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  • Writer's pictureAmber


The Germans invented wanderlust: fact. The word is a combination of wandern, to hike, and lust, desire. I read it was based around a particularly German love of hiking/strolling/roaming. I think we've taken it a bit beyond hiking now, but there you have it - tiny origin story.

If you haven't found this out about me already, I have a thing for words, or more specifically language. I'm fascinated by where words come from, what they used to mean, what they become and where they get borrowed from. The history of language and all its connections with culture and society are endlessly amazing to me.

When I learn about language and all its intricacies, it feeds my desire to explore the places those languages are used and come from. I never was a traveller in the modern sense of the term - I never did the 'gap yah' thing, I never had the money or time. Interestingly, we've taken the gap year concept from the Germans too - the wanderjahr (wander-year) coming from the tradition of travelling post-apprenticeship to hone skills before settling down.

But I do love to wander, whether it's up hill, down dale, or through old back streets in towns I don't know. Whenever I travel - in Britain or abroad - my greatest pleasure is in getting a little bit lost. It's in the getting a little bit lost that you often find the real adventures, or a new perspective on a world you've previously only seen in the same light as the guide books paint it.

I have a theory that wandering is good for the soul. Does anyone else find a profound sense of contentment in going thoroughly off their normal path? It's not that our normal is necessarily bad. I'm not talking about wanderlust as a constant sense of restlessness, which usually implies discontent. I'm talking about getting away from normal in order to find something new that feeds you, strengthens you, enlightens you. When you come back to normal, you bring a piece of it with you.

This is the kind of wanderlust I'm feeling - the desire to wander, so I can come back better. The desire to know, see and feel more, so I can grow. There is so much in the world that can feed our souls more than our bodies, if we leave behind normal for a while to discover it.

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