Why I Hate The Word Wanderlust

If we are going to compile a list of travel words that need to go away, then we can start with wanderlust.

Wanderlust is defined as “a strong desire to travel”. The urban dictionary has felt the need to further define wanderlust as “a very popular hashtag used on Instagram by girls who love to show off in all of their journeys”. No comment.

Before I start receiving hate letters from Pinterest users, allow me to clarify that I have nothing against people who like to travel. In fact, if I were, I would be something of an enormous hypocrite. I have read many intriguing articles written by bloggers who feel that wanderlust preaches inauthentic experience. However, my problem lies in the terminology.

We can collapse wanderlust into two words: wander and lust. While I have no qualms with the former, I do hold serious reservations about the latter. Lust – a passionate desire for something – has the implicit connotation that this object one longs for is not within reach. When men describe themselves as lusting after a woman (or vice versa – I’m nothing if not a feminist), they are generally referring to someone they cannot attain. Lust is unrequited, if you will.

If we apply this unrequitedness to wanderlust, we observe well-intending hash-tagging individuals as people whom consume all their time with pining after that escape but rarely take the measures necessary to turn dreams into reality. Am I generalising? Unashamedly so. But one consultation of Tumblr demonstrates my point.

For most people, travel doesn’t have to be something that exists purely in theory. Saving to finance a trip can be soul-crushing and demands sacrifice, but it’s not impossible. I saved up enough money to travel to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia in late 2016 after ten months of working five part-time jobs on top of full-time university. It was social suicide – and admittedly not the best for my mental health – but it got me those plane tickets.

Wikipedia (everyone’s favourite reliable online source) discusses how wanderlust might “… reflect an intense urge for self-development by experiencing the unknown, confronting unforeseen challenges, getting to know unfamiliar cultures, ways of life and behaviours”.

I like that, I really do. Furthermore, I completely understand where people using the term for this purpose are coming from. But to put it bluntly, I feel like people are abusing the term and using it to make excuses. If you want to travel, formulate a plan and invest your energy into making it come to fruition.

In the words of the Travel Playbook: Start Traveling. Stop Lusting.

Photos sourced from Unsplash.

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10 Instagram Accounts to Ignite the Wanderlust in You

I love Instagram. A perfectionist at heart, I love the tidy squared layout of each account, and the challenge of ensuring that each photo is thoughtfully edited to create a fluent and thematic profile. There’s an art to it, I’m sure.

Three of my favourite Instagram posts. Follow me and my shameless self-marketing here.

Instagram – like most social media websites – provides one of the leading visual platforms for travel inspiration. I personally develop my destination wishlist from three sources; blogs, YouTube and Instagram. I am especially picky with the latter, and only follow a very small number of accounts. I find there exists a lot of overlap between fashion, beauty and travel bloggers, however because I have an embarrassing lack of interest in the former two, I try to only follow profiles that feature more heavily on the travel side of things. And so, for your viewing pleasure, I have curated my top ten Instagram accounts (in no particular order) to ignite the wanderlust in you.

1.

nastasiaspassport

Nastasia’s photography is nothing less than beautiful. The founder of the female-empowering travel blog Dame Traveler, Nastasia Wong’s mission is to “make this world a more connected, peaceful, compassionate and loving place“.

2.

muradosmann

You are probably already familiar with the epic photo series by Murad and his wife – Nataly – titled: Follow Me To. Each picture showcases a unique and breathtaking take on some of the most popular (and unexpected) destinations around the globe. Am I guilty of printing out a stack of my favourite photos and making a #followmeto collage upon my bedroom wall? Most definitely.

3.

polkadotpassport

I have a bit of a sweet spot for Nicola Easterby – the travel photographer and blogger who runs this account – as I am in love with the way she showcases the natural beauty of New Zealand. If you enjoy Nastasia’s work (from nastasiaspassport) then you will find yourself to be a fan of Nicola.

4.

gypsea_lust

I don’t agree with the unhealthy and downright dangerous mentality of lionising social media personalities, but Lauren Bullen from Gypsea Lust definitely has me questioning my morals. With her partner, Jack Morris, Lauren travels the globe creating wondrous imagery and content.

5.

isthisreal

One of the real points of difference that draws me to Brian Baldrati is his visual documentation of the people he meets on his travels. I find that a lot of other photographers tend to focus on landscapes or themselves. This is by no means a bad thing, but it is nice to shake things up a bit every now and again. Enter: Brian.

6.

thenomadicpeople

Nash and Kim of the Nomadic People make me want to buy a van and road trip across the United States of America. Or Europe. Or Asia. Or anywhere, to be completely honest with you. I don’t know where their adventures will take them after this trip, but I can’t wait to see what beautiful imagery they come up with next.

7.

dametraveler

Here we arrive at the brainchild of the previously mentioned Nastasia Wong (see 1.) Dame Traveler is a (you guessed it, travel) website “inspiring and empowering women to travel more, do more and be more“. What’s pretty awesome about this account is that every photo showcases a different woman, introducing you to dozens upon dozens of new and upcoming bloggers.

8.

doyoutravel

The partner in crime of Gypsea Lust’s Lauren Buller, Jack Morris is another must-see travel blogger who will open your mind to places you never even thought existed.

9.

monicamoras

Mônica Morás is only someone I have stumbled upon quite recently, but am immensely glad I did. A lifestyle blogger from Brazil, Mônica has been on the road since 2014, photographing and sharing her global adventures. A little bit different from the rest of the profiles I have included in this list, I enjoy reading Mônica’s captions just as much as viewing the photos themselves.

10.

sidewalkerdaily

Last but not least, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Sidewalker Daily. Curated by Nina Zadeh, this account showcases – much in the style of Dame Traveler – a new travel blogger every day. Again, this is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the work of people that you may never have heard of, and to be inspired by the visual tales they delight in sharing. The beauty of this account is that you too can be a featured #sidewalker.

So there you have it; ten of my favourite Instagram accounts to infect you with the travel bug. I’m always hungry to discover new bloggers, so tell me below who you follow – or even better – share your own Instagram so I can give you a follow and say hello!

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