The Curious Science Behind Wanderlust

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Picture yourself on the trip of a lifetime, maybe trekking through the icy villages of Greenland or scouting for pink auroras in Norway. Maybe the idea of ibexes climbing steep dams excites you to want to do the same.

Wired to Travel?

I have a friend whose Chinese name means 宇: World, Universe… paired with 川: Hills, Creeks or Water.

He’s a travel photographer with a penchant for getting lost, so as to find.

He feels the need to escape the predictable to learn more about the voracious world out there.

Was he born an insatiable adventurer?

Our brains are smart and they catch up fast. They know exactly what we want and they activate the flush and rush of emotions to match, making us want to “take that risk” and go for the trip despite us being low on the leave count. If you perpetually get estatic just by looking at a postcard, it’s likely that you…. have an incurable case of wanderlust.

First Things first…

New things, exploring and the unknown all tempt us. Here’s my attempt to explain why:

Our fiesty pal, Adrenaline, loves the “newness” of things. The electrical neurons in our brains connect excitedly to each other upon contact, and make stronger bonds.

We remember our first kisses, our childhood friends or the very first time our hearts broke. Similarly, the brain functions like that when you travel. We remember the firsts and new, best. Even when we don’t want to.

When was the last time you saw something for the first time?

The first time you’ve ever seen a Roman, or tasted Risotto, sang with a blind busker, kissed the crystal waters of New Zealand… listened to Irish laughter…

You made first contact with the further world, took an alfesco stroll among the wild springs of a seemingly infinite gaia.

In those moments, wanderlust is just another silly term social scientists come up with. You’re really in love with the unexplainable little glories of the earth.

It’s all yours

All the wide & wondrous world is painted before you
Your star struck eyes a-dancing
Won’t you pick up your brush and join in?
Blend the colours of firsts into everything

“It was always the other way round”

The Moment ~ Poem by Margaret Atwood
(A poem on the pride of man, and the grace of nature)

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and having a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there, and say, I own this

is the same moment when the trees unloose their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language, the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe

No, they whisper. You own nothing. You were a visitor, time after time,
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you, you never found us.
It was always the other way round.

How to Slow Down Time (Read Slowly)

EvenLittleInfinitiesNeedTime


The speed of life accelerates with eyes glued to a phone.

It doubles when it comes to swiping the ice-pucks on super portables.

Don’t even get me started on the rocketing effect that laptops have on time.

(Think Sims 3 and Minecraft:
Games that take us hours to build and draft)

~

When I sing a slow tune, or call up my grandmother

Read a book from cover to cover,

Write and reflect on what i’ve gleaned:

never to say “never” and

not to believe the phrase “all these, I’ve seen”

~

The clock slows down, and I hear me breathe

What time was lost,

now is suddenly found (for, there is just no time to grieve).