About frustration in our everyday lives and the urge to travel
Who doesn’t know about that longing glimpse out oft the window. Or that slightly pulling heartache, the urge for adventure. More and more young adults flee from their everyday lives in Germany by making the decision to live somewhere abroad, to travel, to escape and search for the unknown. But why’s that? I’ll try to give an explanation:
When looking around my circle of close friends none of them is really happy with their +40-hour-work-week, the same routine in sight for the next ten years or so – interrupted only by some small highlights like travelling to Mallorca. The hearts of my generation long to discover faraway places! 200 Million tourists around the globe are our age – which means every fifth. That group is still growing and with it the average travel duration. It’s not for nothing that the German word “Wanderlust” is also a well-known term in the English language.
Wanderlust – isn’t that the perfect description?
The strong urge to just dissapear, to get going, to discover everything that’s new and to just leave everything behind. If you look up “wanderer” at the urban dictionary you’ll find the following definition: “A person who travels aimlessly; a travler” and as an example: “He is a longtime seaman, a rootless wanderer.” Wandering without having a destination, no roots – is that what’s luring us millennials into travelling? The feeling of absolute freedom? To go wherever we want to go, without responsibility, without following the doctrines, society put out for us – to free ourselves from just all that.
We need the adventure
A normal “standard holiday” doesn’t do it for us anymore – at least not to fulfil our endless desire for adventure. Individual trips, backpacking, let’s go to a new world – without having a plan for once!
For us some things seem pretty common. The exact same things were privileges for our parents. A good education, studying, their own car, their own apartment, going on shopping trips and holidays – we grew up with all that stuff. If we’re being totally honest: we didn’t have to work much for all of that. Our parents did the tough groundwork for us. That’s why we just don’t appreciate those things anymore – they’re losing their meanings to us. Studying already lost a bit of it’s worth because everyone can attend a university nowadays. We take for granted what once had a deeper meaning to the people living right before us.
Therefore we are more independent and free
We don’t have to bother stressing about all the essentials in life so we have to strive for more. But isn’t that the natural behaviour of mankind? Have we ever been satisfied with what we had? Maybe our species needs a certain degree of uncertainty. With safety net and false floors we are missing the ultimate experience.
Thanks to smartphones and social media the wanderlust-hype carries on. The smartphone display permanently shows the beaches of the Philippines while we are stuck in our German everyday lives. We are constantly being confronted with the beauty of our world. And because the earth got so small – metaphorically – we all feel a little more like citizens of the world. Cultures overlap, friendships overcome distances thanks to WhatsApp and information spreads faster than ever. And who knows how long our planet will remain all of its beautiful untouched spots for us to discover.
Besides: our future at home doesn’t look so bright either. Pensions are at their worst, economic adversity, poor opportunities regarding the job market. We are not ready to put our money aside for an uncertain future – especially when there’s absolutely no incentive to save money – so we rather spend our cash.
For me living is still important
The decisions we didn’t make are the ones we will regret in the end. To see my whole life roll past myself, looking back later just to ask myself: “Did I miss anything?” That’s what I’m scared of.
In times like these – destructive times – travelling can bring so much joy and so much peace. Getting to know cultures, expanding your horizons and meeting people connects us at a very deep level.
I just want more!
See more, feel more, experience more; I want my heart to skip a beat because of the joy I’m feeling. I want my thoughts to bubble over with memories. My ordinary life in Germany won’t be able to fulfil my dreams. We millennials aren’t scared of the unknown or of the world outside; we want to experience it and we want to see for ourselves. Travelling can make you wealthier at so many levels and it can also teach you way more than any university could – I am certain of it.