To this day, some of my closest friends and best people I know are those I met during my time studying and living abroad. I’ll never forget sitting on Coogee Beach in Sydney, Australia and us realizing even back then in the moment how lucky we were to have made such incredible friendships from our travels. My friend Lindsey looked at us and said, “I’m not surprised we all hit it off this way. I think it takes a certain type of person to study abroad, and even more of a certain type of person to come to Australia. I think that’s why we’re so similar and always on the same page”
During all of my travels, I realized she was right. Wanderlusters. We’re all connected by a common bond. And from my experience, there are a few things all wanderlusters tend to have in common:
- They’re easy-going.
Have you ever tried to navigate four types of public transportation in a foreign language to get from point A to point Z in one day? Missed your flight due to your cab being stuck in a traffic jam? For those who travel often, you almost have to be easy-going and flexible at all times. Often things are more out of your control than you’d prefer, and you have no choice but to learn to go with the flow.
2. They’re confident.
Jumping on a plane to adventure in places far from home and familiar faces takes a lot of guts. Wanderlusters are confident in different ways. It could be when they’re faking-it-til-they-make-it and trying not to look like a tourist in unfamiliar neighborhoods, or navigating around foreign cities and transportation systems. Whatever the challenge, wanderlusters rise to it and believe in themselves that they can tackle it.
3. They’re friendly.
Whether you travel by yourself or with others, wanderlusters also find a way to meet new people. What has always surprised me on my travels is how quick people are to invite other travelers to dinner, join you on your hike so you’re not alone, or volunteer tips about which hostels to avoid or bars to go to for the best bang-for-your buck. And not just among each other, but with the locals. Any wanderluster knows it can never hurt to ask or strike up conversation with someone. Typically some of the best stops on any trip are probably recommended by a local you asked on the street.
4. They’re ambitious.
By definition, wanderlust means “a very strong or irresistible impulse to travel”. Those driven by travel are eager to see the world. And I’ve never come across anyone who was ready stop after one trip or one adventure. Wanderlusters are eager to see it all, and do it all, as much as they can. It’s no surprise that “everywhere” is often on many wanderlusters’ lists of places to see 🙂
5. They’re adventurous.
Traveling often means not knowing what you’re getting yourself in for. Part of the adrenaline rush of traveling is knowing that you’re going to experience something you never have before. Wanderlusters want to experience all life has to offer. And I have to say, it’s quite contagious. Some of my favorite adventures are times when my friends encouraged me to try new things and get out of my comfort zone. And I couldn’t be more thankful!
6. They’re present and live in the moment.
I think we can all admit we’re all guilty of spending a bit too much time behind the camera lens or computer screen. But all the wanderlusters I’ve come across seem to live by the Aerosmith lyric “I don’t want to close my eyes…I don’t wanna miss a thing.”. Whether that means waking up early or staying away from the hotel all day to maximize time to explore, they want to soak in as much as they can before the moment’s gone.
7. They’re humble.
I am convinced that nothing brings you more perspective than spending time traveling. Meeting and coexisting with people from different walks of life and understanding how we all fit together is one of my favorite parts of traveling. Knowing that you’re one person in a very big world can be a very humbling experience. On the road, in some ways we’re all the same. You find yourself in vulnerable situations as we all do at different times of our lives. And then when you get home, find yourself even more grateful for everything you have right in front of you.
Anything I missed? Let me know if you would add anything else to the list in the comments section below – would love to hear from you! XO Kim