How I Developed A Strong Travel Urge
When I first started traveling in the Fall of 2015 it was more out of curiosity to see how I would handle it more than anything. I wanted to see the places I was going as well, but I just knew that it was time to live a nomadic lifestyle for a while. I had never done anything like that in my life, and the urge was super strong after listening to travel stories from my friend. And so I listened to my gut by quitting my job and traveling around Europe for 3 months.
I’ll be honest though. It was an urge for the adventure of a nomadic lifestyle and an urge to do something that most people had not done. I had gotten in a daily routine as a corporate slave that didn’t really sit well with me, and what better way to break out of it then to travel. It ended up being one of the best decisions of my life.
I met a ton of people and went to a ton of different places. And I got to do the Camino De Santiago, which still was one of the best months of my life.
But all of this was just the beginning. I didn’t realize it at the time. But the feeling that you constantly get while you are in a new place becomes almost like an addiction. But apparently it’s more of an obsession that an addiction according to a psychologist.
Back to the old life
Before I left for Europe, I thought I would just come back to the states and resume life like it was before. But when I got back I realized that was nearly impossible. I had really outgrown the old life. I could settle back in and resume that life, but I would always have that urge in me to travel more.
It’s like you found something that you forgot about your whole life and it’s so natural that it won’t go away now. As a species, we have been living as nomads for thousands of years up until that last 100-200 years.
I really believe that everyone has this urge deeply rooted in themselves as well. My Dad has never really traveled out of the US before and says he doesn’t really care to. I guess ignorance is bliss for some people. But I know that if they did it once, they would get that natural urge that everyone gets when traveling for an extended period of time.
My next step was moving to South Korea for a year to satisfy an urge to see a different place in the world, and be able to travel all around Asia. But I am starting to realize even when I am in a foreign country I still have the urge to be nomadic/go into the unknown. It’s natural.
How the unknown relates to travel
If you really break down why travel is so appealing to everyone, it is because of it’s association with the unknown. Humans are fascinated with the unknown, and traveling really is the easiest way to get into this unknown place. You are in a new place around new people, and you could be around a new language. If you haven’t experienced the unknown through drugs, meditation, or some altered state of being, traveling will show you a completely new unknown experience! And that is why everyone loves traveling. EVERYONE gets into the space of the unknown. It is easier to stay in this space when traveling compared to your sedentary life, where you can get into the same habitual patterns.
Getting into the unknown happens everyday if you want it to, but it’s harder to keep it up in a sedentary life. A sedentary life always comes with habits that you do day in and day out. I think it takes an approach where you are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new things regularly. But MOST people can’t sustain this and this is why traveling is always going to be the best way to get into this unknown space.
Does the nomadic lifestyle fit your personality?
Some people are made to travel. They like to experience spontaneous situations that make them feel alive continually. There are other people that like the predictability of everyday life surrounded by the same circumstances.
There is nothing wrong with being either way. But it begs the question, does everyone really like to go into the unknown and some people are just fearful of this aspect of life? The fear of the unknown keeps these people locked into the predictability of life.
I think at the heart of everyone we are all nomadic. So it is going into the unknown for the first time that breaks down this fear, where they can really develop the beginning of the travel urge. It really is about taking the first step into the unknown and then the feelings get stronger and stronger to keep on going there. It becomes an obsession.
How you can develop this travel urge
I’m not going to pretend like I can give you a step by step process on how you can get this urge to live a nomadic lifestyle. It’s not something logical at all. It’s really just about the first couple of steps that you have to take. And then the rest will take care of itself. I will give you a few pieces of advice though.
- Travel for an extended period of time. Traveling for a week here and there isn’t going to develop it like an extended amount will.
- Stay in hostels and other cheap accommodation. This allows you to meet other people that are traveling where you can discuss their experiences. This only enhances the travel vibe. If you stay in hotels you are isolating yourself from other people. It’s fine from time to time though if you want some time alone.
- Try a pilgrimage like the Camino De Santiago. I talk about this a lot on this site. Because it was amazing! I tell everyone I can about it and urge them to do it. Nothing develops that real true travel urge than the Camino.
- Follow your gut more. Following your gut will help you strengthen your intuition which is similar to what you develop when you travel. I think you become more in tune with yourself while traveling for long periods.
- Go into the unknown more wherever you are. If you can’t travel because of some sort of limitation it doesn’t truly matter. You can still find ways to go into the unknown where you are. Take some risks with whatever you want to be good at. And make sure you quit anything that is keeping you stuck in a “known” space for too long.
The unknown space is where you want to be
As I was writing this article I started to gain more and more insight. That’s why I love writing. Because it flows and it is just like what I talked about. I had no idea that I was going to talk about the unknown in this article. I really thought it was going to be totally about the travel urges that make you want to transition into a nomadic lifestyle. It wasn’t supposed to go deeper than that. But it seems like it always goes that way the more I get into the writing.
So the travel urge/unknown urge can be satisfied in your mind too when you are sitting at a desk chair. Just do something creative and you are already headed towards the unknown. I’ve been headed towards the unknown the whole time I have been writing this article.
But I still urge you to try and live a nomadic lifestyle for at least a couple of months and really be “stuck” in a good way in that unknown space.
Believe me, the nomadic lifestyle is the best way to approach the uknown that we are constantly drawn to, and stay there for an extended period of time.
Have you traveled for an extended period of time? Do you have strong travel urges pretty much all the time? What do you do in your sedentary life that puts you in that unknown space? Let me know in the comments below.