A State of Wanderlust

 

Life can be an adventure beyond your wildest dreams, if you choose it to be.

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Don’t ever stop searching for your adventure, and when you do find it, when you find the thing that sets your soul on fire, nurture it, embrace it, hold on to it with everything that you have. See, it is in those little quiet moments, away from the noise, away from the hustle and bustle, that we find ourselves, it is here where we truly become alive. Our world still holds the greatest of adventures and discoveries for us all, we just have to be willing to go out and seek it. I promise you this, opening up yourself to the wonders that our beautiful world has to offer, will complete you, it will enrich your life in ways that you did not even know possible. Embracing your adventure, chasing moments rather than things, is a sure way to emancipate yourself from the shackles that constrain the human spirit. So, go out and chase it with everything that you have, find those moments that ignite your soul.

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To travel, no matter where you go, whether its one hundred miles from home or oceans away, is vital to what defines the human spirit. It’s vital to our makeup, we are innately a curious and explorative species, and to suppress that is detrimental to our own wellbeing. See, traveling changes you in so many ways, and always for the better. Traveling opens our hearts and minds to this kaleidoscope that is our cool, crazy beautiful world. 

What traveling also does, is it exposes us to elements that are beyond our comfort zone and at times beyond the realm of our understanding, but this aspect of traveling, this state of “uncomfortableness”, is where the magic happens, it is where we grow, where we become more complete, as travelers, yes… but more importantly as humans. 

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There is a quote that I love, “A comfort zone is great, but nothing ever grows there.” This is as true of a statement that that you will read. For us to grow, for us to develop as individuals, we must expose ourselves to experiences that allow us to grow. It is with this growth that we develop understanding, compassion, and love… just some of the facets that define what it means to be human. 

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I have been fortunate enough to travel to many different places. For the most part it has been wildlife photography that’s allowed me to rack up those airline miles. However, the byproduct of traveling the world over in search of wildlife has allowed me to be in a fortunate position to meet some incredible people and experience some beautiful cultures. Traveling has taught me so much about myself, I have experienced things that have made me wonder, things that have surprised me, even thing that have frightened me, but more than anything else, traveling has given me purpose. It’s made me a better version of myself and given me the opportunity to live out many boyhood dreams. I have had sundowners with elephants, and morning tea with a Maasai warrior. I have shared surreal moments with bison, and I have laughed out loud with many a taxi driver. I have seen the world’s tallest building and I have stayed in a tree house in the wilds of Africa… and that’s what it’s all about. It is contrasting moments, the likes of which I have just mentioned, that grab a hold of your soul and never let go. 

We must not allow ourselves to become permanently anchored in a life that is devoid of adventure and wonder. We must experience cultures, traditions, cuisines and even wildlife that’s foreign to what we perceive to be familiar. Immersing yourself in foreign cultures does not stifle your own culture in the least. All it does is it opens your mind to the beauty of this world. It makes you realize that no matter how different we may all seem, we are all akin.

They call it wanderlust, a beautiful condition that creates a constant void within you that can only be suppressed with more travel. The thing though is that wanderlust, or the desire to travel, is one for which there is no cure, nor do you want there to be a cure. Because this world is simply beautiful, its people are beautiful, its many cultures are beautiful and of course its wildlife is beautiful. Do we not owe it to ourselves to go out and explore? To go out and discover? We are the descendants, each of us, of great explorers, who circumnavigated the globe and we now live in a time where adventure is accessible. 

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Too often I hear people say that going on an adventure or traveling is too costly, but at the same time purchasing another TV or phone is completely justifiable. This always saddens me, because the fact is that nothing should be more important than finding your adventure, finding the things that truly make you feel alive. I promise you, no TV in the world can do for you what traveling does.

I pray that you travel far and wide but never find your destination. That the fear of the unknown never stifles that voice within you that tells you to follow your heart’s compass. May you cast off your bow line and set sail, as the sweet sensation of adventure replenishes the very fibers of your being. What you desperately seek is for her to always call to you, this temptress, this beautiful world of ours. May you forever look at her in wonder, in amazement, enamored by the way she fills you with an unbridled happiness, with a joy that ignites your soul. Remember though, as sure as the golden light of setting sun, even brief moments in her company will intoxicate you, they will get lost in her infinite beauty, but in doing so you will find the very thing that makes you whole. For she is of you, as you are of her.

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So, go out and get infected with wanderlust, go out and find your adventure, for it will be the best thing you ever do. Go out and see as much of the world as you can, learn to say “hello” in a language other than your native tongue, learn to smile in another language.  Give yourself the chance to fall in love with this incredible planet of ours… Go on and get lost, and perhaps, in doing so, you may very well find yourself.






 
Faizel Ismail