The definition of wanderlust is: “a strong desire to travel” or “strong longing for or impulse toward wandering”.
Now, if I had to have such a strong desire or longing towards something that it escalated to an impulse, I would want it to be for traveling or wandering.
Being a military brat, I moved about fifteen times by the time I was eleven. I was used to leaving, used to starting over. From Arizona to Washington D.C., I had no proper length of time to create an opportunity to call some place a “hometown”. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to me—it was all I had ever known. It did make friendships hard to keep, but I was excellent at meeting new people (practice makes just about perfect). Instead of desiring a life that I could never have (one with stability and something to write down for “hometown” on Facebook), I decided to see my childhood and upbringing as a blessing. Some people beg for a new change of scenery once they turn 18 and enter adulthood because they’ve had the same bedroom, zip code, and backyard for their entire life. I’m lucky to have experienced what I have thus far.I remembering saying to my mom when I was very young,
“God created this big world, and I think it would be almost rude if I didn’t see it all.”
Reading all the way back in Genesis about how magically God created the world so carefully is inspiring enough. Each day in the beginning, things were crafted greatly, but precisely. Intentionality is something I admire in people; I think because it is what I admire most about God. He was intentional in His creations: all of them having an important and necessary purpose. Including me. Including you. Including this great, big, and at the same time, small world.
When I told my mom about my opportunity to study abroad to film a documentary in Paris she said, “Sounds incredible. How are you going to pay for it?” I gave an answer she wasn’t convinced of, but she followed up with, “Well, to be honest, I know you’ll get there. I knew when you were very little that you would be a world traveler.”
Somehow I managed the funds, and I booked my ticket. I was going to Paris, France in May of 2014 for three weeks. A huge dream that finally became real when I received an e-mail confirmation from Canada Airways that my flight from Nashville to Toronto, and Toronto to Paris was booked. A few girlfriends from the trip and I decided that since we were already in Europe to head to Tolo, Greece for a vacation from our work/vacation for ten days following Paris.
I cannot explain to you in pictures or words the experience of a new culture.
I would disrespect it and never do it justice. We all took pictures (because how could you not?!) but being photographers and filmmakers, we always know it will never live up to the real thing. If there is one thing that I think is good for the character of a person, it would be to experience another culture vastly different from your own. You gain respect, insight, and knowledge far beyond your own capacity when thrown into foreign territory. Plus, you become amazingly close to the people you journey with. It’s pretty much a win-win. There is a quote that I whole-heartedly believe now that I reminisce on my European summer:
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
I want to leave you with the incredible memories photographed by me and my dear friends while our lives were changed just a few short months ago.