Wanderlust: The Bipolar Adventurer
So I blame this town, this job, these friends,
The truth is it’s myself.”
–Modest Mouse, Talking S*** About a Pretty Sunset
Wanderlust. It’s a pretty word. The dictionary defines it as “a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.”
I’ve had wanderlust since I can remember. I used to beg my parents to take me somewhere new and exciting.
We only went on a few family trips throughout my childhood, and it killed me.
I was always unhappy with my situation and felt that if maybe I arrived somewhere else it would cure whatever problem I had.
So I traveled to my aunt’s house in Arizona, thousands of miles away.
I still wasn’t right.
I went to my father’s in New York, I even made it down to Key West.
I’m still the same.
I’m happy when I’m traveling, but the anxiousness, the depression ensues as soon as I get back.
Why can’t I be happy here?
I’m making a big step. I’m deciding that I need to stay rooted where I came from.
I don’t think leaving my family, my support system, my doctors would do me any good.
I almost made that mistake during college—and during that time, I was admitted to the hospital on three separate occasions.
So we’re buying a house in the town I grew up in. I know that means that I’m probably not leaving for a while, and I’m ready to accept that.
I need to be mature and realize that I’ve proven it to myself, no matter where I go, I will still be me.
No matter where I go, there I’ll be.
I’ll still have the same annoyances, the same fears, the same bad days and good days.
And I think I’m meant to stay here.
I almost left town in the middle of college to live with my mother’s sister in New York state. I was manic after a breakup, and I felt desperate to get out of town. I wanted to be someone else, be seen as someone else.
I wanted a different life.
As I walked through the streets of my university, though, I realized that something didn’t feel right.
Even at 19, I knew I couldn’t walk away from everything I had built.
I don’t know if anyone finds that easy.
So I didn’t, and a month later I ended up dating the man of my dreams.
I was right in not listening to myself.
I’m trying to get used to the idea that even if I feel it, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, and it doesn’t mean it’s true.
I think we live in a world where we are taught to listen to our “hearts” in order to know what to do.
I don’t think that’s always the right thing. I think we can think up some crazy stuff in our heads; after all, the brain is a complicated thing.
I still have wanderlust, I just have to pin places on Pinterest and dream big dreams instead of taking off on an airplane like I want to.
Sometimes I think that the innate feeling is a desire to accept myself, be myself, express myself.
I don’t want to necessarily ignore the wanderlust, because I do want to travel in my life.
However, being quick to jump to moving or visiting somewhere far away without plans is a warning sign for me.
Do you have wanderlust? How do you think it is affected by bipolar, and how do you think bipolar affects the desire to travel? What do you suggest to people who feel as if where they are is never quite right?
Dawkins, K. (2013). Wanderlust: The Bipolar Adventurer. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-life/2013/03/wanderlust-the-bipolar-adventurer/