A strong desire to travel. A love of the open road. A yearning to get up and go. All these phrases describe a word that comes from Middle High German. Wandern (to hike) and Lust (desire) eventually were loosely translated into English as “enjoyment of roaming about.”
“Got to find my corner of the sky” Schwartz
The idea of a wanderer has become ingrained in the American way of life. So many songs, poems, movies and books are about wanderers that many non-Americans think no one here ever stays in one place for long. And it’s true that in the past decade or so, people who live in one location, or work at one job for years have started being looked at as novelties.
But is this a good thing? Or just another national growth phase? I suppose time will tell. Cities are always growing or shrinking, roads are built and roads disappear. Schools are hard pressed to keep up with the ever-changing landscapes. Maybe the United States just wasn’t meant to be laden with history of place.
“Not all those that wander are lost” Tolkein
I have had wanderlust in my soul my whole life. I believe it was embedded in my psyche by my father. He took the family on Sunday drives and cross-country vacations. He didn’t mind when we got lost out in the country. (I really think he secretly enjoyed it) He taught me how to read maps, and encouraged me to study the National Geographic ones. I grew up with the idea that exploring was a desirable way to spend time.
As I got older, life got in the way of my wandering habit. Didn’t have time or the money to do much traveling. Occasionally there would be a vacation trip to visit family. After the kids were grown, my husband and i spent many Sunday afternoons diving through the country surrounding our city. However due to financial and health reasons, we never traveled for pleasure.
“I just can’t wait to get on the road again” Nelson
But now, nearing the end of my working life, I find the thought of following the road to wherever it leads is a doable thing. The song of Bilbo Baggins “The Road Goes Ever, Ever On” is my new motto. I want to buy a motorhome, and live in it as i travel the land. I’m seriously deciding to become a RV fulltimer when the Social Security kicks in. Fortunately, Wi-Fi is available wherever you go, so writing will continue to be a source of income.
How many of you are wanderers, either parttime or fulltime? Any advice for me?