know what makes you happy, you chase after it until you can permanently hold on to it.
Money isn’t an issue.
In life, we need money. However, when it comes to what you want to do with your career, you simply want to see everything. Even if your job paid the basic necessities of travel and hostel fees while you were on location, you would find a way to eat and drink in order to survive. Viewing the world will be the way you energize and fuel your body.
Settling down in one location for the rest of your life makes you feel as though you’re suffocating.
With such a vast world, how could anyone stay put in one location? You feel as though you could spend those valuable years traveling from one place to the next, meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and finally seeing those picturesque moments you would always drool over on the Internet.
Getting through college is simply part of the process.
You honestly have no idea if you’ll end up using the topics you’re studying in your classes. Who knows if you’ll need to know who conquered which country and when? All you know is if you graduate with your degree and you’re somewhat experienced in your chosen field, then you will find a way to survive and make your life work.
You want a permanent vacation.
You don’t want to wake up everyday needing a vacation from your own life. You want your entire life to be a vacation.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.