By Piper Blake
Assistant Web Content Manager
Recently, I decided to watch “Eat Pray Love” for the first time in my life and it raised some serious questions about my future career and life plans. I went into this film thinking, “This will be a great feel-good movie,” but instead made me feel like having a panic attack.
For those who haven’t seen “Eat Pray Love,” the movie is based on a true story of a woman (Liz Gilbert aka Julia Roberts) needing to find herself all over again, and enjoy the things she used to love before life got too complicated and changed her priorities.
As I was watching, I kept finding more and more similarities between Liz and me. She is a writer, a foodie and a traveler, all of the things that I am or aspire to be. However, she lost all of these loves due to a husband who didn’t support her interests and having a life that became stagnant.
The more dissatisfaction Liz experienced in her life, the more she realized she wasn’t her true self anymore, and the more I realized I had the same feelings.
This got me wondering, do all writers have some type of wanderlust?
Is there an inherent need for writers to always be moving and looking for something new? The need to feel calmer and contented in a new place?
All my life, I have been on the go. I hated feeling like I had nothing to do or anywhere to go. Some might say that’s boredom, but for me, it was genuinely painful. As an adult, this fear of being stuck has followed into the thoughts of my future career and family.
I have never wanted a job where I am stuck at a desk for hours a day with the life being sucked out of me. I hope that my career will feel more like a hobby rather than a job as a travel journalist. It isn’t a shocker that I want to be a “travel” journalist–obviously–because it’s the only thing I can think of that will fully encompass what I want to do.
I have a need for new experiences, new languages, new cultures and new foods. That means I can’t just be stuck in an office. I have to be out in the world, learning and writing about the things that other people could only dream of– just like I have for so many years.
I don’t want to live a life where I didn’t do exactly what I wanted. I would be so dissatisfied and never content because I wasn’t able to truly find myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and the people who are in it, but I have this craving for more. To be satisfied with the little things that make us human. I want to eat food unapologetically, to dress up just to walk down a busy cobblestone street, to experience a new place in the shoes of a local.
It’s crazy to think that there is anything outside of the small bubbles we live in each day. I never fully understood that until I went to Europe for the first time. I was able to experience so many things: the Eiffel Tower at night, the castles of Germany, the windmills of Holland and the tastes of each country.
My favorite memory is of Paris, it was raining and the lights were all glowing through the mist. I could hear all of the taxis and other cars racing by and everywhere I looked there was something beautiful. The Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, the people passing that didn’t even think to soak in what was around them.
It’s shocking how accustomed we are to the things around us. We forget to find the beauty and the wonder in things. That is something I never want to happen to me. I want to appreciate the history and the beauty of all things. I want to know that a building isn’t just a building but a landmark.
Funny how a movie sparked all of this passion and anxiety that has been inside me for so long.
I just want to be able to say I lived my life the way I wanted and learned as much as I could about other people and places. Humans weren’t meant to live confined to their four-walled homes or their suburbs. We were meant to be nomads that travel the world to survive.
This may sound like a rant from a young college girl that hasn’t started her life yet, but there are people—families even—that are doing this because they have a genuine love for the world. The Bucket List Family is the best example of wanderlust spreading to younger generations. They are a family that has decided that traveling is worth the loss of sleep and the plane rides.
I aspire to be able to give my family a life of travel and to show my kids that there are other cultures other than the one they know. I never want my kids to think that because they aren’t struggling that no one else is. Traveling and exploring new places gives a new appreciation of what humans can achieve and what makes us different.
I want to have my “Eat Pray Love” moment. The moment where I can be totally happy in a new place, surrounded by the unknown. For some, that would sound like a panic attack waiting to happen, but for me, it sounds like home.
Featured image by Piper Blake via Canva.