My restless feet have landed me on roads where they trip on pre-Roman cobblestones, after clenching sand between my toes on the beach in Waikoloa, before watching them turn black after a walk-through Balinese volcanic sand. They’ve lead the way of my selfish years to find who I am, who I will be, or who I can be in each new city.
Wanderlust has derived two separate ideologies. You have those that believe it’s key to grow in your twenties, and there are an insistent lot that believe it’s a waste of time and money – something you do when the baby birds flee the nest. I personally don’t believe that to live a fulfilling life you must travel. Though I do believe that you need to steer in different directions to what’s always been there with you. It’s how you make room for growth.
Traveling is my version of fulfillment – it’s freeing, and has allowed me to be moulded by the unfamiliar. It is what has taught me of how far I can stretch my boundaries, of my patience, my confidence, and of the love that I carry for those who I leave behind.
This is the reason why I like to wander. I am not lost, and I’m sure as hell not on the search for love like so many people seem to believe. I think many girls that have ventured abroad would be familiar with the frequent “You’ll fall in love with an Italian boy!” “I bet you don’t come home after finding your future husband!” “Don’t worry about being single, you will marry a lovely Spanish boy!” Ummm -don’t worry honey I wasn’t worried. That is not what I’m here for.
The connotation that currently being alone has an automatic link to a destiny of forever-ever is the reason why the divorce rate is so high – let’s be real. Our society literally dictates when we must make life-altering moves on a romance, or the next step we must take and it isn’t fair. I’ve watched those close to me over and over again destroy themselves by being with someone when they’re not emotionally available. Why? Because society says two halves make a whole – but shouldn’t we be whole so that we can eventually add value to our loves life? Rather than feeding off their traits to fill in our gaps?
There are plenty of happy young families that are my age which is beautiful, but when I mention I don’t want kids until I’m at least 30 I get thrown some pretty shocking looks. “Aren’t you scared it will be too late?” “Do you have like a plan B?” I’m talking seven years away people, not thirty! Maybe this will change in four years’ time, maybe it won’t. But until then, my heart is way too… roam-y? wander-y? To go walking the streets of Rome eyeing down every cute Italian boy that scoots past on his Vespa. I’d rather fall in love with Romanesque architecture, or a bowl of Spaghetti Al Pomodoro (sorry thighs).
My Grandad is someone I look up to with awe at the stories he could tell for hours on end. The value in experiences that he can share with me is something that I endeavour to share with my loved ones, and one day my children.
– Haylee x