Wanderlust, they say, is a trend. And, by definition, trends eventually fade. But that, in my humble opinion, is a gross inaccuracy. It is not a trend – it is a way of life, a purpose, a calling, a time machine and a breath of fresh air in a suffocating life. It’s real love. Because it doesn’t matter how many years, decades or centuries go by, this is one type of love that will never really fade once it takes root in your heart. It’s the one romanticized notion that will never disappoint and will always leave you longing for more. A love meant to be shared.. or not.
And since this too is a type of love, one that even cynics can relate to (maybe even more so cynics than anyone else, since there is actually a rational aspect to it), here at Pillowfights, we decided to put it to a vote.
When overcome by the desire to see the world, who do you set off on your new adventure with?
Is it our need to get away from routine that seems to be sucking our very soul out of us? Is it the intrigue of new and unexplored places? Is it a love for history and all that certain locations may mean? Is it just the fun of being somewhere you don’t know anyone and no one knows you? Or is it the need to make new memories?
There are those who, when overcome by that need to get away and go somewhere they’ve never been before, prefer to do so alone. There are just some things which can only be properly appreciated without someone else with you, some beauties that can not be comprehended and understood equally among traveling companions. 8% of our voters say that when traveling to see the world, they would go alone. It’s understandable, sure. You won’t have to lug anyone around to all the boring, geeky things that you enjoy and you won’t have to be dragged from one place to another with them. But when you’re looking back at those pictures (mostly selfies with hideous angles, half of whatever monument or sunset in the background actually visible), or remembering, who will you share it with?
I’m sure that’s what the next 33% of our readers had in mind when they were voting. To them, the best way to see the world, discover new cultures and the beauty of the foreign is with their partner. What better way, after all, to really get to know the one you love but than to travel with them? To see things through their eyes, to discover what it is that mesmerizes them, to share memories that one day you may share with your children or grandchildren, right?
Then again, maybe when you’re out to see new things, you need a few sets of like-minded eyes to enjoy them with. Who knows you better, who has fun the same way you do and who’ll whine, but still follow you around, going to all those places you’re longing to see? You’re friends, of course! 42% of our readers would choose to see the world with their friends. Your best friend knows your obsession –whether it’s new tastes, new styles or old sights and historical monuments– they know precisely what you’ll want to see and do in any country. And they most likely will want the same. It’s easier and much more fulfilling to not have to plead with someone to come with you or have to deal with sour pouts and boredom of someone who has different interests.
There is that last 17% of our readers though who prefer to sail uncharted waters with unknown co-travelers. And if that sounds too poetic for you, how about this: they prefer to get away from everyone and everything they already know, go somewhere new, with new people, to make new memories, unconnected to anything around or behind them. There are times when we just need to get away; from everything and everyone. There are times when a fresh perspective is necessary to find solutions and to start over; distancing yourself from all that you know to learn all that you don’t. So you travel. With people who don’t know you but share your love for discovery.
As for me, it’s just as much about the road as it is the destination. Rome, Venice, Prague, Romania, Portugal, Spain, Berlin, the Scottish Highlands, Cuba, New York, Rio de Janeiro, back to Petite France and the banks of L’il, or to Chicago, where I was born. Anywhere but home.
I suppose that each destination has its own companion for me but I’d go anywhere, in a moment’s notice, with anyone willing to go with me and put up with my obsessions with history, comfortable beds and coffee. With the way I’ll stare at things, submerged in thought without speaking, in awe, studying the details of whatever I see, soaking up the beauty of what I’ve only seen pictures of. Call it escapism, call it flight tendencies, call it fascination with whatever is of a past era. I’d like to think it’s about gaining a new perspective.
Or, as Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”
It doesn’t matter who you go with. It doesn’t really matter where you go either. Board that plane, get on that ship, take your car and get the hell on the road. Just go.